2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 25, 2022  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Political Science (B.A./B.S.)

Program Coordinator/Contact
William Prigge, Department Head
Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion
West Hall Room 109
E-mail: will.prigge@sdstate.edu
Click here for additional information. 

Program Information
The study of Political Science examines politics, governments, and political processes. The Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science prepare graduates for work in government agencies, party headquarters, political consulting firms, advocacy organizations, business, or non-profit agencies. The flexibility of the major also positions students for law school and other professional or graduate degree programs.

Program Emphases
Criminal Justice Emphasis
Consult advisor to develop a plan of study with the Criminal Justice Minor to prepare for career opportunities in law enforcement, justice administration or various justice system agencies.

General Political Science Emphasis
Students choose to take a very flexible program in Political Science. Such a program might be designed to lead to graduate work in Political Science, or employment in both the public and private sectors.

Pre-law Emphasis
Although a particular major is not specified, Political Science is a common choice because of its flexibility. Consult advisor to develop a plan of study in conjunction with law school entrance requirements. Review the (Pre-) Law information for further suggested curriculum.

Public Administration Emphasis
Students interested in working in government, non-profit organizations, or advocacy groups at the local, state, or national level should plan to take several courses related to public administration and American politics. Students are encouraged to take the practicum or an internship with a government agency or non-profit organization. Students with this focus might pursue the Leadership and Management of Nonprofit Organizations minor.

Research/Graduate School Emphasis
Students wishing to pursue graduate studies in political science or careers in political opinion research should consider the research oriented alternative courses which may be applied toward the major.

Teaching Emphasis
Students preparing to teach secondary school, take education block prerequisite courses in the sophomore and junior years. Consult with the department head of the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Department prior to the junior year. Set aside one semester for the education block and off-campus teaching assignment during the senior year.

Student Learning Objectives
Students with a major in Political Science will be able to:

  • define concepts, theories and methods of political science.
  • demonstrate the ability to analyze political issues using the theories and methods of political science.
  • develop a disciplined, skeptical stand and outlook on the world that demands evidence and a sophisticated use of information.  This includes recognizing the difference between strong and weak arguments based on evidence, use of proper citations and peer review.
  • demonstrate the ability to frame a scholarly question and develop research strategies to address it, identify and summarize the arguments of other scholars, generate arguments that are reasoned and based on evidence selected, arranged and analyzed.
  • effectively navigate the library and online databases and can use statistical software.

Curriculum Objectives
Political science courses are designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • convey the values and traditions of our democratic governmental institutions and processes and encourage students to assert their talents in preserving and nurturing those values and traditions through participation in the body politic;
  • promote global awareness and understanding;
  • engender critical thinking and a high proficiency in communication skills;
  • serve the other social sciences as a cognate field;
  • provide the student majoring in political science with foundation and advanced courses in the many sub-disciplines of political science which, in turn, will contribute to the student’s intellectual growth and occupational pursuits.

Course Delivery Format
The program provides courses online and face to face on campus and at various off-campus attendance centers.

Requirements for Political Science Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Arts and Sciences

System General Education Requirements

Institutional Graduation Requirements

College of Arts and Sciences Requirements

  • One declared minor outside of the major prefix OR a second major OR a teaching specialization. The minor may be a traditional minor within one department or it may be interdisciplinary involving more than one department. The minor can be in a different college. The minor must be declared no later than the student’s third semester of enrollment.
  • Capstone course in the major discipline
  • Upper division coursework Credits: 33
Bachelor of Arts Requirements: 6+
  • Modern Foreign Language Including the 202-Level Credits: 6+
Bachelor of Science Requirements: 10+
  • Natural Sciences   Credits: 10+
    • Any two lab sciences.
    • Coursework must include 2 prefixes.
    • MATH and STATS courses do not count toward the science requirement.

SGRs, IGRs, and/or Major coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements. Consult program advisor for details. See the College of Arts and Sciences  for additional information about Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science specifications.

Major Requirements


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120