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Major in Political Science

Degree Program Hours: 120

The major in Political Science provides a broad education that will equip students for a wide variety of careers. The program for majors is designed to

  • Encourage analysis of political theories, institutions, and processes within the broader context of the social sciences
  • Increase appreciation of political science as a discipline
  • Develop a continuing and responsible interest in political participation and public affairs
  • Provide the opportunity to acquire a fundamental understanding of political science as a basis for citizenship, a career in government, or professional study and service
  • Stimulate interest in graduate studies in various fields and disciplines.

The curriculum is designed to not only expose students to the various areas of Political Science but also to allow reasonable specialization. Students are encouraged to create a blend of courses that fits their interests and they should work with the Political Science undergraduate advisor in selecting courses.

To qualify for admission to the program, FIU undergraduates must have met all the lower division requirements including CLAS, 60 semester hours, and a minimum 2.0 Grade Point Average.

  • Curriculum for Political Science Majors

    Curriculum for Political Science Majors

    Students should obtain and read the Political Science Advising Guide, available online via the Political Science portion of the Department of Politics and International Relations website. A minimum of 30 credits of upper division work (3000 level and above) is required for a major in Political Science. A maximum of 6 of those credits may be in independent study and internship courses.

    In addition, two 2000 level courses are required for a student to meet the department’s prerequisite requirements for majors as well as the state mandated “Common Prerequisites” (see below). These courses should be taken as early as possible in preparation for upper division work in the major. POS 2041-American Government (or its equivalent) is required of all Political Science majors. This course will also meet one of the two state mandated Common Prerequisites. The second Common Prerequisite may be fulfilled by taking either CPO 2002 Introduction to Comparative Politics, or INR 2001 Introduction to International Relations (or their equivalents). These requirements can normally be met through course work at the community college level or taken at FIU. Students should be mindful of the further requirement of the College of Arts and Sciences that a minimum of 48 upper division credits (3000 level and above) is necessary for graduation. Students also need to pass 9 hours in upper division courses outside Political Science and must satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences Foreign Language Requirement.

    No specific upper division courses are required. Rather, courses in Political Science must be distributed so that four courses meet the Breadth Requirement and six other courses meet the Political Science Electives Requirement.

    The student must earn a grade of ‘C’ or better in all Political Science courses to be credited toward the major. A grade of ‘C-’ will not fulfill the requirements of the major. Students choosing to major in Political Science must officially declare their major by completing applicable forms. Forms can be obtained online through the Office of the Registrar, or at the department.

  • Common Prerequisite Courses and Equivalencies

    Common Prerequisite Courses and Equivalencies

    Courses which form part of the statewide articulation between the State University System and the Community College System will fulfill the Lower Division Common Prerequisites.

    For generic course substitutions/equivalencies for Common Program Prerequisites offered at community colleges, state colleges, or state universities, visit: http://facts.org, See Common Prerequisite Manual.

    Common Prerequisites are those mandated by the state for Political Science majors. In order to conform with both state and departmental requirements, students must take the following:

    • POS 2041 American Government (or its equivalent)

    and two of the following three courses:

    • CPO 2002 Introduction to Comparative Politics (or its equivalent)
    • INR 2001 Introduction to International Relations (or its equivalent)
    • POT 2002 Introduction to Political Theory

    These courses do not count toward the 30 credits of upper division work required for the major.

  • Requirements for a Major

    Requirements for a Major

    • Breadth Requirement (8 courses/24 credits): This is designed to acquaint all majors with the four general fields of Political Science. Two three-credit hour courses must be taken in each of the following subfields, for a total of 24 credits. These courses may not include independent studies, internships, or POS 4784 Analytical Writing in Political Science.
      • American Politics - Any two 3000/4000 level course with a POS prefix. (6 credits)
      • Comparative Politics - Any two 3000/4000 level course with a CPO prefix. (6 credits)
      • International Politics - Any two 3000/4000 level course with a INR prefix. (6 credits)
      • Political Theory - Any two 3000/4000 level course with a POT prefix. (6 credits)
    • Political Science Electives Requirement (2 courses/6 credits): Two additional courses 3000/4000 level with any departmental prefix (CPO, INR, POS, or POT). A maximum of 6 credits Internship, Independent Study, and/or POS 4784 can be applied towards the Political Science Electives Requirement.

Combined Degree Pathway in Political Science (BA+MA)

The Department offers a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Political Science combined degree pathway. For the most up-to-date and authoritative information on this program, please consult the current course catalog at: https://catalog.fiu.edu/.

  • Admission Requirements

    Admission Requirements

    1. Students must have completed 75 credit hours.
    2. Students must have been admitted to the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.
    3. A 3.5 GPA overall in college work, and a 3.75 GPA in Political Science courses taken at FIU, are required.
    4. Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which must be from FIU Politics and International Relations faculty, are required.
    5. Students must meet admissions requirements for the M.A.in Political Science.
    6. Finally, a favorable decision into the combined degree pathway by the Political Science graduate committee is required.
    7. Students will be awarded the B.A. degree upon completion of the B.A. requirements, prior to completing the requirements for the M.A. degree.
    8. Applicants must submit a completed online application form for the combined degree pathway through their FIU Student Portal (more information available here). The application is typically submitted before starting the last 30 credits of their Bachelor's degree program in Political Science.
  • Common Prerequisites (3 courses/9 credits)

    Common Prerequisites (3 courses/9 credits)

    The Common Prerequisites are required introductory courses for the undergraduate major and should be among the first Political Science courses taken. The department requires one additional 2000-level course beyond the Common Prerequisites. In order to conform with both state and departmental requirements, students must take the following:

    • POS 2041 American Government (or its equivalent)

    and two of the following three courses:

    • CPO 2002 Introduction to Comparative Politics (or its equivalent) • INR 2001 Introduction to International Relations (or its equivalent) • POT 2002 Introduction to Political Theory (or its equivalent)

    Some transfer students will have already taken these or equivalent courses at other institutions, and should not repeat them at FIU. Students with questions about course equivalencies should contact the Political Science undergraduate advisor.

  • Breadth Requirement (8 courses/24 credits)

    Breadth Requirement (8 courses/24 credits)

    The Breadth Requirement is intended to expose majors to each of the four major sub-fields of Political Science. Two three-hour courses must be taken in each of the following subfields, for a total of 24 semester hours. These courses may not include independent studies, internships or POS 4784 Analytic Writing in Political Science.

    American Politics - Any two 3000-level or above courses with a POS prefix, except POS 4784. PUP 4004 may be used as one of the required two American Politics courses. (6 credits)

    Comparative Politics - Any two 3000-level or above courses with a CPO prefix. (6 credits)

    International Politics - Any two 3000-level or above courses with an INR prefix. (6 credits)

    Political Theory - Any two 3000-level or above courses with a POT prefix. (6 credits)

    II. Political Science Electives Requirement (6 credits) Two upper division courses with POS, CPO, INR, or POT prefixes, for a total of 6 credits. Independent studies, internships and/or POS 4784 can be applied toward the Political Science Electives Requirement.

  • Political Science Graduate/Undergraduate Electives Requirement (3 courses/9 credits)

    Political Science Graduate/Undergraduate Electives Requirement (3 courses/9 credits)

    Students in the combined degree pathway will take three 3-credit graduate Political Science courses at the 5000-level to satisfy this requirement. Students must be advised by the departmental Graduate Program Director before enrolling in these 5000-level courses. The 9 hours of graduate credit taken to satisfy the undergraduate Political Science major requirement will also count as 9 credit hours toward the 30 hours of graduate courses required for the M.A. degree.

  • M.A. Courses

    M.A. Courses

    A total of 30 hours of graduate-level courses is required for the successful completion of the M.A. degree. Nine of these 30 hours will have been completed at the undergraduate level by students in the combined degree program.

    Required Core Graduate Courses

    • POS 5706 Research Methodology
    • POS 5716 Foundations of Political Science
    • POS 6976 Research Seminar (to be taken during last term)

    Secondary Core Graduate Courses – Choose three of the following:

    • CPO 5091 Seminar in Comparative Politics
    • INR 5007 Seminar in International Politics
    • POS 5045 Seminar in American Politics
    • POT 5007 Seminar in Political Theory

    Electives – Four courses (12 credit hours)

    Any 5000- or 6000-level Political Science courses. Two courses (6 credit hours) may be taken from outside the Department, with prior approval from the Graduate Program Director.

    Research Project

    A final research project must be completed in POS 6976 under the supervision of a Politics and International Relations faculty member. M.A. candidates are required to formally present the results of their research to faculty and peers at the end of the semester. The M.A. project will be evaluated by a three-member faculty panel.

Minor in Political Science

Lower Division Requirement (3 credits)

POS 2041 American Government (or its equivalent)

Upper Division Requirement (15 credits)

Any five upper division (3000 level and above) courses selected from at least two of the following course prefixes: CPO, INR, POS, or POT,not including POS 4784, independent study courses or internship courses.

All courses for the minor must be passed with a ‘C’ or better grade. A grade of ‘C-’ in a course will not fulfill the requirements of the minor. Students should select specific courses in consultation with their major advisor and the Political Science undergraduate advisor. Students must apply for a minor by completing a Request for Minor Form and have it signed by their Major and Minor Advisors.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science: Social Studies Education Major

The BA in Political Science with Social Studies Education major is completing the approval and accreditation process with the Florida Board of Governors and the Florida Department of Education. Please speak with a College of Arts and Sciences advisor for detailed information.

This program prepares students interested in Social Studies and social sciences for teaching at the secondary level. The major incorporates current results from education research, effective curriculum materials, use of technology, and a global perspective in collaborative learning. Program requirements include field experiences and an internship. Interested students are encouraged to contact the department for additional details and information on teacher support programs.

  • Lower Division (6 credits)

    (Common Prerequisites as Detailed Under the BA Degree in Political Science)

    • POS 2041 American Government (3 credits)
    • INR 2001 Introduction to International Relations or CPO 2002 Introduction to Comparative Politics (3 credits)
  • Additional Lower Division Courses (3 credits)

    Additional Lower Division Courses (3 credits)

    • GEA 2000 World Regional Geography (3 credits)
  • Upper Division (30 credits total)

    Upper Division (30 credits total)

    • POS 3413 Presidency or POS 3424 Legislative Process (3 credits)
    • CPO 3103 Politics of Western Europe or CPO 3304 Latin American Politics (3 credits)
    • POT 3103 Ancient and Medieval Political Theory (3 credits)
    • INR 3102 American Foreign Policy (3 credits)
    • POS 3XXX/4XXX Elective (3 credits)
    • CPO 3XXX/4XXX Elective (3 credits)
    • POT 3XXX/4XXX Elective (3 credits)
    • INR 3XXX/4XXX Elective (3 credits)
    • and Two Political Science Electives at 3000 level or higher for 3 credits each.
  • And (30 credits)

    And (30 credits)

    • EDP 3004 Educational Psychology (3 credits)
    • SSE 4383 Perspectives in Social Science Education (3 credits)
    • SSE 3346 Social Science Content and Pedagogy (3 credits)
    • SSE 4380 Developing a Global Perspective (3 credits)
    • SSE 4384 Special Teaching Lab (3 credits)
    • SSE 4942 Student Teaching (9 credits)
    • RED 4325 Subject Area Reading (3 credits)
    • TSL 4324 TESOL Issues and Strategies for Content Area Teachers (3 credits)