Political Science, B.A.
This is an archived copy of the 2020-2021 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit https://academicbulletins.sc.edu.
- Political Science majors will demonstrate knowledge of basic facts, themes, theories and concepts central to the study and understanding of politics.
- Political Science majors will demonstrate critical writing skills and demonstrate proficiency in the analysis of politics and theories of politics.
- Political Science majors will demonstrate skills in critical thinking and evaluating political data in the analysis of politics.
New freshmen who meet University admissions standards are eligible for admission to degree programs offered by the college. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another college on the Columbia campus must be in good standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another UofSC campus must fulfill one of the following requirements:
- Be in good standing, meet the admission requirements for a baccalaureate degree on the Columbia campus, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher.
- Be in good standing and have completed 30 semester hours with a GPA of 2.00 or higher on a UofSC campus.
Some programs in the College of Arts and Sciences have special admission requirements established by the department or committee that supervises the specific degree program, for example, Cardiovascular Technology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. These requirements are listed in the sections of this bulletin that describe department and special degree programs.
Degree Requirements (120 hours)
Program of Study
|1. Carolina Core||32-44|
|2. College Requirements||15-18|
|3. Program Requirements||31-46|
|4. Major Requirements||27|
1. Carolina Core Requirements(32-44 hours)
CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)
must be passed with a grade of C or higher
- any CC-CMW courses
ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6-8 hours)
- any CC-ARP courses
SCI – Scientific Literacy (8 hours)
- Two 4-credit hour CC-SCIlaboratory science courses
GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-6 hours)
Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.
It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.
GHS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours)
- any CC-GHS course
GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours)
AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)
- any CC-AIU course
CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-CMS course
INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-INF course
VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-VSR course
Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.
2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)
Foreign Language (0-3 hours)
- only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency
History (3 hours)
The College of Arts and Sciences requires one U.S. History and one non-U.S. History course. Whichever is not fulfilled through the Carolina Core GHS requirement must be fulfilled through this college requirement. Accordingly, please select one of the following:
- One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on U.S. History: HIST 111, HIST 112, HIST 214, or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Science to fit this geographic category.
- One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on non-U.S. History: HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 104, HIST 105, HIST 106, HIST 108, HIST 109, GERM 280, FAMS 300, or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Sciences to fit this geographic category.
Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (12 hours)
- Three hours of Social Science
- Nine hours of Fine Arts or Humanities
3. Program Requirements (31-46 hours)
Supporting Courses (3 hours)
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Introduction to Global Politics|
|Introduction to Politics|
|Controversies in Political Theory|
|Controversies in Public Policy|
|Controversies in American Politics|
|Total Credit Hours||3|
Cognate or Minor (12-18 hours)
The cognate is intended to support the course work in the major. The cognate must consist of twelve (12) hours of courses at the advanced level, outside of but related to the major. The cognate may be taken in one or more departments or programs, depending on the interests of the student and the judgment of the advisor.
Courses offered by departments and programs that are acceptable for cognate credit are outlined in the section titled Courses Acceptable for Cognate Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.
For cognate course offerings in other colleges, consult the appropriate sections of this bulletin. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements.
It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. The cognate must be approved by the major advisor as being related to the major field of study. Students are urged to consult their major advisors for specific requirements in their major.
Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the cognate. For Bachelor of Arts degrees, all cognate courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher.
In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. (Some minors in the sciences require a minimum of 16 hours.) The subject area of the minor may be related to the major. Students pursuing interdisciplinary minors who wish to use courses in their major department for minor credit must petition the College Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions for permission to do so.
The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must be concentrated in one area and must follow a structured sequence. Interdisciplinary minors can be designed with the approval of the assistant dean for academic affairs and advising.
Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.
A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z.
Electives (10-31 hours)
No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Note: 1-22 hours of electives will be needed to reach hours to graduate and Program Requirements will range from 22-37 hours, if completing either the Intensive Major or the B.A. with Distinction in Political Science.
4. Major Requirements (27 hours)
A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.
Major Courses (9 hours)
|Select one course from three of the following fields:||9|
|Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality|
|Public Opinion and Politics|
|Gender and Politics|
|Film, Politics, and Social Change|
|American Political Parties|
|Elections and Voting Behavior|
|Politics and the Mass Media|
|Interest Groups and Social Movements|
|The State of American Politics|
|The Judicial Process|
|Women and the Law|
|The Legislative Process|
|The American Chief Executive|
|Psychology and Politics|
|Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations|
|Law and Society|
|American Local Government|
|State and Local Government|
|South Carolina Government and Politics|
|Comparative Politics of Developing Countries|
|Comparative Politics of Industrialized Countries|
|Revolution and Political Violence|
|Politics and Government of China|
|Politics and Government of Russia|
|Politics and Governments of Europe|
|Middle East Politics|
|Politics and Governments of Africa|
|Politics and Governments of Latin America|
|Politics and Government of Japan|
|The Conduct and Formulation of United States Foreign Policy|
|Contemporary United States Foreign Policy|
|National Security Policies of the United States|
|Theories of War in International Relations|
|Ideology and World Politics|
|Nationalism and Ethnicity in World Politics|
|Economic Aspects of International Politics|
|International Relations of Latin America|
|Russian Foreign Policy|
|International Relations of East Asia and the Pacific|
|International Relations in Japan|
|Political Economy of Africa's Regions|
|International Relations of Africa|
|Foreign Policies of Selected Powers|
|International Relations of the Middle East|
|Classical and Medieval Political Theory|
|Modern Political Theory|
|Contemporary Political Theory|
|Selected Topics in Political Theory|
|Selected Thinkers in Political Theory|
|African American Political Thought|
|American Political Thought|
|Politics and Ethics|
|Utopian Political Thought|
|Introduction to Public Administration|
|Politics of Taxing and Spending|
|Science, Technology, and Public Policy|
|Total Credit Hours||9|
Major Electives (18 hours)
|Select six courses from POLI 300 or above organized around 1-2 areas of interest with advisor approval||18|
|Total Credit Hours||18|
Note: One of the following courses must be taken as part of the major requirements in order to fulfill the Carolina Core Integrative course requirement: POLI 315, POLI 316, POLI 361, POLI 368, POLI 370, POLI 374, POLI 451, POLI 462, or POLI 504.
Intensive Major (36 hours)
A minimum grade of B is required in all major courses.
In addition to the requirements for the General Major, Intensive majors must complete the following:
- An additional six hours of major course work (approved by the major advisor).
- POLI 499
- Demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language through the intermediate level.
B.A. with Distinction (36 hours)
Departmental Undergraduate Research Track available to students majoring in political science who wish to participate in significant research activities of the major field in collaboration with, or under the supervision of, a faculty mentor.
In addition to the requirements for the general major, “B.A. with Distinction” majors must complete the following:
- A minimum major GPA of 3.60
- A cumulative GPA of 3.30
- Required courses:
- Additional Requirements:
- Public presentation of the Senior Thesis in a venue approved by the faculty mentor, such as:
- Annual meeting of the South Carolina Political Science Association (or any other annual meeting of the appropriate professional organization);
- A regular (or special) session of the Political Science Research Workshop;
- Sessions scheduled for the Political Science Awards Day activities;
- USC Discovery Day;
- Submission to a professional journal.
- Public presentation of the Senior Thesis in a venue approved by the faculty mentor, such as:
- A written sponsorship agreement from the faculty mentor to be placed on file in the department or college office.
A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.
Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.