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BA in Political Science
(41-44 hours*)



The Discipline

See general description of the discipline.

Career Opportunities

Career choices open to graduates in political science include law, teaching, business, journalism, the media, interest groups, political consulting, and non-profit associations. In addition, majors are also placed with federal, state, and local governments and are found in elective politics. A number of these options do require additional graduate training.

Program Requirements    |    View MAP   |    View Program Outcomes

  1. Introduction to the Major. Complete one course from three of the following four groups. At least one of these courses must be Poli 210, Poli 250, or Poli 270:

    1. Political Philosophy:
      POLI 201 : Western Political Heritage 1. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 201 : Western Political Heritage 1. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      OFFERED: Honors also.
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      DESCRIPTION: Western civilization from Greek antiquity to Renaissance, primarily from perspective of political philosophy and scriptures; exploring fundamental questions in human experience; examining formative events in history; understanding value of important texts.
      NOTE: This course is part of a GE Mosaic. See ge.byu.edu/mosaic-list for more information.

      Course Outcomes
               
      : Honors Western Political Heritage 1.
      Course Outcomes



      POLI 202 : Western Political Heritage 2. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 202 : Western Political Heritage 2. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      OFFERED: Honors also.
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      DESCRIPTION: Western civilization from Renaissance to present, primarily from perspective of political philosophy; exploring fundamental questions in human experience; examining formative events in history; understanding value of important texts.
      NOTE: This course is part of a GE Mosaic. See ge.byu.edu/mosaic-list for more information.

      Course Outcomes


    2. American Politics:
      POLI 110 : American Government and Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 110 : American Government and Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      OFFERED: Honors also. Independent Study also.
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      DESCRIPTION: Origin and development of federal Constitution; national, state, and local governments and politics.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 210 : Principles of American Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 210 : Principles of American Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: Poli 200.
      DESCRIPTION: An introduction to the subfield of American politics for advanced students and majors. Basic concepts, theories, and methods of American politics and political science.

      Course Outcomes


    3. Comparative Politics:
      POLI 150 : Comparative Government and Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 150 : Comparative Government and Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      OFFERED: Honors also.
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      DESCRIPTION: Patterns of European, Asian, Latin American, and other political systems.
      NOTE: This course is part of a GE Mosaic. See ge.byu.edu/mosaic-list for more information.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 250 : Principles of Comparative Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 250 : Principles of Comparative Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: Poli 200.
      DESCRIPTION: An introduction to the subfield of comparative politics for advanced students and majors. Basic concepts, theories, and methods of comparative politics and political science.

      Course Outcomes


    4. International Relations:
      POLI 170 : Introduction to International Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 170 : Introduction to International Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      DESCRIPTION: Basic forces, practices, institutions, and foreign policies of major powers; problem areas in international politics.
      NOTE: This course is part of a GE Mosaic. See ge.byu.edu/mosaic-list for more information.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 270 : Principles of International Relations. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 270 : Principles of International Relations. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: Poli 200.
      DESCRIPTION: An introduction to the subfield of international relations for advanced students and majors. Basic concepts, theories, and methods of international relations and political science.

      Course Outcomes


  2. Philosophy. Complete at least one of the following:
      POLI 201 : Western Political Heritage 1. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 201 : Western Political Heritage 1. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      OFFERED: Honors also.
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      DESCRIPTION: Western civilization from Greek antiquity to Renaissance, primarily from perspective of political philosophy and scriptures; exploring fundamental questions in human experience; examining formative events in history; understanding value of important texts.
      NOTE: This course is part of a GE Mosaic. See ge.byu.edu/mosaic-list for more information.

      Course Outcomes
               
      : Honors Western Political Heritage 1.
      Course Outcomes



      POLI 202 : Western Political Heritage 2. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 202 : Western Political Heritage 2. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      OFFERED: Honors also.
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      DESCRIPTION: Western civilization from Renaissance to present, primarily from perspective of political philosophy; exploring fundamental questions in human experience; examining formative events in history; understanding value of important texts.
      NOTE: This course is part of a GE Mosaic. See ge.byu.edu/mosaic-list for more information.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 367 : Contemporary Political Theory. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 367 : Contemporary Political Theory. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: Poli 201 or Poli 202 or Phil 201 or Phil 202.
      DESCRIPTION: History of political science, including the moral and ethical dimensions of politics.

      Course Outcomes



      Note: Poli 201 or Poli 202 can double-count for Requirement 1a.
  3. Introductory Research and Writing. Complete the following:
      POLI 200 : Political Inquiry. (4:3:1)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 200 : Political Inquiry. (4:3:1)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      DESCRIPTION: Methodology of political science, including theory and techniques of qualitative and quantitative research design.
      NOTE: Prerequisite to all upper-division courses.

      Course Outcomes



      Note: This course is a prerequisite to many other courses and should be taken as soon as possible.
  4. Research Project. Complete one of the following:
      POLI 400 : Research Project in Political Theory. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 400 : Research Project in Political Theory. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: POLI 200 & POLI 201; or POLI 200 & POLI 202
      DESCRIPTION: Advanced research skills and advanced writing for students in their junior year.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 410 : Research Project in American Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 410 : Research Project in American Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: POLI 110 & POLI 200; or POLI 210 & POLI 200; or instructor's consent.
      DESCRIPTION: Advanced research skills and advanced writing for students in their junior year.
      NOTE: For political science majors only.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 430 : Research Project in Public Policy. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 430 : Research Project in Public Policy. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: POLI 110 & POLI 200; or POLI 210 & POLI 200; or instructor's consent.
      DESCRIPTION: Advanced research skills and advanced writing for students in their junior year.
      NOTE: For political science majors only.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 450 : Research Project in Comparative Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 450 : Research Project in Comparative Politics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: POLI 150 & POLI 200; or POLI 250 & POLI 200; or instructor's consent.
      DESCRIPTION: Advanced research skills and advanced writing for students in their junior year.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 470 : Research Project in International Relations. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 470 : Research Project in International Relations. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: POLI 170 & POLI 200; or POLI 270 & POLI 200; or instructor's consent.
      DESCRIPTION: Advanced research skills and advanced writing for students in their junior year.

      Course Outcomes



      Note: This course should be taken as soon as possible after Poli 200 because it will provide skills for many other courses. In combination with Poli 200, it fulfills the University Core Advanced Written and Oral Communication requirement.

  5. Analytical and Professional Skills:

    1. Complete the following:
      POLI 328 : Statistical Analysis. (4:3:1)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 328 : Statistical Analysis. (4:3:1)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter
      PREREQUISITE: POLI 200
      DESCRIPTION: Quantitative techniques in political research.
      NOTE: This course is part of a GE Mosaic. See ge.byu.edu/mosaic-list for more information.

      Course Outcomes


    2. Complete one course from the following:
      POLI 302 : Experimental Research Methods. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 302 : Experimental Research Methods. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Contact Department.
      PREREQUISITE: Poli 200 and Poli 328, or concurrent enrollment.
      DESCRIPTION: Students will learn how to conduct experiments in the social sciences. All students will conduct an original experiment, learn how to analyze the data, and present their results in a publishable format.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 303 : Qualitative Methods. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 303 : Qualitative Methods. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Contact Department.
      PREREQUISITE: POLI 200
      DESCRIPTION: Qualitative methods for gathering data and analyzing theories, including concept formation, textual analysis, interviewing, archival research, case studies, and comparative historical analysis.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 304 : Game Theory in Political Science. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 304 : Game Theory in Political Science. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Contact Department.
      DESCRIPTION: Introduction to game theory, concentrating on applications in politics.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 305 : Survey Research Methods. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 305 : Survey Research Methods. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Contact Department.
      PREREQUISITE: Poli 328 or concurrent enrollment.
      DESCRIPTION: Teaches principles of survey research methods from a Total Survey Error perspective. Topics and assignments include sampling, non-response, coverage, measurement, and analysis. Course project will conduct a survey for a client from start to finish.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 306R : Topics in Political Science Methods. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 306R : Topics in Political Science Methods. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Contact Department.
      DESCRIPTION: Advanced methods of political science. Topics selected by instructor.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 332 : Public Policy Analysis. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 332 : Public Policy Analysis. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      PREREQUISITE: POLI 200
      DESCRIPTION: Analysis of how societies can and should choose between different public policy options to achieve public ends, with a focus on applied cost-benefit analysis.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 367 : Contemporary Political Theory. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 367 : Contemporary Political Theory. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring Contact Department; Summer Contact Department
      PREREQUISITE: Poli 201 or Poli 202 or Phil 201 or Phil 202.
      DESCRIPTION: History of political science, including the moral and ethical dimensions of politics.

      Course Outcomes


      POLI 421 : Constitutional Law - Rights and Immunities. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      POLI 421 : Constitutional Law - Rights and Immunities. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Contact Department.

      Course Outcomes


      C S 142 : Introduction to Computer Programming. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      C S 142 : Introduction to Computer Programming. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring
      PREREQUISITE: Knowledge of algebra.
      DESCRIPTION: Introduction to object-oriented program design and development. Principles of algorithm formulation and implementation.

      Course Outcomes


      ECON 478 : Game Theory and Economics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      ECON 478 : Game Theory and Economics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter
      PREREQUISITE: ECON 378 & ECON 380; or STAT 201 & MATH 313 & ECON 380
      DESCRIPTION: Application of game theory to study strategic interaction between individuals and organizations. Applications include imperfect competition, insurance markets, and bargaining.

      Course Outcomes


      ECON 488 : Applied Econometrics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      ECON 488 : Applied Econometrics. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter
      PREREQUISITE: ECON 388
      DESCRIPTION: Application of econometric methods, introduction to research design, and evaluation of empirical research. Special attention given to linking economic theory and econometrics, and causal inference.

      Course Outcomes


      FIN 201 : Principles of Finance. (3:3:1.5)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      FIN 201 : Principles of Finance. (3:3:1.5)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring; Summer
      RECOMMENDED: Acc 200.
      DESCRIPTION: Financial management from the viewpoint of the business manager emphasizing profitability, liquidity, and long-range financial planning.

      Course Outcomes


      GEOG 212 : Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. (3:2:1)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      GEOG 212 : Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. (3:2:1)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring
      DESCRIPTION: Concepts in the use of small- and large-scale digital map data, emphasizing landscape interpretation and feature description.

      Course Outcomes


      GEOG 213 : Earth Observation and Image Interpretation. (2:2:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      GEOG 213 : Earth Observation and Image Interpretation. (2:2:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter
      DESCRIPTION: Principles of earth observation: primarily air photo/large-scale satellite imagery interpretation, basic field methods, photogrammetry.

      Course Outcomes


      IS 201 : Introduction to Management Information Systems. (3:3:1)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      IS 201 : Introduction to Management Information Systems. (3:3:1)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring; Summer
      PREREQUISITE: IS 110.
      DESCRIPTION: Using technology to solve business problems. Hands-on spreadsheet, database, and Internet software in a business context.

      Course Outcomes


      PHIL 205 : Introduction to Formal Logic. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      PHIL 205 : Introduction to Formal Logic. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter
      DESCRIPTION: History and use of syllogistic and propositional logic; evaluating arguments with Venn diagrams, truth tables, and Copi-style proofs and proof strategies; informal reasoning and fallacies.

      Course Outcomes


      STAT 234 : Methods of Survey Sampling. (3:3:2)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      STAT 234 : Methods of Survey Sampling. (3:3:2)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
      WHEN TAUGHT:Fall
      PREREQUISITE: STAT 121; or STAT 151; or STAT 201; or Stat 301.
      DESCRIPTION: Sampling frames; questionnaire design; simple random, systematic, stratified, and cluster sampling methods; comparing domain means; contingency table analysis.

      Course Outcomes


  6. Professional Tracks. Complete 15 credit hours in political science, or complete 15 credit hours within one of the following tracks. Unless noted, no double-counting of major courses allowed.

    1. International Strategy and Diplomacy

      1. Complete two courses from the following list:
      2. Complete one course from the following list:
      3. Complete two courses from the following list:
      4. Students are strongly encouraged to complete international internships, field studies, and mentored research. Some study abroad programs may also be helpful.

    2. Legal Studies

      1. Complete three courses from the following list:
      2. Note: Phil 416 (Philosophy of Law) may be used in place of Poli 364. See your academic advisor for more information.

      3. Complete six additional credit hours from the list in requirement i or from the following list:

    3. Political Strategy

      1. Complete five courses from the following list:
      2. Students are strongly encouraged to complete internships, work on political campaigns, and gain other practical political experience.

    4. Research and Analysis

      1. Complete three courses from the following list:
      2. Complete two additional courses from the list in requirement i or from the following list:

    5. Global Development

      1. Complete the following:
          ECON 110 : Economic Principles and Problems. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
          ECON 110 : Economic Principles and Problems. (3:3:0)(Credit Hours:Lecture Hours:Lab Hours)
          OFFERED: Honors also.
          WHEN TAUGHT:Fall; Winter; Spring; Summer
          DESCRIPTION: Strengths and weaknesses of markets and governments for solving problems of social organization or conflict, including policy response to inflation, unemployment, pollution, poverty, growth, etc.
          NOTE: This course is part of a GE Mosaic. See ge.byu.edu/mosaic-list for more information.

          Course Outcomes
                   
          : Honors Economic Principles and Problems.
          Course Outcomes



      2. Complete four courses from the following list:
      3. Students are strongly encouraged to complete international internships and mentored field research. Students may count up to 6 credit hours of Poli 399R or Poli 497R with international development organizations or in developing countries for requirement ii.

  7. Additional Requirement. Complete 6 additional credit hours of 200-level and above Political Science courses. A maximum of 3 credits of lower-division Political Science credit may count toward these 6 additional credits.
Additional Requirements and Guidelines

  1. 27 hours of political science courses must be taken in residency at BYU (BYU Independent Study courses do not meet this requirement). These hours may also go toward BYU's 30-hour residency requirement for graduation.
  2. Poli 101R and 297R do not count toward the major or any minor offered by the department.
  3. Only 6 hours of Poli 399R (internship credit) may count toward the major.
  4. No cooperative education (internship) credit from other universities or colleges will be accepted toward the major.
  5. All students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship. Established programs are available through Washington Seminar, Utah State Legislature, or the Kennedy Center.
  6. Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the American Government and/or Comparative Government AP exams may substitute AP credit for Poli 110 or Poli 150, respectively.
  7. We strongly encourage students to take Poli 298R, a career lecture series course.

*Hours include courses that may fulfill university core requirements.



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