See the big picture: Learn to analyze complex political problems and find viable solutions in both public and private sectors with a political science degree.
With a major in political science, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of U.S. government and global politics. By analyzing political structures, theory, and problems, you’ll learn to interpret complex political problems in both the public and private sectors and propose potential solutions. You’ll also have an opportunity to enhance your professionalism and fine-tune your communication and organizational skills.
This program is designed to help you prepare for graduate study or careers in areas such as policy development for think tanks, research at intelligence agencies, and political campaign management, as well as other work with local and state governments or nonprofit organizations.
This program is also available as a minor.
Your Coursework in Political Science
In your political science courses, you’ll develop research and communication skills. Courses examine issues in policy development, global terrorism, foreign policy, defense policy and arms control, the intelligence community, and challenges in modern politics.
What You'll Learn
Through your coursework, you will learn how to
- Analyze and participate in the creation of public policy at the local, state, federal, and international levels by building consensus and using effective lobbying techniques
- Participate in and influence government at all levels through an understanding of the establishment, structure, and interaction of governmental institutions
- Use effective writing, research, analysis, advocacy, and coalition-building skills to develop and influence policy at the national and international levels
- Conduct, analyze, and evaluate theoretical and empirical research for specific problems to affect domestic and international policy by applying political theory, systems, and processes in organizational environments
- Apply knowledge of ethical principles and issues to public policy and politics
In past projects, students have had the opportunity to
- Complete an in-depth country analysis with particular stress on political-economic issues to produce a white paper to assist governments or corporations in assessing political or economic risks
- Develop a counterterrorism plan for a specific organization
- Choose a policy-oriented organization and research an issue to present
A degree with a major in political science requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 30 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 49 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 15 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). See overall degree requirements.
Courses in the Major (30 Credits)
- Introduction to Political Science (3 Credits, GVPT 100)
- Introduction to Political Theory (3 Credits, GVPT 101)
- American Government (3 Credits, GVPT 170)
or International Political Relations (GVPT 200 )
- Comparative Politics and Governments (3 Credits, GVPT 280)
- Terrorism, Antiterrorism, and Homeland Security (3 Credits, GVPT 409)
or any upper-level GVPT course
- Law, Morality, and War (3 Credits, GVPT 403)
or any upper-level GVPT course
- Global Terrorism (3 Credits, GVPT 406)
- American Foreign Relations (3 Credits, GVPT 457)
or any upper-level GVPT course
- Advanced Seminar in Political Science (3 Credits, GVPT 495)
General Education Courses (41 Credits)
Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and research and computing literacy).
Note: Excess credit earned in fulfilling any general education requirement (e.g., by taking a 4-credit course where only 3 credits are required) may be applied toward the research and computing literacy requirement.
Research and Computing Literacy Courses
- Program and Career Exploration in Communication/Humanities (3 Credits, PACE 111C) or other PACE 111 course
(to be taken in first 6 credits)
- Introduction to Research (1 Credit, LIBS 150), Career Planning Management (1 Credit, CAPL 398A), or other general education elective
- Social Networking and Cybersecurity Best Practices (3 Credits, CMIS 111) or another computing course appropriate to the academic major
- Academic Writing I (3 Credits, WRTG 111) or other writing course
- Academic Writing II (3 Credits, WRTG 112)
- Foundations of Oral Communication (3 Credits, SPCH 100)
or other communication, writing, or speech course
- Advanced Research Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 391)
or other advanced upper-level writing course
Topics for Mathematical Literacy (3 Credits, MATH 105) or College Mathematics (3 Credits, MATH 103) (Available overseas only) or other approved math or statistics course
Arts and Humanities Courses
- Technological Transformations (3 Credits, HIST 125) or other arts and humanities course
- Introduction to Humanities (3 Credits, HUMN 100) or other arts and humanities course
Behavioral and Social Science Courses
- Economics in the Information Age (3 Credits, ECON 201) or other behavioral and social sciences course
- Technology in Contemporary Society (3 Credits, BEHS 103) or other behavioral and social sciences course
Biological and Physical Sciences Courses
- Concepts of Biology (3 Credits, BIOL 101) and Laboratory in Biology (1 Credit, BIOL 102)
or Introduction to Physical Science (3 Credits, NSCI 100) and Physical Science Laboratory (1 Credit, NSCI 101)
or other paired science lecture and laboratory courses taken in the same session
- Physical Geology (3 Credits, GEOL 100) or other science lecture course
Career Services provides resources and services for UMGC students and alumni worldwide to inform them about, prepare them for, and connect them with their career and job search needs. To access Career Services, you should activate your account on CareerQuest, UMGC's online career portal, using your UMGC login credentials.
Tools and Resources
Career Services offers a variety of tools and resources, available online 24 hours a day, that can be useful in the career planning and job-search process. Resources include résumé builders and templates, online mock interviews, video job-search tips, mentor matching, occupational information, employer and graduate school directories, job hunting guides, and career resource literature.
UMGC offers several services designed to fulfill the employment needs of UMGC students and alumni, including employer recruitment sessions and job fairs (held online and on-site); employability skills workshops, such as résumé writing and interview preparation; and job-search tutorials. CareerQuest enables you to search job listings and post résumés for prospective employers.
Career Development and Planning
Career Services staff are available to provide personalized attention to help you clarify your skills, interests, and work-related values; make career/life-related decisions; research career options; plan for further study; and search for employment, whether you are new to your career field, making a career transition, or looking for guidance on how to climb the corporate ladder as an experienced professional.
Career advising services are available by appointment (on-site and by phone, video chat, and e-mail) and can be scheduled via CareerQuest. A limited number of appointments are available on a walk-in basis at Largo during specified times. Call 800-888-8682, ext. 2-2720, or visit Career Services for more information.
Career Services also offers webinars and workshops to support the unique needs of UMGC students and alumni.