B.A. in Political Science


Political Science majors choose from two tracks. About half our majors focus on International Relations with the other half concentrating on the study of American Politics.

In order to graduate with a B.A., students choosing to major in Political Science must complete a minimum of 32 credits (maximum 48 credits) in Political Science. Most Political Science classes are worth 4 credits each.

  • 100-Level: Majors are required to take PSC 113 (Introduction to American Politics) and PSC 116 (Introduction to International Politics).
  • 200-Level: Majors often choose a focus area in either American Politics or International Relations. Accordingly, majors must take either PSC 210 (American Politics: Theories and Applications) or PSC 211 (World Politics: Theories and Applications). Majors may elect to take both PSC 210 and PSC 211.
  • 300-Level: Majors are required to take PSC 310 (Introduction to Political Science Research). Majors must take at least one additional 300-level 4-credit course.
  • 400-Level: Majors must take any two 400-Level 4-credit seminars.
  • A total of 120 credits is required for graduation. At least 42 of these credits must be in courses numbered 300 or above.  The URI General Education requirements must also be met.


Below is a selection of courses commonly offered:

  • PSC 300: Challenge of Nuclear Arms
  • PSC 305: Politics In Rhode Island
  • PSC 310: Introduction to Political Science Research
  • PSC 322: Politics of the Middle East
  • PSC 325: Political Corruption
  • PSC 334: Government Powers and the Law
  • PSC 341: Political Theory – Plato to Machiavelli
  • PSC 360: Human Rights
  • PSC 367: American Political Campaigns and Elections
  • PSC 368: Public Opinion
  • PSC 369: Legislative Process and Public Policy
  • PSC 371: The Constitution and the Supreme Court
  • PSC 377: Politics of China
  • PSC 402: Environmental Policy and Politics
  • PSC 417: Russian Foreign Policy
  • PSC 419: Politics in Latin America
  • PSC 422: International Political Economy
  • PSC 431: International Relations
  • PSC 434: American Foreign Policy
  • PSC 441: Women and Politics
  • PSC 461: The American Presidency
  • PSC 472: Civil Liberties

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify core concepts, methods, and theories in political science.
  2. Apply political science theories to a case or identified set of cases
  3. Integrate and apply core concepts in political science
  4. Demonstrate the ability to generate and conduct research/critical inquiry.