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Political Science

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The Major: To graduate, students majoring in political science are required to take POS 2041 American Federal Government, CPO 2001 Comparative Politics and INR 2001 International Relations. A total of 30 semester hours with grades of C or better is required for the major, at least 15 of which must be taken at the university. No more than 12 hours of political science course work at the 2000 level may be taken for major credit. In addition to these 30 hours in political science, one semester of statistics (e.g. STA 2023) is required, with a grade of C or better. See the undergraduate coordinator in 234 Anderson Hall for further information about the major.

International Relations: Political science and non-major students may pursue undergraduate training in international relations in two ways. First, students can select an interdisciplinary program that includes courses on comparative politics and international relations. Second, students can pursue a certificate in international relations.

The certificate program includes two courses in the international relations theory core, along with introductory and advanced course work in four major sub-fields: international political economy, global security, foreign policy and international organization. To qualify for this certificate, students must successfully complete INR 2001 and International Relations Theory (INR 3603), at least three sub-field courses (INR 3034, 3084, 3102, 3333, or 3502) and at least one advanced sub-field course (INR 4035, 4083, 4204, 4244, 4303, 4531 or 4350).

While successful completion of this 18-credit program will qualify students for the IR certificate, most graduate programs, foreign service organizations and private corporations will be looking for individuals with broad training. Therefore, students should pursue related study in other political science fields and other departments. Students interested in U.S. foreign policy, for example, should consider taking courses in American government. Likewise, students interested in international trade or finance would do well to pursue course work in economics.

In addition, students interested in the international relations of a particular geographical region would be well served to learn about the comparative domestic political systems and/or cultures of those regions and may find courses in comparative politics, geography, anthropology or foreign languages and literatures to be helpful. Many other opportunities for enrichment through interdisciplinary work are available on campus. Additional information is available from international relations faculty.

Public Affairs: The Certificate in Public Affairs is designed for those students interested in a career in government. Students are required to earn a grade of C or better in 15 hours of public policy and public administration courses. Students take the core courses in public administration (PAD 3003) and public policy (PUP 3002), two courses on the policy process (e.g., Bureaucratic Politics), and one course in a substantive policy area (e.g., Health Politics and Policy or Politics and Ecology). Students are encouraged to serve an internship in government and complete an honors thesis in the area of public affairs. Credits earned toward the certificate also count toward the political science major. The certificate is open to non-majors as well. Additional information is available from the undergraduate coordinator.

Combined B.A./M.A. Program: A combined bachelorís/masterís degree is available for superior students who have the ability to pursue an accelerated program in political science leading to the Master of Arts in political science or the Master of Arts in international relations. Up to 12 semester hours of approved graduate-level courses can be used as dual credit for both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. All other requirements for both the bachelorís and the masterís degree must be met.

Applicants to the program will present a combined score of 1200 (V + Q) or above on the GRE, complete at least 24 semester hours at UF (including at least 12 hours of political science) with a GPA of 3.7 or better and submit letters of recommendation from two faculty members in the Department of Political Science.

The combined bachelorís/masterís program is not recommended for students considering a Ph.D. in political science at the university, but is appropriate for those considering M.A. certificate programs in political campaigning, public affairs, and international development policy and administration. Additional information is available from department undergraduate and graduate coordinators.

Career Advice: There are numerous career opportunities for political science majors, including law, public service, political consulting, interest advocacy, public and private work in international relations and business and graduate education in political science. Students should consult department advisers and the Career Resource Center.

Cum Laude Recogntion: Political science majors who graduate with a 3.50 or better junior-/senior-level grade point average will graduate cum laude (with honors).

Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude Recognition: Political science majors who meet the following requirements will be considered for magna cum laude (high honors) or summa cum laude (highest honors) recognition:

  • 3.50 or better junior-/senior-level grade point average;
  • Complete POS 4734 (Research Methods in Political Science)
  • Complete POS 4934 (one credit of honors preparation) in conjunction with POS 4734 or another 3000-4000 level political science course
  • Complete POS 4970 and submit an honors thesis written under the supervision of a faculty member in the studentís field of interest

Honors students will normally take the research methods course and the honors preparation in the spring semester of their junior year or the fall semester of their senior year, and write the thesis following completion of these courses. The honors preparation credit (POS 4934) normally entails an extra assignment given by the instructor with the goal of determining if students have the background and interest to continue research in that area. The thesis is written under the supervision of one faculty member (designated as the studentís honors supervisor) who is selected jointly by the student and the undergraduate coordinator.

General Education: The department offers many courses that fulfill categories H, I or S.

Overseas Study: The department encourages a term or year of study abroad. Students should meet with the undergraduate coordinator early in their academic careers to plan for this.

Political Science

To remain Ďon trackí for this major, a student must meet the following critical tracking criteria.

Semester 1:

  • 2.0 UF GPA required for semesters 1-5
  • Complete 1 of 4 critical tracking courses CPO2001, INR2001, POS2041, STA2023

Semester 2:

  • Complete 1 additional tracking course with a 2.5 GPA on all critical tracking courses

Semester 3:

  • Complete 1 additional tracking course with a 2.5 GPA on all critical tracking courses.

Semester 4:

  • Complete all critical tracking courses with a 2.75 GPA on all critical tracking courses

Semester 5:

  • Complete 1 additional political science course at the 3000-level or higher with a C or better

Semester 1

Credits

Composition (GE)

3

Political Science Core Course (e.g. CPO 2001 or POS 2041) (GE-S)

3

Foreign Language

4-5

Mathematics (GE)

3

_____

 

Total

13-14

Semester 2

Credits

Political Science Core Course (GE-S)

3

Foreign Language

3-5

Humanities (GE)

3

Biological Science (GE)

3

Science Laboratory (GE-P or B)

1

_____

 

Total

13-15

Semester 3

Credits

Political Science Core Course (GE-S)

3

STA 2023 Statistics (GE-M)

3

Elective*

3

Elective* (or Foreign Language if 4-3-3 option)

3

Humanities (GE)

3

__

 

Total

15

Semester 4

Credits

Humanities (GE)

3

Physical Science (GE)

3

Electives*

6

Biological Science (GE)

3

__

 

Total

15

Semester 5

Credits

2 Political Science 3000-4000 level courses

6

Biological Science

3

Elective* (3000-level or above, not in major)

3

Composition

3

__

 

Total

15

Semester 6

Credits

Political Science 3000-4000 level courses

6

POS 4934 (department honors, optional)

1

Elective* (3000-level or above, not in major)

3

Electives*

6

__

 

Total

16

Semester 7

Credits

Political Science 3000-4000 level course

3

POS 4734 Research Methods (department honors, optional) OR Political Science 3000-4000 level course

3

Electives* (3000-level or above, not in major)

6

Elective*

3

__

 

Total

15

Semester 8

Credits

Political Science course OR POS 4970 Senior Thesis (department honors, optional)

2-4

Electives* (3000-level or above, not in major)

6

Electives*

6

_____

 

Total

14-16

* Majors are encouraged to use some of their electives to pursue a minor.

 
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