Political Science Curriculum

Current Students:

See the Recommended Academic Plans and Checksheets for more detailed course recommendations and refer to the University Bulletin for course descriptions and more degree requirements.

Prospective Students:

The typical course sequence below is meant to give a general feel for the courses taken by Political Science majors. Schedules will vary by student, depending on areas of interest.



  • First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
  • Introduction to American National Government (3 credits)
  • English Composition (3 credits)
  • Math Course (3 credits)
  • Foreign Language I (4 credits)
  • Health and Physical Activity (1.5 credits)

Total Credits:  15.5


  • Introduction to Comparative Politics (3 credits)
  • Natural Science Course (3 credits)
  • Arts Course (3 credits)
  • Humanities Course (3 credits)
  • Foreign Language II (4 credits)

Total Credits:  16


  • International Relations (3 credits)
  • Effective Speech (3 credits)
  • Arts Course (3 credits)
  • Natural Science Course (3 credits)
  • Foreign Language III (4 credits)

Total Credits:  16


  • Introduction to Political Theory (3 credits)
  • Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences (3 credits)
  • Humanities Course (3 credits)
  • Social and Behavioral Science Course (3 credits)
  • Math Course (3 credits)
  • Health and Physical Activity (1.5 credits)

Total Credits:  16.5

SEMESTERS 5, 6, 7, AND 8

A range of Penn State Behrend courses are available to you in your third and fourth years.

Your schedule will depend on your areas of focus and personal interests.

  • Upper-Division Supporting Courses
    American Public Policy; Ethnic and Racial Politics; American Political Campaigns and Elections; Politics and Government in Washington, D.C.; Organized Crime, Law, and Politics; Political Foundations of the Early American Republic; Constitutional Law; The American Legal Process; American Judicial Behavior; Congress and the Presidency; American State and Urban Politics; Politics of Western Europe; Politics of Developing Countries; Politics of International Intolerance; North American Politics; Government and Politics of Africa; Government and Politics of East Asia; Politics and Institutions of Latin American Nations; Post-Soviet Politics; War in World Politics; The Politics of Terrorism; American Foreign Policy; Politics of the European Union; International Relations of the Middle East; Global Political Economy; Foreign Policies of Soviet Successor States; International Law and Organizations; Contemporary Political Ideologies; Debating the Purpose of Government; Understanding Tyranny; Introduction to Political Research; The Bureaucratic State; Gender and Politics; Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Political Theories; Modern and Contemporary Political Theories; Public Administration; Political Science Internship

This is meant to be representative of a typical course sequence. Your schedule will vary depending on your interests; it is recommended that you consult your academic adviser before scheduling courses. See bulletins.psu.edu/bulletins/bluebook for specific degree requirements.