Political Science


Degree Offered

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

Why Study Political Science?

Political Science offers students a chance to explore the dynamics of control that shape our world, here in America and internationally. What leads people to take political action? Why do political events unfold a certain way? What are the moral and ethical questions that surround politics?  When it comes to answering these questions, Political Science is built on the core aspects of the great liberal arts tradition.  Our strengths are logic, appropriate data, analysis, and communication.  Explaining the outcomes of political processes and events involves developing theories, using scientific methods to gather relevant evidence and test those theories, and then using strong communications skills to explain the research.  Honing these skills and learning the knowledge that is shared in our classes prepares students for careers in law, politics, government, the military, academia, private enterprise, and non-profit service.  

Frasure-Singleton Internship Program

Sophomores can apply to the Frasure-Singleton Internship Program with the West Virginia Legislature. Participants are assigned to a legislator who assists in explaining the legislative process. They attend committee meetings and public hearings where legislation and issues are extensively discussed. They sit on the floor during daily sessions surrounded by legislators determining the fate of legislation. They aid legislators with research, constituent requests, and other legislative tasks.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities for a four-year graduate in political science include: city manager, lawyer, diplomat, educator, labor relations specialist, political consultant, public recreation director, public health official, urban planner, journalist, law enforcement officer, and lobbyist.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major.

Benchmark Requirements

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA overall and in the major. If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of the GPA unless the course is eligible for a D/F repeat. Students must meet with their POLS adviser each semester. Students who do not meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

Cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required in all POLS courses.
GEF Elective Requirements (2, 5, and 6)12
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
Select one of the following (GEF 3):3
Intro Concepts Of Mathematics
College Algebra 5-Day
College Algebra 4-Day
College Algebra 3-Day
Calculus 1
POLS 102Introduction to American Government (GEF 4)3
POLS 103Global Political Issues3
or POLS 260 Introduction to International Relations
POLS 210Law and the Legal System3
or POLS 220 State and Local Government
POLS 250Introduction to Comparative Politics3
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
ECAS International Requirement (GEF 7)3
Foreign Language12
Total Hours60

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
POLS 102 (GEF 4)3POLS 103 or 260 (GEF 7)3
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3Foreign Language3
Foreign Language3GEF 23
GEF 23Select one of the following (GEF 3):3
WVUE 1911 
 15 15
Second Year
POLS 210 or 2203POLS 2503
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3GEF 63
GEF 53Foreign Language3
Foreign Language3Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 60

Major Learning Goals

Political Science

Upon successful completion of the A.A. degree, Political Science majors will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a command of basic substantive knowledge about the basic institutions, political actors, and relevant processes in state, national, and international political systems.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of major policy issues in state, national, and international affairs and an appreciation of the complexity reflective of the uncertainties, trade-offs, and institutional/bureaucratic context of problems confronting governments.
  3. Think critically about political phenomena in a way that applies alternative explanatory perspectives across the major theoretical schools of thought in the political science literature.
  4. Demonstrate an appreciation of the policy implications of different theoretical approaches and, more generally, how they relate to the larger ethical issues facing the West Virginia, national, and international communities.