In our highly connected modern world, the theory and practice of politics has become an increasingly influential part of everyday life. Economic inequality, political polarization, national and international security, social justice issues, and environmental degradation are just a few public policy challenges we face today. Would you like to better understand and address these complex and impactful issues? If so, political science might be the field for you.
The field of political science explores political ideas, policies, processes and behavior from a domestic, international and comparative perspective. Those in this field seek to understand the role of political institutions and the effects public laws and policies have on society and the individuals who live in it. Through the study of political science, you can better understand our current political landscape and learn how to address the world’s most pressing societal issues and public policy challenges.
WSU’s political science program, offered entirely online, focuses on problem-driven research that confronts both traditional and emerging public policy challenges in the United States and across the globe. You’ll engage with a wide variety of thought-provoking subjects, including political psychology, global security and justice, environmental policy, American government, political theory, and more. You will also gain valuable skills including critical thinking, effective communication, and research abilities. Political science graduates may choose to pursue graduate or law school, or gain employment in government service, political campaigning, non-profit organizations, consulting, law enforcement and a wide variety of other rewarding careers.
- Online political science students can gain valuable hands-on experience through internship opportunities coordinated by WSU’s prestigious Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.
- WSU political science faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences are experienced, nationally recognized, and receive specialized training to prepare them to teach online.
- Multiple political science faculty members are active speakers and members of the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, regularly giving talks related to current political issues and challenges.
Program of Study
All courses are available online
Students must also fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences graduation requirements and the program requirements of the degree. Time to degree completion varies depending on semester of enrollment and course availability. Not all courses are available all semesters. Your academic advisor will help map out the best plan for you. The major requires 36 semester credits in political science course work, at least 15 credits of political science at WSU. (Note: 9 credits must be at the 300 – 400 level)
12 semester credits
- POL_S 101 [SSCI] – American National Government
- POL_S 102 [SSCI] – Introduction to Comparative Politics
- POL_S 103 [SSCI] – International Politics
- POL_S 201 – Political Research Methods
24 semester credits
Students must complete 24 credits of electives in Political Science, 6 credits of electives should be used to fulfill the University Writing Requirements. Political Science electives should include a sufficient number of 300 – 400 level electives to fulfill the University requirement of 300 – 400 level coursework.
Students must complete the University Writing Portfolio, and two Writing in the Major courses. For online students, the Writing in the Major requirement will be fulfilled by taking two courses from the list below:
- POL_S 404 [M] – The Judicial Process
- POL_S 405 [M] – Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
- POL_S 430 [CAPS] [M] – The Politics of Natural Resource and Environmental Policy
- POL_S 472 [CAPS] [M] – European Politics