Political ScienceIcon: Capitol building.

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Application Deadline

  • Spring: December 8
  • Summer: April 12 (early sessions)
  • Fall: July 19

Class Begins

  • Spring: January 8, 2024
  • Summer: May 6, 2024 (early sessions)
  • Fall: August 19, 2024

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Arts
in Political Science

WSU College

College of Arts and Sciences

Address Challenging Issues. Change the World.

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.

What is Political Science?

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.

Find out more from a Political Science Outstanding Senior!

What You’ll Learn

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.

Political Science majors may choose to pursue the program’s general course of study or to focus their studies in the Pre-Law option.

Photo: Smiling young professionals seated before long-stemmed microphones.

WSU Online Political Science Degree Strengths

Program of Study

All courses are available online

All WSU undergraduates must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits of which 40 credits must be at the 300 – 400 level. Students must also complete the University Common Requirements (UCORE). These can generally be satisfied with a direct transfer degree. For a list of direct-transfer agreements, visit WSU’s Transferring an Associate Degree page.

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 [QUAN] – 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 40 upper division credits.

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

All students, including community college transfer students with an approved transferable AA degree from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona or Hawaii, or students pursuing a second major in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be held to the following additional requirements:

  • Foreign Language: Complete 2 years of high school or 1 year of college in a single foreign language
  • Completion of an [EQJS] designated course.
  • Additional 1 lab credit of [BSCI], [PSCI] for a total of 8 semester credits and 2 labs.

Program Options

The Pre-Law option is designed to prepare students for law school and eventual careers in law. The curriculum reflects recommendations of the Association of American Law Schools.

A total of 30 Political Science credits are required.

Political Science Core Requirements

  • Pol_S 101 [SSCI] – American National Government
  • Pol_S 102 [SSCI] – Comparative Politics
  • Pol_S 103 [SSCI] – International Politics
  • Pol_S 201 [QUAN] – Political Research Methods

Political Science Pre-Law

  • Pol_S 300 – The American Constitution
  • Pol_S 402 – Civil Liberties
  • Pol_S 404 [M] – The Judicial Process

Political Science Electives

At least 9 additional credits.
3 credits must be from a Writing in the Major [M] course.

Advanced Writing – select one class
  • English 201 [WRTG] – Writing & Research
  • English 301 [WRTG] – Writing & Rhetorical Conventions
  • Phil 200 [WRTG] – Critical Thinking & Writing
Communication – select one class
  • Com 102 [COMM] – Public Speaking in Digital Age
  • H_D 205 [COMM] – Communication & Life Skills
Economics – select one class
  • EconS 101 [SSCI] – Fundamentals of Microeconomics
  • EconS 102 [SSCI] – Fundamentals of Macroeconomics
Ethics and Law – select one class
  • BLAW 210 – Law and the Legal Environment of Business
  • CRMJ 320 – Criminal Law (CRMJ 101 pre-req)
  • CRMJ 420 [M] – Criminal Procedure (CRMJ 101 pre-req)
  • ENGLISH 112 – Language in the Real World
  • HISTORY 410 – History of American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Indian Law
  • PHIL 360 – Business Ethics
  • PHIL 365 – Biomedical Ethics
  • Phil 201 [QUAN] – Introduction to Formal Logic
  • Phil 470 – Philosophy of Law

Please review the online WSU Catalog for additional information about specific degree requirements.