Political Science Major (B.A.)

Political Science Major (B.A.)

Political Science major in class discussion

What is political science?

Political science is the study of political institutions and power on a local, national and global scale. This includes the study of policy decisions, activism and the issues and principles that motivate people to become politically involved by voting or even putting their lives on the line. You’ll learn about the basis of citizenship in modern democracies and gain an understanding of the interplay of governments, diplomacy and foreign and domestic policies. A political science degree will prepare you for work in public service, law, business, nonprofits, education and a large number of contemporary careers that require analytical thinking.

Why study political science at UNH?

New Hampshire’s status as the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state helps make UNH a hotbed of political science — locally and nationally. In addition to front-row seats to the action in major election cycles, you’ll have opportunities to participate in internships through the Concord Internship in New Hampshire’s capital or the Washington Center Internship in Washington, D.C. You’ll also have access to work experience at the UNH Survey Center, a nationally-renowned polling center on campus, and to student competitive activities such as our award-winning Model United Nations and Mock Trial teams. A five-year accelerated master’s program is also available.

Potential careers

  • Business executive
  • Counterintelligence officer
  • Diplomat
  • Human rights advocate
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Political strategist
  • Politician
  • Public relations specialist
  • Nonprofit organization director

Political Science Department
312 Horton Social Science Center
20 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824

Phone (603) 862-1750
TTY Users: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH)
Fax (603) 862-0178

 

  • Political Science and Justice Studies Majors
    Cameron Brusko grew up in the football rich community of Bethlehem, Pa. However, when it came time to choose a university to attend (and play football), he chose to bring his talents to UNH and Sean “Coach Mac” McDonnell ’78. As a justice studies and political science dual major and Wildcat...
    Political Science and Justice Studies Majors
    Cameron Brusko grew up in the football rich community of Bethlehem, Pa. However, when it came time to choose a university to attend (and play football), he chose to bring his talents to UNH and Sean “Coach Mac” McDonnell ’78. As a justice studies and political science dual major and Wildcat...
  • Political Science Major | Government Affairs Coordinator, National Association of Chemical Distributors
    Describe what you are currently doing for work and the path you took to get to this point? My current role is as the coordinator of government affairs for the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD). In this role, I split my time evenly between legislative and regulatory affairs. At...
    Political Science Major | Government Affairs Coordinator, National Association of Chemical Distributors
    Describe what you are currently doing for work and the path you took to get to this point? My current role is as the coordinator of government affairs for the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD). In this role, I split my time evenly between legislative and regulatory affairs. At...
  • Political Science Major | Works in Telecommunications Law and Public Policy Field
    UNH set the career I enjoy today in motion. My professors encouraged debate in class, which helped me uncover a passion I never knew I had before college. New Hampshire has such a unique political landscape and with the nation’s first primary, UNH offered...
    Political Science Major | Works in Telecommunications Law and Public Policy Field
    UNH set the career I enjoy today in motion. My professors encouraged debate in class, which helped me uncover a passion I never knew I had before college. New Hampshire has such a unique political landscape and with the nation’s first primary, UNH offered...
  • Political Science Major | Partner at Threespot
    Today, I am a partner at Threespot, a communications agency in Washington, D.C. We are 40 people, focused on working with mission-oriented non-profits, trade associations, charitable foundations, and government agencies, helping them harness the power of digital strategy, design and technology to...
    Political Science Major | Partner at Threespot
    Today, I am a partner at Threespot, a communications agency in Washington, D.C. We are 40 people, focused on working with mission-oriented non-profits, trade associations, charitable foundations, and government agencies, helping them harness the power of digital strategy, design and technology to...

Curriculum & Requirements

The study of government and politics, to which the courses and seminars of the Department of Political Science are devoted, includes the development of knowledge of political behavior by individuals and groups as well as knowledge about governments: their nature and functions, their problems and behavior, and their interactions—at the national and international levels and at the local, state and regional levels.

Much of the learning offered by the Department of Political Science also can be regarded as essential for good citizenship, since political knowledge helps to explain the formal and informal institutions by which we are governed and the forces that lead to policy decisions, and also seeks to clarify the issues and principles that encourage people toward political involvement. It contributes to the store of knowledge necessary for informed citizenship. In addition, such learning is especially valuable to students planning to enter local or national government or other public service, including the Foreign Service, and it will be of great help to those who intend to study law and enter the legal profession. For teaching, particularly at the college level, and for many types of government service, graduate work may be indispensable. An undergraduate major in political science will provide a helpful foundation for any further study of politics and related fields in the social sciences and humanities. Such an emphasis also will be valuable for students seeking careers in journalism, international organizations, and the public affairs and administrative aspects of labor, financial and business organizations.

The major program in political science consists of at least 10 courses (40 credits) and not more than 12 courses (48 credits). The minimum grade requirement is C- per course. Any grade lower will not count toward major. Courses are to be distributed in the following way:

Three 400-level courses: 1
POLT 401Politics and Society4
POLT 402American Politics and Government4
POLT 403United States in World Affairs4
Six 500-level courses 224
Discovery Program Capstone Requirement:
Select any 700-level political science course4
Total Credits40

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Major department courses may not be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements except in the case of a second major. If students substitute an economics course for a POLT 500-level course, this economics course cannot be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements.

Explore Program Details

The Accelerated Master’s Program offers a unique opportunity for students to receive a BA and MA in 5 years.  For complete details, including eligibility requirements and application instructions, please visit:  POLitical science Accelerated Master's Degree

 

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