Political Science Major (M)

The Political Science major equips students to make an impact on the public square in a variety of vocations.  Based on a Christian worldview, students develop writing, speaking, critical thinking, and research skills to be well prepared for a plethora of professions, with an emphasis on contributing toward the good of society.  Today’s society needs well-prepared students who bring a passion to addressing the nation’s and world’s pressings problems and issues, and the major aims to produce such Christian political leaders.

The Political Science major consists of 37 credits, including 31 required credits and 6 elective credits, chosen from a list of approved courses. In additional to this course work, all students are required to complete an internship of at least 3 credits at the local, state, or national political level, which students may fulfill through a dynamic Washington, D.C., semester program.  Students must also complete a minor.

Within the required credits, students are expected to complete a three-course sequence (7 credits), starting in the junior year with Experimental Psych Methods (PSY 350), followed by Research Proposal (POLS 492) and Senior Seminar (POLS 490) in their senior year. These courses culminate in a research thesis that demonstrates to potential employers or graduate schools the student’s ability to conduct research and write professionally.

The Political Science major prepares students for graduate and professional study as well as careers in government, law, journalism, non-profit organizations, education, and the military. 

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge Base of Political Science: Demonstrates familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in Political Science.
  • Research Methods in Political Science: Understand and apply basic research methods in Political Science, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  • Critical Thinking Skills in Political Science: Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to political behavior and processes.
  • Application of Political Science: Understand and apply political principles to personal, group, and social issues.
  • Values in Political Science: Appreciate the role that religion, faith, and Christianity play in the civic realm; value empirical evidence; understand partisan differences; act ethically; and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of Political Science as a science.
  • Information and Technological Literacy: Demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.
  • Communication Skills: Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
  • Sociopolitical and International Awareness: Recognize, understand, and respect how the complexity of sociopolitical and international diversity affects political processes.
  • Personal Political Development: Develop insight into their own and others’ political behavior and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement in politics in the context of a Christian worldview, underpinned by the Lutheran two-kingdom theology.
  • Career Planning and Development: Set realistic goals for implementing their political knowledge, skills, and values in vocations in a variety of settings, guided by integrating their faith into the public square.


Core Requirements45
Major Requirements37
Minor: Required
Total Hours120

Major Requirements

Required Core Courses
Statistics I (Natural World)
General Psychology (Human Beings Being Human)
Required Courses
POLS 101Introduction to Political Science3
POLS 201American Government3
POLS 300Comparative Politics3
POLS 310International Relations3
POLS 359Constitutional Law3
POLS 410Faith and Politics3
POLS 480Internship/Fieldwork3
PSY 350Experimental Psychology3
POLS 490Senior Seminar3
POLS 492Research Proposal1
Policy Course
Select one of the following:3
Environmental Law & Politics
American Politics and Health Care Policy
Major Electives
Select two of the following courses not already counted in the major:6
American Politics and Health Care Policy
Environmental Law & Politics
Introduction to Courts
White Collar Crime
Total Hours37