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Office of the University Registrar

  • Political Science

    The political science major is intended for students who wish to pursue a career in or near the public sector. Students take coursework in areas as diverse as American and comparative politics, political theory, international relations, public policy and public administration.

    About This Major

    • College: Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
    • Hours for the Degree: 120
    • Minor: No
    • Certificate Program: Yes
    • Combined-Degree Program: Yes
    • Website:


    Political science majors are encouraged to serve in a political internship and participate in an overseas studies program. There are also numerous opportunities for students to conduct independent research with faculty. Recent graduates serve throughout federal, state and local government, attend law and graduate school, and work in the private sector.

    Students leave the major with an understanding of how politics and government operate, an appreciation for the values governments pursue, and the critical and analytic skills necessary for understanding the empirical and normative dimensions of the political world.

    Coursework for the Major

    Majors must complete 30 hours of political science coursework, plus STA 2023, all with minimum grades of C. A minimum of 15 hours of political science courses (of the 30 required) must be completed at UF, per the department’s residency requirement.

    Required Coursework

    • STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics
    • 30 hours of political science coursework, including 3 of these 4 core courses:
      • CPO 2001 Comparative Politics (GE-S and N)
      • INR 2001 International Relations (GE-S and N)
      • POS 2041 American Federal Government (GE-S)
      • POT 2002 Introduction to Political Theory (GE-H)
    • The remaining political science courses may include:
      • No more than three additional hours of 1000/2000-level courses
      • Additional courses at the 3000-level or higher, including
        • No more than three hours of POS 4905 Individual Work
        • No more than three hours of POS 4940 Political Internship (graded S/U)

    Recommended Coursework

    The following centers and programs are affiliated with the Department of Political Science. Many of them offer minors and/or certificate programs that complement a degree in political science.

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    • The Bob Graham Center for Public Service is a community of students, scholars and politically engaged citizens devoted to enhanced citizenship; the training of current and future public and civic leaders who can identify problems and spearhead change; and the development of policy on issues of importance to Florida, the United States and the global community. The center offers a minor in public leadership, an interdisciplinary program of study that provides students with the skills and knowledge critical to serving as effective and ethical public leaders.
    • The Center for African Studies promotes excellence in teaching and research on Africa in all disciplines at the University of Florida. In addition to undergraduate education, the center promotes and supports graduate studies as essential for the development of a continuing community of Africanist scholars. The center has over 100 affiliated teaching and research faculty in a variety of fields, including languages, the humanities, the social sciences, agriculture, business, engineering, education, fine arts, environmental studies and conservation, journalism and law. The center offers an African studies minor that provides a multidisciplinary grounding in an important world area for those who want to pursue careers in a range of professions as well as for those who intend to go on to graduate school.
    • The Center for European Studies is designed to assist in the development of area and language skills among students through fostering rich academic and cultural environments, including broad language and areas studies courses, degree options and study abroad opportunities. It also fosters greater international awareness in the broader community through educational programs for state and local government, business organizations, K-12 students and teachers, the media and the general public. The center offers a
      • European Union Studies certificate and minor, which are designed to give students the opportunity to gain European Union expertise through multidisciplinary coursework.
      • East-Central European Studies certificate and minor, which give students the opportunity to study Eastern and Central Europe from an interdisciplinary perspective that incorporates both area and language studies.
    • The Center for Jewish Studies provides an undergraduate, interdepartmental curriculum that serves as a basis for understanding the broad spectrum of Jewish culture, religion and civilization. The center offers both a major and minor through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. These may serve as preparation for graduate work in Jewish studies and the rabbinate, as background for a career in Jewish education or community service, or as an area of special interest which enriches the undergraduate experience.
    • The Center for Latin American Studies advances knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean and enhances the scope and quality of Latin American studies at the University of Florida. The center administers an interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate academic program in Latin American studies as well as a minor and certificate program.
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    Combined Degree Program

    The combined bachelor's/master's degree program is designed for superior students who have the ability to pursue an accelerated program in political science leading to the Master of Arts in political science or the Master of Arts in political science - international relations. This program is not generally recommended for students considering a Ph.D. program in political science at the University of Florida. Admission to the combined degree program is highly competitive and therefore very limited numbers of students are approved for this program.

    Students in the combined program may pursue the general M.A. in political science, the M.A. in political science - international relations or certificate programs in public affairs or political campaigning. Up to 12 semester hours of approved graduate-level political science courses can be used as dual credit for both degrees. All other requirements for the bachelor's and the master's degrees must be satisfied. For more application process information, contact the undergraduate and graduate coordinators in the Department of Political Science.

    Overseas Studies

    Majors are encouraged to seek out opportunities for international study, during the summer or for the academic year. The credit generally will be applied toward the major and the degree. Contact the undergraduate coordinator about credit for study abroad. Visit the UF International Center in room 170 of the Hub for more information about overseas programs.

    Relevant Minors and/or Certificates

    • International Relations Certificate - Political science and non-major students who are interested in international relations can pursue undergraduate training in two ways: through an interdisciplinary major that includes courses on comparative politics and international relations or through a certificate in international relations. Credits earned toward the certificate also count toward the political science major. More information can be found under interdisciplinary studies majors listings and certificate programs.
    • Political Campaigning Certificate - The Department of Political Science offers a certificate in political campaigning to its undergraduate majors. The certificate is designed for students who may wish to consider pursuing careers in practical politics, including campaign management, lobbying, issue advocacy and others. Credits earned toward the certificate also count toward the political science major. Additional information is available on the department website.
    • Public Affairs Certificate - The certificate in public affairs is designed for those students interested in a career in or near government. Students take courses in public administration, policy process, policy analysis and one or more substantive policy courses in foreign policy, education, health, immigration, civil rights, welfare or environmental protection. Credits earned toward the certificate also count toward the political science major. The certificate is open to non-political science majors as well. Additional information is available on the department website.
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    Critical Tracking

    To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college and major requirements. For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements — Structure of a CLAS Degree.

    Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students

    Semester 1

    • 2.0 UF GPA required for semesters 1-5
    • Complete 1 of 4 political science critical-tracking courses: CPO 2001, INR 2001,
      POS 2041 or POT 2002

    Semester 2

    • Complete 1 additional political science critical-tracking course or STA 2023 with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA

    Semester 3

    • Complete 1 additional political science critical-tracking course or STA 2023 with a 2.75 critical-tracking GPA

    Semester 4

    • Complete 3 of 4 political science critical-tracking courses and STA 2023 with a 3.0 critical-tracking GPA

    Semester 5

    • Complete 1 additional political science course at the 3000 level or higher with a minimum grade of C and maintain a 3.0 critical-tracking GPA

    Recommended Semester Plan

    Students are expected to complete the writing and math requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are required to complete HUM 2305 The Good Life (GE-H) in semester 1 or 2. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H or S).

    Because a large number of political science courses are approved for general education social and behavioral sciences, the plan below assumes students will take at least 9 hours of GE-S courses. Students should monitor their progress toward general education in their degree audit to ensure they meet the GE-S requirement.

    Semester 1 Credits
    Composition (GE-C, WR) 3
    Foreign language 4-5
    Mathematics (GE-M) 3
    Political science core course (CPO 2001, INR 2001, POS 2041 or POT 2002) 3
    Total 13-14
    Semester 2 Credits
    HUM 2305 What is the Good Life (GE-H)​ 3​
    Biological Science (GE-B) 3
    Elective 3
    Foreign Language 3-5
    Political science core course 3
    Science laboratory (GE-P or B) 1
    Total 16-18
    Semester 3 Credits
    STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (GE-M) 3
    Elective 3
    Elective (or foreign language if 4-3-3 option) 3
    Humanities (GE-H) 3
    Political science core course 3
    Total 15
    Semester 4 Credits
    Biological Science (GE-B) 3
    Electives 6
    Humanities (GE-H) 3
    Physical Science (GE-P) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 5 Credits
    ENC 3254 Professional Writing in the Discipline (GE-C, WR) 3
    Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) * 3
    Physical Science (GE-P) 3
    Political science courses (two at 3000/4000 level) 6
    Total 15
    Semester 6 Credits
    POS 4934 Honors Preparation (department honors, optional) or elective 1
    Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) * 3
    Electives 6
    Political science courses (two at 3000/4000 level) 6
    Total 16
    Semester 7 Credits
    POS 4734 Research Methods in Political Science (department honors, optional) or
    Political science course (3000/4000-level)
    Elective 3
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) * 6
    Political science course (3000/4000 level) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 8 Credits
    Political science course or
    POS 4970 Senior Thesis (department honors, optional)
    Electives 7
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) * 6
    Total 15-17

    * Electives: Majors are encouraged to use some of their electives to pursue a minor.

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majors: political-science