Aug 11, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog 2012 - 2013 
Undergraduate Catalog 2012 - 2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, B.A.

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Minimum Hours Required for Major: 32

Minimum Hours Required for Minor: 16

Department Office and Contacts: Rhodes Tower 1744; Telephone: 687-4541; e-mail address:; home page: All political science faculty members can be reached through the home page, or by sending an e-mail to them at [first initial].[last name] Several faculty members have their own home pages which can be accessed through the World Wide Web.

Special Tracks and Joint Programs: public service specialization, political communication

Foreign Study Abroad: China (Suzhou), Germany, France (Clermont) and others which can be arranged through the Center for International Services and Programs

Awards: Distinguished Student Award, Distinguished Senior Seminar Paper Award, Outstanding Student Intern Award, Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society

Admission to the Major: Majors in the regular political science program must complete PSC  111 - American Government  prior to declaring their major. Prospective majors are encouraged to take PSC 111  in their freshman year as part of their university General Education requirement. Then, early in the sophomore year, students should arrange a meeting with the department chair to discuss declaring a major. Transfer students from community colleges and other four-year institutions should declare their political science major as soon as possible after arriving on campus. NOTE: The prerequisite of PSC 111  does not apply to International Relations majors.

Advising: All prospective majors should schedule an appointment with the chair to discuss their education and career interests. On the basis of this meeting, students decide which political science program they will follow. They can see their adviser each semester to discuss the next semester’s registration and any career or post-B.A. training issues. There are also separate advisers available to assist students with internships in public service or international relations.

Service Courses: In addition to the major, the Department of Political Science offers a number of courses which fulfill the university’s General Education Requirements.

Additional Information:

The program in political science is designed to help students understand contemporary public policy, the importance of politics and democracy in their lives, and the means of influencing government to respond to collective needs. The Department of Political Science offers a major and a minor for both day and evening students. Details of the minor program are available in the department office.

The department also offers a public-service specialization as an alternative track to the regular departmental major. This specialization is designed specifically for those majors planning a career in the public sector, although it could prove equally useful to those seeking careers in the private sector. Details of this specialization are available in the department office. The department also offers a separate interdisciplinary major in international relations (see separate listing).

The political science curriculum stresses a broad understanding of the workings of political processes in the United States and abroad; the cultural and ideological bases of modern governments; and the acquisition of skills for evaluating public policies and participating in the political process. Political science bridges liberal arts and sciences, and the Cleveland State Department of Political Science stresses the importance of both scientific and humanistic approaches to the field.

A major in political science helps to prepare students for careers in government, the legal profession, politics, community organizations, national and international nonprofit organizations, journalism and the mass media, and education. Many political science graduates take positions in business and industry as well.

Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in political science courses in order to graduate with a major or minor.

Evening Program

The department offers a major and a minor in the evening. Required core courses are offered at night at least once during the regular academic year, and intermediate- and advanced-level courses are offered with sufficient regularity so that a student could complete the degree over a four-year period.



A minimum total number of 128 credit hours are required for every student in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. All degree seeking, CLASS students must complete a specific number of General Education (GenEd) requirements which are comprised of University and College requirements.  This is in addition to the credits for their major field of study. Students are responsible for ensuring the appropriate selection of courses to satisfy GenEd requirements. Students are highly encouraged to consult with both their general education advisor and faculty advisor regarding the applicability of selected courses each semester. A comprehensive description of Cleveland State University’s General Education Requirements for undergraduate students is available online at

Major-Field Requirements

(32 semester hours)

A minimum of 32 hours in political science beyond PSC 111  is required for the major. The program is divided into three parts: the Common Core, Field Distribution Requirements, and Seminar (or Internship)

Seminar (5 hours)


completion of Common Core and at least one 300- or 400-level course in the field, or permission of the instructor.

One PSC 400-level seminar in any field

Public Service Specialization

(36 Semester Hours)

Students who seek a political science program that is more oriented toward practical politics and government service can take the regular political science degree with a specialization in public service. Requirements of this program are identical to those of the political science major with two exceptions: public-service track majors take an internship (PSC 401 , PSC 402 , PSC 403  or PSC 405  , for 6 hours of credit) instead of the senior seminar, as their capstone course. They also take one course specifically related to their internship, as well as the usual field-distribution requirements for the major.

Admission to the Public Service Track: Students wishing to specialize in the public-service track must meet the same requirements as regular political science majors. They must complete PSC  111 - American Government  prior to declaring their major. When they declare their major they should inform the chair of their intention to specialize in public service. They will then be assigned to the internship adviser for all further advising on their program and on their internship. Students will need a 3.0 in their major or permission of the instructor to enroll in an internship.

2. Field Distribution Requirements (24 hours)

Tracks in Public Service

A. Urban Politics:

B. State Politics:

C. National Politics:

 Any three courses in the American field, excluding PSC 301  or PSC 314 , plus the Administrative Internship (PSC 403 )

D. Electoral Politics:

Internship (6 hours)

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