Bachelor of Arts
College of Arts and Sciences
Political scientists study government, politics, laws, policies, ideas, ideologies and values that affect the nature of political authority. We examine how governments operate, both in the U.S. and around the world. Students learn how and why governments pursue certain policies, how these policies affect people, and how people can influence governments.
Political science courses are divided into six categories:
The bachelor of arts degree program provides a broad understanding of government, politics, and public and international affairs. It strengthens writing, speaking and critical thinking skills that are essential for most careers.
Students in political science pursue a variety of career tracks in the public and private sectors. Many attend law school. A large number work for federal, state or local government agencies and nonprofit organizations, including environmental agencies, political parties, and international organizations. A few seek political office or work on political campaigns. A growing number of graduates obtain positions in journalism or public relations.
Graduates also pursue private sector jobs in one of the numerous corporations that interview on campus each year. Some career paths eventually require graduate degrees for advancement-a law degree, a masters of public administration degree, or masters of business administration degree.
Teaching is one of the department’s strengths. Students are challenged to relate theories and concepts to the real world of politics. They must also be ready to interact with their professors.
A major in political science requires 33 hours (11 courses) in political science, including American Government, Introduction to Political Inquiry (research methods and statistics) and either Introduction to International Relations or Introduction to Comparative Politics. Students complete 24 hours (eight courses) at the 3000/4000 level in at least three of the sub-fields mentioned above and a concentration of three courses in one area. Students should consult early and regularly with their faculty advisor.
Students who plan to pursue teaching in secondary schools must major in education but can take up to 18 hours of political science toward their licensure in social science education. Twenty-one hours (7 courses), including 15 hours (5 courses) at the 3000/4000 level, are required for students pursuing a minor in political science.
Each year the department sponsors 8-10 students who participate in full-time internships in Washington, D.C., through the Washington Center Internship program. Students can earn a semester or summer of course credit while gaining invaluable work experience and networking for future job opportunities. Recent placements include: the staff of members of Congress, the White House Office of Personnel, Amnesty International, Voice of America, National Women’s Political Caucus, National Republican Congressional Committee, House Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Department of State, Hearst Broadcasting and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Many students find internships in their fields of interest. The department supports these with supervision and “field study” credit which can be applied to the degree. Internship placements include positions with law firms, judges, public defenders and related legal organizations; state and local government offices; and the Ohio statehouse page program.
The department sponsors a student delegation to the National Model United Nations conference held in New York City each spring. BGSU students are assigned a particular country to represent in a simulation of the UN which is attended by nearly 2,500 students from across the country. Students gain valuable practical experience in diplomacy and international affairs.
Students are encouraged to participate in student organizations which promote issues related to the political science field. The International Relations Organization (IRO), Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honorary), college democrats, college republicans and Law Society are advised by members of the department. These organizations provide a forum for discussion, lectures, field trips, and learning outside the classroom.
Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent for preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.
BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at www.bgsu.edu.
Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.
NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Political Science, please check the undergraduate catalog online at www.bgsu.edu/catalog/A_S/A_S71.html.