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Political Science

The major in political science requires a course in American politics in order to insure that all graduates have a working knowledge of the U.S. political system, and three courses that introduce various subfields within the discipline.

If are majoring in political science, you should take POL 241 first, if possible. Then you must take at least two (2) other courses at the 200-level.

Diplomacy and Global Politics

This program of concentration is designed primarily for students interested in understanding more about comparative and international politics. It is a major appropriate for those interested in international careers. It is also the kind of broad, liberal arts program which many pre-law students will want to consider. Additionally, it provides a solid background for graduate study in comparative politics and international relations.

Majors in DGP should begin by taking POL 271 (World Politics), POL 221 (Comparative Politics), and POL 241 (American Political System). You may then begin taking some of your related hours as well as other political science courses required of DGP majors.

Public Administration

The Public Administration major is designed for undergraduates interested in studying and understanding the issues of governance and management of the public sector, and more specifically about the link between politics and public policy implementation. It is appropriate for those interested in public service careers in the federal government, state government, and/or local government including: city and county management, public finance administration, public personnel administration, and public policy analysis and program evaluation. This major prepares students for continuation of their education in professional and graduate schools of public administration, public policy analysis, and related fields. It also serves as a course of pre-legal study.

PA majors should begin by taking POL 241 and then POL 261, the introduction to public administration and a prerequisite for upper-level courses in this area. We also encourage PA majors to take ECO 201 (microeconomics) and 202 (macroeconomics) as early as possible in your major program.

Public Health: Health Policy and Administration

Public Health is a field of study focused on preventing illness and promoting health in individuals, communities, and society as a whole.  The Health Policy and Administration concentration focuses on critical policy and programmatic issues in public health. The emphasis of this concentration is to examine how public policy impacts the public health delivery system and how administrators work to develop and implement programs in the field of public health.

Data Analytics: Concentration in Social Data

Data Analytics prepares students for a range of careers in which data must be manipulated, contextualized, and applied to the problems of today. It trains students to work with the ever-broadening expanse of data that is rapidly transforming industry, business, the public sphere, and many fields of research. Coursework for this major combines a core of flexible analytical skills with in-depth advanced knowledge in transdisciplinary subjects in four concentrations: Geospatial Analytics, Bioinformatics, Sport Analytics, and Social Data Analytics. This combination provides a solid 4-year liberal education along with early development of practical skills widely sought by employers.


If you are not majoring in political science, this minor offers you an opportunity to satisfy an interest, strengthen your degree, or enhance your preparation for a career or further education. This minor is not open to students with a major in the Department of Political Science. Your DARs may not automatically list the minor as satisfying the Thematic Sequence requirement, but it will meet the requirement at the time of graduation.

Minor in Political Science (21 Hours)

  • POL 241 American Political System (3) - Take this course first.
  • Take at least one of the following, which are prerequisites to corresponding 300-400 level courses:
    • POL 201 Political Thinking (3)
    • POL 221 Comparative Politics (3)
    • POL 261 Public Administration (3)
    • POL 271 World Politics (3)
  • Additional POL hours at the 200+ level to complete 21 hours. 100-level POL courses do NOT apply to minor, but POL capstones do apply.
  • At least 9 POL hours at 300+ level. Students are encouraged to meet with an adviser in selecting courses and to be mindful of prerequisite requirements.
  • Other requirements: Minimum 2.0 GPA in all POL hours, all POL courses taken for a grade, at least 12 hours applied to minor must be taken at Miami.

Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies in Political Science

The M.A. in Political Science is for students intending to pursue careers in politics at all levels of government and in nongovernmental organizations. The M.A. program is designed to equip students with the analytical skills and substantive knowledge necessary for engaging in applied politics, public affairs, and public policy study.

Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate Majors in Political Science:

  • Our majors will be able to define and explain political science concepts, theories and approaches.
  • Our majors will demonstrate skill in evidence-based reasoning from identifying the appropriate data or evidence necessary to construct a convincing argument to constructing and communicating that argument.
  • Our majors will be able to identify the appropriate methodology, design and analysis for a given problem and understand the ethical components of research choices.
  • Our majors will be able to apply political science knowledge to contemporary political issues and problems and be able to identify and evaluate alternative political science-based solutions.
  • Our majors will be able to formulate, propose and advocate possibilities for positive change in democratic society as engaged and informed citizens.

Graduate Program in Political Science:

  • Our graduate students will be able to identify and apply the appropriate methodology, design and analysis for a given problem and understand the ethical components of research choices.
  • Our graduate students will be able to apply political science knowledge to contemporary political issues and problems and be able to identify and evaluate alternative political science-based solutions.
  • Our graduate students will be able to formulate, propose and advocate political science-based solutions to contemporary political issues and problems.
  • Our graduate students will be able to conduct and communicate independent, professional-level investigations into problems in a specific political science sub-discipline and thereby contribute to the political science knowledge base. 

Independent Study

You may, at some point in your undergraduate career, wish to pursue a narrowly defined subject in more depth than is possible within a single course in the curriculum, or an instructor may suggest that you pursue in more depth a topic which you have brought up in class. For those situations, members of the faculty may be willing to supervise you in an Independent Study in Political Science (POL 277, 377 or 477, depending on your class standing based on earned credit hours). NOTE: POL477N is used for the Inside Washington Program and is not repeatable.

When you want to engage in supervised independent study, you should prepare a proposed course of study and present it to a faculty member who specializes in the area of your proposed study. The faculty member, if he or she is able to undertake supervision of your independent study that semester, will suggest additions and modifications to your proposal and working with you will establish a schedule of meetings for discussing your ongoing independent study.

Independent Studies in Political Science are subject to the following regulations:

  • You must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in at least 15 semester hours of Political Science courses and be a major in one of the following:
  • You must have completed basis work in an area before you propose to do independent study in some extended facet of an area.
  • The proposed independent study must not cover the same material as an existing course.
  • You must prepare a written proposal for your Independent Study in Political Science before securing the professor’s consent to supervise your project.
  • You will need both the instructor’s and the Department Chair’s signatures on a university Independent Study Form (PDF).
  • You must submit a written presentation (paper or examination) in order to receive credit for an independent study.
  • POL 277, 377 or 477 are variable credit (1-4 semester hrs.; maximum total of 12 semester hrs.). You may not take more than 4 semester hours of Independent Study in Political Science in any one semester nor count more than 4 semester hours in Independent Study toward the major.
  • No faculty member may supervise more than three students in Independent Studies per semester.