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    University of Memphis
  Sep 20, 2017
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Political Science, (B.A.)

Return to College of Arts and Sciences Return to: College of Arts and Sciences

Program objectives for a B.A. in Political Science are: (a) basic understanding of political institutions and processes in the United States and other countries; (b) basic understanding of the ways in which countries interact with one another, directly or through intermediary institutions; (c) basic understanding of the development of political thought; (d) able to apply basic political science methodologies to political science questions; (e) able to analyze and explain political processes and outcome; (f) able to interpret political attitudes, values, and beliefs; (g) have the critical thinking skills necessary for careers in government, business, law, or academia.

University General Education Program (41 hours)

See Graduation from the University  for the University General Education Program requirements.

College and Degree (B.A.) Requirements (6-9 hours)

The College and Bachelor of Arts requirements  are in addition to the University General Education Program requirements.

The Major (36 hours)

For the purposes of defining undergraduate requirements for the political science major and minor, the department employs four subfields, with the following courses in each:


Students must complete POLS 1030  and POLS 4101 .

Students must complete at least 6 hours in each of the four subfields listed above.

No more than 9 total hours of internship (POLS 4230 , POLS 4231 ), mock trial (POLS 4709 ), research and study abroad (POLS 4399 ), and independent study (POLS 4702 ) combined may be counted toward the 36 hours required for a major in Political Science. Of these 9 hours, no more than three hours of Administrative Internship (POLS 4231 ), and no more than six total hours in any combination of POLS 4709 , POLS 4399 , and POLS 4702  may be counted toward the major.

At least 15 hours in political science must be earned in residence at the University of Memphis.

NOTE: Students who have successfully completed an equivalent social statistics course prior to declaring a Political Science major are exempted from the requirement to take POLS 4101 , and must substitute another upper-division course in Political Science.

NOTE: The College offers Pre-Law advising for those interested in careers in law. Also, any major in Political Science may earn a second major in International Studies. Political Science courses in International Relations and Comparative Politics fulfill requirements for both the Political Science major and the interdisciplinary major in International Studies.


Electives may be chosen to bring the total number of hours to 120.

Honors Program

The department offers an honors program to qualified majors who choose to pursue a more sophisticated knowledge of the discipline, a more rigorous level of analysis, and a deeper understanding of politics. Students who have completed 55 hours of course work (with at least 9 hours in Political Science) and have a minimum over-all grade point average of 3.0 (with a minimum in Political Science of 3.25), or who can present equivalent qualifications, are invited to apply for admission to the program. The program requires 18 hours of honors course work, 12 or more of which must be upper-division Political Science courses, and minimum final grade point averages of 3.00 overall, 3.25 in Political Science, and 3.25 in honors coursework. Honors students also have the option of completing a Senior Thesis in Political Science (POLS 4999 ). Those students who complete the program and the regular college requirements will be recognized at the commencement ceremony by having their degrees conferred “With Honors in Political Science.” Moreover, the student’s diploma and the record at the University of Memphis will reflect this distinction. Details of the program are available in the Political Science Office.

Typical 4-Year Political Science Sequence

Semester Totals 30-31 hrs

Sophomore Year

Semester Totals 32 hrs

Junior Year

  • UD elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • UD POLS (3)
  • UD POLS Comparative Politics (3)
  • POLS 4101 - Political Statistics
  • UD POLS Amer. Gov. & Policy (3)
  • UD POLS International Relations (3)
  • UD POLS (3)
  • UD elective (3)
  • Elective (3)

Semester Totals 30 hrs

Senior Year

Semester Totals 28 hrs

Total Hours: 120-122

Total Hours Required for Graduation: 120

*Must satisfy University General Education Program Requirement

Return to College of Arts and Sciences Return to: College of Arts and Sciences