May 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Political Science B.A.

Plans of Study

The undergraduate program leading to a B.A. degree in Political Science offers a general purpose, career flexible degree with a number of more specialized areas of focus. The program is designed for students interested in and seeking to understand political problems, issues, and the nature of the political process, as well as the philosophical and legal basis of political structures and processes at local, state, national, and international levels. Satisfying the degree requirements prepares students for positions in the public and private sectors, for law school, for graduate work in political science, international relations, public administration, and related disciplines, for positions in education, and for applied political activity.

University Admissions - College of Arts and Sciences

Admission to the University is based on the University’s Undergraduate Admission Requirements that may be found by clicking on the following urls:

For Admission information specific to the College of Arts and Sciences, see the information at College of Arts and Sciences .

Graduation Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences

Satisfactory completion of the following requirements:

  • Students must complete all State and University level graduation requirements.
  •  Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in USF coursework. Note: Some Departments/program/major require a higher GPA. Students should refer to Department/program/major specific catalog requirements.
    • The College may approve an exception when a student has successfully earned the minimum grade required for all courses applied in the major but does not have a major GPA of 2.0.
  • Physical Education coursework is limited to two (2) semester hours.
  • ROTC courses that are primarily physical training and field experiences will not be applied to College of Arts and Sciences degree programs. All other military Science coursework will apply, in particular, coursework utilized toward completing an established ROTC minor will be applied to the total hours toward degree. 
  • When earning a second degree, double major or concurrent degree, the Major Core and Major Elective/Concentration areas of the degree audit must not overlap for both degrees.  All other areas of the degree audit may have overlapping credit hours applied.
  • Maximum of 20 hours of S/U option. S/U contracts must be negotiated in writing within the first three (3) weeks of the term. None of the 20 credits may be taken in the student’s major unless S/U is the only grading option. Coursework fulfilling the General Education Core Curriculum Requirements and the State Communication Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Writing) and State Computation Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Math) may not be taken S/U.
  • The Audit option is available only during the first 5 days of classes.
  • Complete all major course requirements.
  • College of Arts and Sciences students are expected to complete a minimum of 50% of their major and/or minor coursework in residence at USF. Some College of Arts and Sciences Departments/programs/majors have established additional major course hours to be taken in residency at USF. See the major or program section of the catalog for these credit-hour requirements.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites - Political Science B.A.

Following Florida BOG Regulation 8.010, state mandated common course prerequisites are lower-division courses that are required for progression into the upper division of a particular baccalaureate degree program. 

Transfer students should complete the State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted. Successful completion of the common prerequisites alone does not guarantee a student admission into the degree program. 

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • POS X041 American Government or POS X000-X999 Political Science or INR X000-X999 International Relations or CPO X000-X999 Comparative Politics - 3 credit hours
  • POS X000-X999 Political Science or INR X000-X999 International Relations or CPO X000-X999 Comparative Politics - 3 credit hours

Supporting Required Course: 1 course; 3 credit hours

The following course is a supporting course for this major.  The degree will not be awarded if this course has not been taken by the end of the student’s final semester.

Required Courses: (36 credit hours)

A minimum of 36 credit hours is required to satisfy the requirements of the major. Students must take the 12 credit hours of required core courses in Political Science coursework.  No more than six (6) credit hours can be taken from POS 4905 POS 4910  and POS 4941 .

Note:  Students enrolled in the Washington, D.C. semester program or the Tallahassee Internship program, may have this rule altered by their advisor. (A GPA of 3.0 is required to enroll in these courses; the Chair may grant special exception for students with a GPA between 2.70 and 2.99).

Major Core Courses: 4 courses; 12 credit hours

Major (Restricted) Elective Courses: 8 courses; 24 credit hours

Field Areas

Choose 8 courses (24 credit hours) of electives from the seven fields listed below with at least one course from Field I, one course from Field II or III, and one course from any of Fields IV, V, VI, or VII.

Additional Information - Political Science B.A.

Other Requirements

All Political Science majors are required to take at least three (3) credit hours of Economics coursework.

GPA Requirements

Major GPA (All USF courses which are applied to major requirements):  2.0
General Education GPA (All USF courses which are applied to General Education requirements):   2.0
USF GPA:  2.0
Overall GPA 2.0

Grading Requirement

A grade of C- or better to meet major course requirements unless specified elsewhere. Will vary by area. For Political Science, a C- or higher is required in courses used for the major core.

Note:  Some USF courses have higher grade criteria to meet prerequisite knowledge necessary for progression into higher-level courses.

Residency Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences

Department Major Academic Residency Requirement - at least 21 hours of the major coursework must be completed at USF.

College of Arts and Sciences Major Academic Residency Requirement - 50% of major must be completed at USF

USF Academic Residency Requirement - 30 of the last 60 hours earned must be from USF

Internship Opportunities - Political Science B.A.

Political Science has a fieldwork program that allows students to obtain part-time internships with state and local government and with political parties at the state and local level.  Academic credit is available for such internships.  For further information, please refer to

Other Information - College of Arts and Sciences

The Political Science major offers many courses that are beneficially for students planning to attend law school.  Courses listed under Field VII Law and Politics on the Political Science undergraduate curriculum are recommended to be taken as major electives by students on a pre-law career pathway.   The pre-law career pathway is an option for students of all majors at USF. The courses in Field VII are often of particular interest to Political Science majors planning to attend law school but may be taken by others as well. Those planning to pursue law school are recommended to complete courses in Field VII that can help them develop skills and competencies for their future legal studies.  

Students can self-enroll into the Pre-law Canvas page via this link. Additional resources can be found via  Majors planning to attend law are encouraged to meet with their major academic advisor to develop an academic plan to prepare for their future legal studies & to discuss the Law School Admission Exam (LSAT.) 

Research Opportunities - College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate students in any degree program are able to participate in undergraduate research. Several options exist to show mentored undergraduate research activity on a student’s official transcript. Those who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 4914  course. This course will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office of High Impact Practices and Undergraduate Research is able to assist with further inquiries. 

Advising Information - College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Advising Information

The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Advising Team provides students with support to create timely graduation plans that will integrate both their academic and professional goals.  Each of our undergraduate programs has dedicated professional advisors with specialized knowledge and understanding of the major requirements, course offerings, undergraduate research, and career opportunities in their field.  Additionally, we have dedicated pre-health and prelaw advisors to help students prepare for admission to professional graduate programs.


CAS Academic Advisor Contact information can be found here: CAS Advisors

To schedule an advising appointment: Advising Appointments