Political Science Major (B.A.)

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.unh.edu.


The study of government and politics, to which the courses and seminars of the Department of Political Science are devoted, includes the development of knowledge of political behavior by individuals and groups as well as knowledge about governments: their nature and functions, their problems and behavior, and their interactions—at the national and international levels and at the local, state, and regional levels.

Much of the learning offered by the Department of Political Science also can be regarded as essential for good citizenship, since political knowledge helps to explain the formal and informal institutions by which we are governed and the forces that lead to policy decisions, and also seeks to clarify the issues and principles that encourage people toward political involvement. It contributes to the store of knowledge necessary for informed citizenship. In addition, such learning is especially valuable to students planning to enter local or national government or other public service, including the Foreign Service, and it will be of great help to those who intend to study law and enter the legal profession. For teaching, particularly at the college level, and for many types of government service, graduate work may be indispensable. An undergraduate major in political science will provide a helpful foundation for any further study of politics and related fields in the social sciences and humanities. Such an emphasis also will be valuable for students seeking careers in journalism, international organizations, and the public affairs and administrative aspects of labor, financial, and business organizations.

The major program in political science consists of at least 10 courses (40 credits) and not more than 12 courses (48 credits). The minimum grade requirement is C- per course. Any grade lower will not count toward major. Courses are to be distributed in the following way:

Three 400-level courses: 1
POLT 401Politics and Society4
POLT 402American Politics and Government4
POLT 403United States in World Affairs4
Six 500-level courses 224
Discovery Program Capstone Requirement:
Select any 700-level political science course4
Total Credits40

Once they declare the major, students must complete these three courses within the first calendar year. POLT 407 Law and Society and any of the 444's do not count toward the major.


Of these, at least one shall be chosen from each of the four subfields in which the department's courses are organized: American politics, political thought, comparative politics, and international politics. Students may use a microeconomics course (ECON 402 Principles of Economics (Micro) or ECON 605 Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis) or macroeconomics course (ECON 401 Principles of Economics (Macro) or ECON 611 Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis) to count as the fifth or sixth electives in this sequence. Additional economics courses will be considered by petition. Only one economics course can count toward this requirement.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Major department courses may not be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements except in the case of a second or dual major. If students substitute an economics course for a POLT 500-level course, this economics course cannot be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements.