Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Political Science

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Political Science

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Political Science, students will be able to:

  1. Develop a broad understanding of political science and more specific knowledge in one or more subfields (Substantive knowledge).
  2. Develop critical thinking skills and the ability to apply political science theories to understand the political world (Critical thinking).
  3. Learn how to interpret, conduct, and evaluate political science research, including data collection and data analysis techniques and statistical software (Empirical analysis).
  4. Develop and strengthen written, oral and visual communication skills and the ability to present political science research to an audience (Communication)
  5. Become informed citizens able to participate effectively and meaningfully in the political process (Citizenship).

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Political Science

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Political Science must complete:

  • A minimum of 13 courses (41 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 8 courses (26 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.
  • A minimum of 4 courses (14 credit hours) from the Core Requirements.
  • A minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Seminar Requirements.
  • A minimum of 7 courses (21 credit hours) from the Elective Requirements. 

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Political Science41
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Political Science 120

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Introductory Courses
Select at least 2 from the following:6
INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS
INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS
Research Methods Courses 1
SOSC 302QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCES4
POLI 395APPLIED RESEARCH METHODS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE4
Seminar Requirements
Select at least 2 seminar courses from departmental (POLI) course offerings at the 400-level 26
Elective Requirements
Select 4 additional courses from departmental (POLI) course offerings at the 300-level (between course numbers POLI 300 and POLI 399) 312
Select 3 additional courses from departmental (POLI) course offerings at any level 49
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Political Science 41
Additional Credit Hours to Complete BA Degree Requirements19
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours120

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Political Science

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Political Science should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.
  • Transfer credit coursework from online-only courses cannot be used to count towards the major.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Political Science website: https://politicalscience.rice.edu/.

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Political Science 

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Political Science website at: https://politicalscience.rice.edu/.