Committed to the liberal arts tradition of intellectual curiosity and diversity,

The Political Science program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg offers students a rigorous program of study that prepares them for successful careers in a rapidly globalizing world.  Students in the program examine basic questions of political science, including how nations struggle over power and wealth, how political communities reconcile claims of liberty, authority, and justice, and how governments and societies produce the laws and policies that influence our lives. Students choose courses from the major subfields of American politics, international relations and comparative politics, political theory and public law.  Students develop critical analytical skills that allow them to understand and to explain political problems and issues at the local, state, national, and international levels.  The USFSP program is unique in its focus on human rights and civil rights across the curriculum, as well as its commitment to civic engagement and experiential learning.  A degree in political science will prepare students for positions in public service and the private sector, for law school, and for graduate work in political science, international relations, public administration, and related disciplines.

The Political Science major consists of 39 credit hours. Students must take 12 hours of required core courses in political science, three hours of a required core course in economics, and 24 hours of elective courses.  No more than six credit hours can be taken from among POS 4905 Independent Study, POS 4910 Individual Research, and POS 4941 Field Work. Students enrolled in the Washington Program may have this rule altered by their advisor. (A GPA of 3.0 is required to enroll in POS 4905, POS 4910, and POS 4941; the Department Chair may grant special exceptions for students with lower GPAs.) Students transferring credit hours toward a major in political science must complete a minimum of 21 political science credit hours at USFSP, regardless of the number of credits transferred.

Political Science 4-Year Plan

In Political Science, courses are listed under the following four major fields: (1) Political Theory
(2) International Relations and Comparative Politics (3) American Politics and (4) Public Law.

Required Core Courses (15 credit hours):

  • CPO 2002 Introduction to Comparative Politics

or INR 2002 Introduction to International Relations

  • POS 2041 American National Government
  • POT 3003 Introduction to Political Theory
  • POS 3713 Empirical Political Analysis
  • ECO 2013 Principles of Macroeconomics

or ECO 2023 Principles of Microeconomics

A grade of “C” is required in all core classes.

Electives (24 credit hours):

Students will choose electives from the four major fields, a minimum of 8 courses, with at least one course from each of the four fields (12 of the total 24 elective credit hours). Core courses normally should be completed before field courses are taken.

Courses under the Four Major Fields:

(All are 3 credit-hour courses, except for variable-credit fieldwork and independent study courses.)

FIELD I – Political Theory

POT 3013 Classical Political Theory

POT 4054 Modern Political Theory

POT 4064 Contemporary Political Thought

POT 4204 American Political Thought

FIELD II – International Relations and Comparative Politics

INR 3011 Globalization

INR 3038 International Wealth and Power

INR 3084 International Terrorism

INR 3102 American Foreign Policy

INR 3202 International Human Rights

INR 4035 International Political Economy

INR 4083 Conflict in the World

INR 4254 Africa in World Affairs

INR 4403 International Law

INR 4502 International Organizations

INR 4931 Selected Topics

CPO 2002 Introduction to Comparative Politics

CPO 4034 Politics of Developing Areas

CPO 4930 Comparative Politics of Selected Countries or Areas

FIELD III – American Politics

POS 2112 State & Local Government & Politics

POS 3142 Introduction to Urban Politics & Government

POS 3173 Southern Politics

POS 3182 Florida Politics & Government

POS 3274 The Campaign Process

POS 3453 Political Parties & Interest Groups

POS 4204 Political Behavior

POS 4413 The American Presidency

POS 4424 The American Congress

FIELD IV – Public Law

INR 4403 International Law

POS 3283 Judicial Process & Politics

POS 3697 Environmental Law

POS 3691 Introduction to Law & Politics

POS 4614 Constitutional Law I

POS 4624 Constitutional Law II

POS 4693 Women & Law I

POS 4694 Women & Law II


POS 3931 Selected Topics [examples listed below]

  • Road to the White House
  • Politics and Religion
  • Citizenship

POS 4905 Independent Study

POS 4910 Individual Research

POS 4941 Field Work

POT 4109 Politics & Literature

PUP 4203 Environmental Politics/Policy

PUP 4323 Women and Politics

Requirements for the Minor in Political Science

A minor in political science requires the completion of a minimum of 18 credit hours, made up of two courses (6 credit hours) from among CPO 2002 Introduction to Comparative Politics (or INR 2002 Introduction to International Relations), POS 2041 American National Government, and POT 3003 Introduction to Political Theory. An additional 12 credit hours of courses included in the political science major are also required. Students transferring credit hours toward a minor in political science must complete a minimum of 12 political science credit hours at USFSP, regardless of the number of credit hours transferred.