Political Science Major
Political science is the study of politics, government, and public policy. This includes the investigation of political institutions, international relations, law, and political values. The purpose of classes in political science is to provide students with knowledge to assist them in understanding how government and politics affect their everyday lives. A political science major offers the student career opportunities in public service, business, and education. Also, many students interested in attending law school select political science as a major. The department offers a special program of pre-law advisement.
A total of 40 credits are required for a major in Political Science. In addition, four 400-level classes must be taken; one from each of the areas: law, American Government, comparative politics, and international relations. Nine credits of electives are also to be selected in consultation with an advisor.
The department offers a special Pre-Law emphasis for those individuals who wish to pursue careers in law. It consists of a major in Political Science (40 hours) that includes a concentration of law related courses, as well as required classes in English and communication. Electives in business, communication, criminal justice, and accounting are also part of the emphasis.
Public Service Option
The Public Service option allows students to concentrate their coursework in two distinct areas of study: government administration and political management. The government administration area is designed for students seeking careers in the administration of public, private/public, or non-profit organizations. The political management area is designed for students seeking careers in connection to political parties, campaign consultants, interest groups, and the political media. Each area required a 15 credit internship.
Requirements for Admission to the Political Science Program
(Effective: August 2012)
Students must satisfy the following requirements in order to be admitted to and remain enrolled in the political science program at NDSU. Prior to admission, students will be listed in the pre-professional program if they indicate political science as their major. All students in the pre-professional program are strongly encouraged to seek out their advisor each semester to ensure that they are satisfying these requirements. These standards also apply to students pursuing an emphasis within the political science major or pursuing a minor in political science.
Prior to Admission the Student Must
-Complete a minimum of 36 total credit hours
-Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.75 across all coursework completed at NDSU
-Complete 12 credit hours in the following political science courses, with an average GPA of 3.0:
POLS 110 or POLS 115
POLS 220 or POLS 225
POLS 240; and
One other political science elective at the 100 or 200 level (potentially including the other course not used to fill requirement 3.a. or 3.b.)
-Complete a formal application. The application is available online (Political Science Program Application) or in the main office of the Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science. The Department will review applications on a rolling basis. Students must apply to be a major or minor no later than the first day of classes of the semester in which they intend to graduate.
Following Admission the Student Must
-Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 across all courses with POLS prefixes and a GPA of 2.75 across all courses taken at NDSU to remain enrolled in the program
-The first failure to maintain a minimum GPA will result in a notification to the student and an advisor hold
-A discussion with the student’s political science advisor will be necessary to remove the hold
-The second failure to maintain a minimum GPA will result in administrative removal from the program
-Students will be notified via email when they have not met program standards.
-The Department will handle internal and external transfer students similarly to students who commence their studies in the pre-professional program. Transfer grades will be used in GPA calculations for POLS courses but not for overall GPA.
-All students who began their studies at NDSU prior to the Fall 2012 semester will be grandfathered into the program and will not be subject to these requirements.
-Any student not already admitted into the political science program will need instructor permission to enroll in political science courses at the 300 and 400 levels.
-The Department will maintain a list of admitted students and will provide notification to Registration & Records as students are added to or removed from that list. Both Registration & Records and affected students will receive notice of advisor holds and administrative removal no later than the week grades are posted.
A full description of the requirements for the Political Science major can be found:
Political Science Minor
The minor in Political Science requires a minimum of 21 credits including Introduction of Political Science or American Government; International Politics or Comparative Politics; and Political Ideologies. Additionally, 6 political science elective credits must be taken at the 400-level and 3 credits additional electives must be selected in consultation with advisor. A full description of the requirements for the Political Science minor can be found at