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Academic Majors


Political Science

Political science is the study of politics, government and related topics. This includes the investigation of political behavior, 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.

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The Program

The political science program at North Dakota State University offers a number of avenues for the study of government. Through political science, you can draw upon the many resources of the University and the community. The Tri-College University (North Dakota State College of Science, NDSU, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College) makes possible a wide variety of political science courses taught by faculty members from all three institutions. The urban center of Fargo-Moorhead enables you to observe and participate in metropolitan judicial and governmental affairs.

Career Opportunities

One out of five persons in the United States today is employed by some level of government. This expansion of government has created a vital need for thoughtful, active people who are professionally trained in government and in political science. Typically, as a political science student at NDSU, you may become involved in one of the following areas:

National Government -- Graduates with training in political science often occupy administrative positions in the civil service, which offers the advantage of an established promotional system. NDSU works with regional colleges in conducting student internships for the study of the federal government in Washington, D.C. 

State and Local Government -- The greatest expansion in government is taking place at the state and local levels. Political science students at NDSU may gain experience in this area by participating in internships in Fargo, Washington D.C., at the state capitol in Bismarck or by participating in the North Dakota Intercollegiate Student Legislature.

Internship/Field Experience -- The Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science is able to place students in state and national government where they can experience first-hand the functioning government. The department has available a professional-degree program, whereby students can prepare for careers in government service and in management with political party organizations. Internships assist students in preparing for such careers. 

Teaching, Research and Graduate Work -- Political science offers an excellent background for graduate work. In a study of graduate school examination scores, it was found that of all the social sciences, students of political science scored highest on the verbal ability test. 

Law -- Many students interested in attending law school elect political science as an undergraduate major. Political science provides an analytical and substantive background relevant to the study of law. The department offers a special program of pre-law advisement and a pre-law emphasis for those students who major in political science. Law schools that political science graduates have attended include University of North Dakota, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, Northwestern, Duke and George Washington University.

Law Enforcement -- Law enforcement agencies are now making an effort to hire more people trained at the university level. The Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science cooperates with other departments to offer law enforcement training to students interested in entering the field and in continuing education for law enforcement officials.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science works closely with the Pre-Law Club, which is designed to provide students with information about law schools, entrance examinations and career opportunities in the field of law.

The Faculty

Jeffrey Bumgarner, Professor and Department Head, Ph.D.
       2000, University of Minnesota

Thomas Ambrosio, Professor, Ph.D.
       2000, University of Virginia

Nicholas Bauroth, Associate Professor, Ph.D.
       2003, Loyola University

Kjersten Nelson, Associate Professor, Ph.D.
       2009, University of Minnesota

Daniel Pemstein, Assistant Professor, Ph.D.
       2010, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sample Curriculum



General Education Requirements





       COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking


       ENGL 110 - College Composition I, II


       ENGL 120 - College Composition II


       English Upper Division Writing


Quantitative Reasoning


       STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics


Science & Technology


Humanities & Fine Arts


Social & Behavioral Sciences


       POLS 110 - Introduction to Political Science or

      POLS 115 - American Government


       Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective




Cultural Diversity


Global Perspective




College/Department Requirements



Humanities Elective(s)


Social Science Elective


Fine Arts Elective(s)




Major Requirements



POLS 220 - International Politics or

POLS 225 - Comparative Politics


POLS 240 - Political Ideologies


POLS 325 - Applied Research Methods or

CJ 325 - Applied Research Methods


POLS 489 - Seminar


Political Science Areas




Additional Requirements



Political Science Electives






Minimum Degree Credits to Graduate

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Transferring Credits
View NDSU equivalencies of transfer courses at:


Putnam Hall
Dept #2315

Putnam Hall is located at 1349 12th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58102 (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science
North Dakota State University
Putnam Hall
Dept #2315, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8567 / Fax: (701) 231-5877

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 1:39:23 PM
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