Political Science

Programs offered
  • Political Science (major, minor, and tracks)

The Political Science major equips you to become a leader and citizen who can influence politics and public policy informed by Christian faith and tradition. As a Political Science major at SPU, you will wrestle with some of the most fundamental questions underlying faith and the political order.

  • What is the relationship between Christian principles and public policy?
  • How can Christians model both the character and truth of Jesus Christ in the public square?
  • How should we all live in local, national, and global community?

To assist in the exploration of these questions, you will receive broad training in political philosophy, government, law, public policy, international relations, and the political behavior of individuals, groups, and global actors. You are also provided with peer support and co-curricular activities through the SPU Political Union, a nonpartisan student group.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Political Science (BA)


The General track offers you the most flexibility while giving you a solid political science base.

The International Affairs track is designed for anyone interested in global politics and policy, or a career in the U.S. State Department.

The Public Policy and Law track is especially beneficial if you are considering a career in government or plan to attend law school.

  • A minimum 69 credits are required for this major, including 30 upper-division credits.
  • You will choose between three tracks: General; Public Policy and Law; or International Affairs.
  • You are strongly encouraged to take POL 4940 Political Internships, and department faculty will work with you to arrange an internship appropriate to your career interests.
  • No more than a total of 10 hours of internship or independent study can be applied to meet your requirement, but you may add additional credits above the required hours, if you’d like.
  • You are encouraged to fulfill your Exploratory Curriculum mathematics requirement prior to the spring of your senior year by taking a statistics course such as SOC 2360 Introduction to Statistics in Social and Behavioral Sciences or MAT 1300 Introduction to Statistical Reasoning.

Additional specialization

If you wish to enhance your degree with additional specialization, applied coursework beyond the required credits and in associated majors or minors can be arranged in consultation with the political science advisor.

  • POL 4940 Political Internships is strongly suggested as an elective in the Political Science: Public Policy and Law Track.
  • At least one year of a foreign language or equivalent is recommended, and more than this is strongly encouraged in the Political Science-International Affairs Track.

Political Science minor


The Political Science minor allows you to complement your chosen major with some general political science coursework.

  • A minimum 30 credits are required, including 15 upper-division credits.
  • SPU requires you to earn at least 15 credits of this minor at SPU, 10 of which must be upper-division credits.

Entering and completing the major or minor 

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified a major in this department as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major. To change or add a major or minor, follow these instructions.
  • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, follow these instructions to enter a major or minor in this department.
  • Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Future teachers

Certification With Elementary Education Endorsement

If you plan to teach in an elementary school and are interested in teaching Political Science or Geography, you must major in the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in social sciences. Further information can be found on the School of Education website.

Certification With Secondary Education Endorsement

If you plan to obtain secondary Residency Teacher Certification with an endorsement in Political Science, you should pursue a BA in Political Science, and you must also complete requirements for a Secondary Education Endorsement through the School of Education.