Political science is the study of governments, political processes, public policies and political behavior by groups or individuals and is an ideal major for students with a passion for current events. 

At UWM, students take coursework from four broad areas of political science in order to obtain a well-rounded education in the field: American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. Along with exploring these substantive areas, students strengthen their research, writing, and critical thinking skills.  With this background, students leave UWM ready to enter graduate school or the world of work in government, international organizations, campaigns, business, consulting, nonprofits, and many other industries. This broad major is available entirely online, or students can mix-and-match and take a some online and some traditional classes.

Many students find that a degree in Political Science aligns well with their interest in law and their plans to attend law school after college. We offer a large number of courses in constitutional law and legal practice in society, and students can focus their electives around these as part of the Law Studies option within the Political Science major. Students planning for law school also often participate in our law sports programs such as intercollegiate moot court and intercollegiate mock trial.

Internships are encouraged for all majors, and opportunities can be found locally as well in in Washington DC. 

Since 1966, students from all UW System campuses and other universities have participated in the United Nations Summer Seminar. This five-week, six-credit program is partially held at United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan. The four weeks in New York include special access to U.N. facilities and intensive interaction with over 40 experts representing governments and international organizations.

Requirements

Course of Study – Bachelor of Arts Degree

Complete 120 credits including 90 credits in the College of Letters & Science and with 36 of the 90 credits in L&S upper-level (numbered above 300) courses. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major. Students are also required to complete University-wide General Education Requirements and the specific L&S requirements listed below.

To complete a major, students must satisfy all the requirements of the major as stated in this catalog. Students who declare their majors within five years of entering the UW System as a degree candidate may satisfy the requirements outlined in any catalog issued since the time they entered. Credits used to satisfy the major also may be used to satisfy other degree requirements.

University General Education Requirements (GER)

Oral and Written Communication
Part A
Achieve a grade of C or better in the following course:
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research (or equivalent)
Part B
Course designated as OWC-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Quantitative Literacy
Part A
Earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course, or achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department)
Mathematical Literacy for College Students II
Contemporary Applications of Mathematics
Introduction to College Algebra
Algebraic Literacy II
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 1
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
College Algebra
Or equivalent course
Part B
Course designated as QL-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Select 6 credits6
Social Sciences
Select 6 credits6
Natural Sciences
Select 6 credits (at least two courses including one lab)6
UWM Foreign Language Requirement
Complete Foreign Language Requirement through:
Two years (high school) of a single foreign language
Two semesters (college) of a single foreign language
Or equivalent
UWM Cultural Diversity Requirement
One course from the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences must also satisfy UWM's Cultural Diversity requirement

College of Letters & Science Requirements

I. English Composition Requirement

Students must satisfy the English Composition Requirement with one of the following options:

1) Completing ENGLISH 102 with a grade of C or higher; or

2) by placing beyond ENGLISH 102 on the English Placement Test (EPT) (or other assessment as determined by the English Department); or

3) transferring a course of at least 2.5 equivalent credits from another institution that is equivalent to English 102, or a UWM higher-level expository writing course, with a grade of C or higher.

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part A. The College of Letters & Science does not have a specific requirement for a writing course beyond English 102, but students must complete the university-wide requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part B listed above.

II. Mathematics and Formal Reasoning

To satisfy the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, students must satisfy the following two requirements:

1. Achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department) or earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course:

MATH 102Mathematical Literacy for College Students II3
MATH 103Contemporary Applications of Mathematics3
MATH 105Introduction to College Algebra3
MATH 108Algebraic Literacy II3
MATH 111Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 13
or PHILOS 111 Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
MATH 116College Algebra3
MATH 175Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I3

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part A, listed above.

2. Complete one course (at least 3 credits) at the 200 level or above chosen from courses in Mathematics, PHILOS 211, or Letters and Science statistics courses:

Complete one of the following:
3 or more credits in any 200-level or above Math course
Introduction to Statistics in African and African Diaspora Studies
Introduction to Anthropological Statistics
Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences
Biostatistics
Economic Statistics
Quantitative Analysis in Geography
The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
Elementary Statistical Analysis
Elementary Logic
Political Data Analysis
Survey Research
Psychological Statistics
Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology

Note: This requirement is NOT the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part B. To complete the BA, students must take one of the L&S approved courses. Not all of the courses listed here will satisfy the QL-B requirement.

III. Foreign Language Requirement 

Placement testing may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. Language courses (including American Sign Language) other than English taken in high school may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. One year of high school language equates to one semester of college work.

Completion of the L&S Language Requirement also satisfies the university-wide Foreign Language GER, but not vice versa.

Completed in one of the following ways:0-18
Successful completion of the 4th semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language)
Successful completion of the 3rd semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language) PLUS the 2nd semester of college work or equivalent in another language other than English (including American Sign Language)

IV. International Requirement 

See Approved Courses for the L&S International Requirement for course options.  

Completed in one of the following ways:9
Complete 3 courses (min. 9 cr) in a single foreign language (not including literature-in-translation or American Sign Language) at the 3rd semester level and above
Complete 3 non-language courses (min. 9 credits) with an international content chosen from at least 2 curricular areas.
Complete 9 credits in combination of the two options above.

V. Breadth Requirement

Along with completing the University General Education Requirements of 3 credits in the Arts (A); 6 credits in the Humanities (HU), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS/NS+); and a course with the Cultural Diversity (CD/+) designation, L&S students must complete the Breadth requirement.

Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Humanities Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single subject area. *12
Social Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Social Science Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Natural Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Natural Sciences Breadth designation, including at least one laboratory or field course; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Cultural Diversity
Complete 3 credits in a course with Cultural Diversity (CD) designation. **3

 VI. The Major

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.  Individual departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation. Some departmental majors require courses from other departments.  Contact your major department for information on whether those credits will count as part of the major GPA.  The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.

Research Requirement

Within their majors, students must complete a research experience approved by the L&S faculty.  A list of courses satisfying the research requirement in each major can be found here.

VII. The Minor

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the minor attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work.

Political Science Major Requirements

Majors must attain a 2.0 GPA in all political science courses, including any transfer work, and a 2.0 GPA in political science courses taken at UWM. Majors are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits in political science, of which at least 15 must be in upper-division courses (numbered 300 or above) taken in residence at UWM. The following courses must be included among those taken for major credit:

Introductory Requirement
POL SCI 103Introduction to Political Science3
or POL SCI 104 Introduction to American Government and Politics
Methods Requirement
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Political Science Research
Political Data Analysis
Survey Research
Requirements: Areas of Political Science
Select at least one course beyond the 100 level in each of the following four areas of political science:12
American Politics
State Politics
Multicultural America: Minority Voting Rights and Representation
Introduction to Public Service
American Public Policy
Urban Government and Politics
Ethnicity, Religion and Race in American Politics
Environmental Politics
Public Administration
Law and Society
Topics in American Politics:
Latino Politics
Cyber-Politics: 1
State Government:
The American Presidency
Law Through Popular Culture
Constitutional Law: Government Powers and Federalism
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
Judicial Politics
The Supreme Court
Constitutional Interpretation
Party Politics in America
Women in Politics
Congressional Politics
Politics and the Bureaucracy
Urban Political Problems
Administrative Law
Sex, Gender, and the Law
Elections and Voting Behavior
Problems in Law Studies:
Public Opinion
Political Psychology
Comparative Politics
Politics of the World's Nations
Western European Politics
British Politics
Politics of Eastern Europe
Russian and Post-Soviet Politics
The Politics of Authoritarian Regimes
Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
Politics of Developing Countries
Politics of Revolution in Developing Nations
Latin American Politics
Brazilian Politics and Society
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
African Politics
Seminar in Comparative Politics:
German Politics and the New Europe
Comparative Political Systems
Politics and Markets in Pacific-Rim Countries:
The Politics of Economic Inequality
Gender and Politics in Developing Nations
Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict
Poverty and Politics:
Health, Wealth, and Democracy
Elections in the Modern World
International Politics
Introduction to International Relations
International Law
The Politics of International Economic Relations
International Organization and the United Nations
Seminar in International Relations:
European Integration
Politics of Nuclear Weapons
Asian International Relations
U.S.-Latin American Relations
Problems of American Foreign Policy
Theories and Methods in International Politics
International Conflict
Morality, Conflict and War
Current Crises and Events in International Relations
Conduct of American Foreign Affairs
Political Theory
Sex and Power
Great Issues of Politics
Classics of Political Theory
History of International Political Thought
The Development of Western Political Thought
Modern Political Thought
The Philosophy of Law
American Political Thought
Contemporary Political Theory
Politics and Philosophy:
Research Experience3
Select one of the following: 2
The Politics of Authoritarian Regimes
Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
Latin American Politics
Brazilian Politics and Society
Seminar in International Relations:
U.S.-Latin American Relations
History of International Political Thought
Gender and Politics in Developing Nations
International Conflict
The American Presidency
The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
The Supreme Court
Women in Politics
Sex, Gender, and the Law
Elections and Voting Behavior
Electives
Select 9 credits from any of the above.9
Total Credits30

Course of Study: Law Studies Option

Students may emphasize the study of law within the major by completing, in conjunction with or in addition to all of the requirements outlined above, the courses listed below as part of the 30 credits required for the major. Some of the courses below also satisfy the requirement of 3 credits above the 100 level in each area of Political Science.

Law Studies Requirements

Required
POL SCI 250Law and Society 33
POL SCI 411Constitutional Law: Government Powers and Federalism 33
POL SCI 412Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties 33
Select two of the following:6
International Law 4
The Philosophy of Law 5
Judicial Politics 3
The Supreme Court 3
Constitutional Interpretation 3
Administrative Law 3
Sex, Gender, and the Law 3
Problems in Law Studies: 3
Total Credits15

Letters & Science Advising

The College of Letters and Science provides general academic advising for all students with a major in the College, particularly as it relates to campus' general education requirements and the College's degree requirements. We also provide specialized advising for pre-professional students (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, etc.) regardless if their major is in Letters and Science or not. Prospective students, including high school students and students seeking to transfer to a program in Letters and Science may also receive advising from our admissions counselors. 

Upon admission, students are assigned an advisor in the College advising office. Academic advising is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment. Appointments outside of these times may be available and phone appointments are available for online students. The advising office is located on the first floor of Holton Hall. Current students should call (414) 229-4654 to schedule an appointment or use the Navigate website to make an appointment with your assigned advisor; online scheduling is only available if you already have a Letters & Science advisor assigned to you. Prospective students should call (414) 229-7711 or email let-sci@uwm.edu.

When students declare a major, they will receive an additional faculty advisor located within the major department who will assist with requirements for that major. Students should read the "Declaration of Major" information on the website of the major that they are interested in. In some cases, the student will need to choose a faculty advisor as part of the declaration process.

All students are cautioned to consult their Letters & Science academic advisor AND their major advisor prior to each registration period to ensure they understand all requirements. Do not rely on pre-printed sample plans, as they are intended to be samples only and may not be right for your particular situation.

Honors and High Honors in the Major

Departmental honors are awarded upon graduation to students who achieve a 3.500 GPA overall in all UWM courses attempted, in their political science major courses, and in upper-division political science courses. Students meeting these GPA requirements will be slated automatically for graduating with honors in the major.

Students who meet the GPA requirement and wish to be considered for departmental high honors should request that the faculty member supervising her/his substantial research paper nominate her/him for high honors. The supervising faculty member will decide if the student should be recommended to the high honors committee, which is composed of three political science faculty members. The committee will determine if the quality of the nominee's paper is sufficient to earn the high honors designation and, if so, will bestow the high honors accordingly. Note that a student interested in receiving high honors must contact a Political Science faculty member to be considered; high honors are not bestowed automatically.

Questions about honors designations can be directed to any of the Political Science faculty advisors.

Honors in the College of Letters and Science

Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.