University General Course Catalog 2020-2021 
    Apr 12, 2021  
University General Course Catalog 2020-2021

Political Science, B.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs in the College of Liberal Arts

The political science curriculum at the University of Nevada, Reno is divided into five fields:

American Politics

The American politics area includes all facets of the American political system: elections, parties, the presidency, legislatures, the courts, the media, bureaucracy, state and local government, public administration and interest groups. American politics courses also consider the effects of different institutional arrangements and decision rules.

Comparative Politics

The comparative politics area includes general comparative analysis of national political systems as well as comparative topics such as women in politics, revolution, terrorism, human rights and political development. It also includes the study of politics in specific areas: Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, Japan and China.

International Relations 

The international relations area covers interaction, cooperation and conflict among nations. It includes theories of international relations, great power politics, foreign policy, defense and national security, international law and organizations, global environmental policy, human rights and international political economy.

Political Theory

The political theory area includes political philosophy and its history, contemporary political ideologies, democratic theory, political ethics and evaluation.

Public Administration and Policy

There are several courses in methodology that deal with research methods and techniques for data gathering and analysis.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical thinking, writing and communication skill.
  • demonstrate knowledge of government systems, electoral processes, and public policy processes and outcomes.
  • demonstrate knowledge of international systems, diversity and cross-cultural issues.

Contact Information

Department of Political Science
Thompson Building 221
(775) 784-4601

College of Liberal Arts Advising:

Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno

Use the transfer agreement  and the degree planner (available by clicking Print degree planner icon at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.

If a major-to-major transfer agreement is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core agreement  if available. If neither is available, access Transferology to assist in your planning.

Graduation Requirements

  • Total Units | 120
  • Cumulative GPA | 2.0
  • University GPA | 2.0
  • Major GPA | 2.0
  • Residency Requirement | 30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
  • Major Residency Requirement | 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
  • Upper-Division Requirement | 42 Upper-Division Units
  • Half Program Units/4 Year Institution | 60 Units

I. Silver Core General Education Requirements (24-27 units)

NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter of this catalog for information regarding  the “Core English and Math Completion Policy  .”

Students in this major must meet all Silver Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course descriptions.

A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3

B. Quantitative Reasoning (3 units minimum) - CO2

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO2 courses .

C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (6 units minimum) - CO4, CO4L

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO4/CO4L courses .

D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6

E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO7 courses .

F. History & Culture (6 units) - CO5

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO5 courses CH 201  and CH 212  are recommended.

G. Constitution (0 units) - CO8

II. Additional Silver Core Requirements (18 units maximum)

Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Silver Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV).  Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter in this catalog.

A. Science, Technology & Society Course - CO9

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO9 courses .

B. Diversity & Equity Course - CO10

C. Global Context Course - CO11

D. Ethics Course - CO12

E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis Course - CO13

F. Application Course - CO14

III. Additional College Requirements (6-20 units)

Units may vary depending on initial course placement in foreign language coursework.

A. Foreign Language (0-14 units)

Successful completion of the foreign language requirement may be accomplished through one of four options:

  1. complete a fourth semester college course in a foreign language or in American Sign Language;
  2. demonstrate proficiency through placement examination or other means determined by the Department of World Languages and Literatures, including minimum CBAPE, SAT II, or IB scores;
  3. show transcript evidence of successful completion of four years of high school coursework in the same foreign language; or
  4. participate in a Studies Abroad program pre-approved by the college to meet the foreign language requirement.

B. College Breadth Requirement (6 units)

Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree in the college shall be required to take, within the College of Liberal Arts, 6 units that are outside the departments in which they major or minor, and that exclude courses taken to fulfill the Core General Education requirements (Core Objectives 1 through 7).

IV. Major Requirements (27 units)

Eighteen of the 27 units must be taken at the 300-400 level.

A. Required Courses (0 units)

B. One Political Science course from each of the following five fields: (15 units)

  • American Government (3 units)
  • Public Administration and Public Policy (3 units)
  • Political Theory (3 units)
  • Comparative Government (3 units)
  • International Relations (3 units)

C. Political Science Electives (12 units)

V. Minor Requirements (18-21 units)

The Political Science department accepts any minor approved by the College of Liberal Arts.

VI. Electives (7-27 units)

VII. Recommended Schedule

A. First Year

Fall Semester (16 units)

  • Prerequisite Core English (3 units)*
  • Mathematics Course (3 units) CO2*
  • Foreign Language 111 (4 units)
  • Social Sciences Course (3 units) CO6
  • (3 units) CO6, CO8

  • NOTE: * English and Math course placement is based on test scores. Please refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter in the catalog.

Spring Semester (16-17 units)

B. Second Year

Fall Semester (15-16 units)

  • (3 units) CO5
  • Natural Sciences Course (3-4 units) CO4 or CO4L
  • Foreign Language 211 (3 units)
  • College Breadth Requirements (3 units)
  • PSC Major Course (100-200 level) (3 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

  • (3 units) CO5
  • Foreign Language 212 (3 units)
  • Minor (100-200 level) (3 units)
  • PSC Major Course (100-200 level) (3 units)
  • Diversity & Equity Course (3 units) CO10

C. Third Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

  • PSC Major Courses (6 units)
  • College Breadth Requirement (3 units)
  • General Elective (6 units) 

Spring Semester (15 units)

  • PSC Major Courses (300-400 level) (6 units)
  • Minor Courses (300-400 level) (6 units)
  • Science, Technology & Society Course (3 units) CO9

D. Fourth Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

  • PSC Major Courses (300-400 level) (6 units)
  • Capstone Integration & Synthesis Course (3 units) CO13
  • Minor (3 units)
  • Minor (300-400 level) (3 units)

Spring Semester (11-13 units)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs in the College of Liberal Arts