36 Major Hours, 120 Degree Hours
Students in this major must also complete requirements for a degree in the College of Arts & Sciences .
Departmental Requirements (36 hours)
Students take one course from each of the following subfields: American Politics/Institutions, Public Administration/ Public Policy, and Comparative Politics/International Relations.
Subfield A: American Politics/Institutions. Choose one of the following:
Subfield B: Public Administration/ Public Policy. Choose one of the following:
Subfield C: Comparative Politics/International Relations. Choose one of the following:
Choose 9 credits of any POLS coursework, only three of which may be internship credits. Only three credits from a Faculty Led Program may be applied to the nine credits of electives, also.
Political Science/Criminal Justice Double Major
Students double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science take either CJUS 205 or POLS 205 (but not both) and either CJUS 489 or POLS 489 (but not both), for a combined major totaling 60 credit hours.
Secondary Education/Political Science Education (B.A./B.S.)
See Political Science (B.A./B.S.) with Secondary Education Certification for program requirements for degree along with the appropriate teaching certification courses.
Students must have a CGPA of 2.6 to co-register for EDFN 338 and SEED 296 and to be admitted to Teacher Education. Beginning Summer 2015, students must have a CGPA of 2.7 to be admitted to the Teacher Education Program.
Four-Year Program Guides and Costs
USD encourages students to take 15 credits per semester or 30 credits within the year in order to graduate in 4 years. To help students complete their academic degree program in four years, we provide a sample academic plan. Please work with your academic advisor to confirm your plan.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Understanding of institutions, actors, processes, behaviors and ideas in the United States and other important countries of the world.
- Most important forms of government, with arguments for and against them.
- How institutions emerge, operate and interact with social world.
- Thinking systematically about political interactions at the local, state, national, international and global level.
- Knowledge of the most important political theorists and the ideas associated with their works.
- Evaluate alternative political ideas.
- Differentiate between normative and empirical theories and arguments.
- Synthesize and integrate concepts and theories to analyze and understand novel problems.
- Understand and explain the different levels of analysis in which politics takes place (individual, state, international system) and interactions across levels.
- Systematically explore issues, objects or works through the organized, methodical collection and analysis of evidence.
- Find, understand, and evaluate primary and secondary sources of information.
- Evaluate competing arguments using empirical and logical methods.
- Apply findings to new questions, evidence or situations.
- Understand the foundations and justification for claims of knowledge, and conversely the foundations for rejection of some claims.
- Formulate and construct logical and coherent arguments about political phenomena and behavior.
- Compose written arguments that are coherent and logical; that develop a clear thesis; and that support the thesis with evidence.
- Present ideas and research findings orally, including taking a position for or against political issues and positions.
- Demonstrate continuing engagement with current affairs, and the campus, local, state and national communities.
- Students will assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas, and consider the ramifications of alternative actions.
- Students will evaluate their obligations to fellow citizens.
- Demonstrate cognitive, affective and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.
- Participate in cross-cultural experiences and activities at some point during their studies.
- Students will have a resume or curriculum vitae that effectively communicates their education, experience and qualifications.
- Students will seek career and/or graduate school guidance from their academic counselors.
- Students will seek career and/or graduate school guidance from the Academic and Career Planning Center.
- Basic factual information and theoretical understanding within an area of specialization: state and local government, American politics, comparative politics, or international relations.
- Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.
- Students will be able to demonstrate cognitive, effective, and behavioral skills that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.
- Students will be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas and consider the ramifications of alternative actions.
- Students will recognize when there is a need for information and identify, locate, evaluate and effectively and responsibly use and convey that information to address the need or problem at hand.
- Students will be able to demonstrate the cultivation of knowledge, skills, values and motivation that will enable them to make a difference in the civic life of communities and promote the quality of life in a community and engage in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community.
State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live
If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference the State Authorization webpage.