Jun 25, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Political Science (B.A., B.S.)

Student Learning Outcomes  

36 Major Hours, 120 Degree Hours

Students in this major must also complete requirements for a degree in the College of Arts & Sciences .

Students take one course from each of the following subfields: American Politics/Institutions, Public Administration/ Public Policy, and Comparative Politics/International Relations.


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. 

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 four 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. 


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 USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Political Science, Criminal Justice, International Studies, or Legal Studies faculty will nominate high achieving students who are interested in public service careers to the fast-track to the Master of Public Administration program. Students would apply to the USD Graduate School during the spring of their junior year and be admitted to the USD Graduate School contingent on receipt of their undergraduate degree. After completing 90 hours (senior status), students may take 12 graduate hours that will count toward their undergraduate degree and also count toward the NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. After receiving their undergraduate degree and satisfactory progress in the four graduate courses, students would continue to pursue coursework leading to the MPA degree.