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 Curriculum & Objectives


UMass Dartmouth's Bachelor of Political Science Online Degree Completion Program offers a fully online degree completion program to students who wish to earn a political science undergraduate degree. Students who complete the program receive a bachelor of arts degree in political science.

The bachelor's in political science prepares graduates who are informed, critical, and articulate concerning public affairs.

By “informed,” we mean graduates who:

  • understand concepts, theories and empirical findings in political science;
  • possess basic research skills including research design, data analysis and interpretation; and
  • can access, understand and synthesize professional and popular writing on public affairs.

By “critical,” we mean graduates who:

  • are able to formulate and analyze arguments including their structure and force; and
  • assess the relevance and weight of evidence;

By “articulate,” we mean graduates who:

  • are able to write clearly and persuasively; and
  • are capable of organizing their ideas in a focused paper or presentation.

With these skills, students will graduate capable of fulfilling the top three expectations of the newly college-educated employee:

  1. strong communication abilities (oral and written)
  2. ability to assess a situation well and develop a course of action
  3. an ability to work independently

Students who enter the Bachelor of Political Political Science Online Degree Completion Program transfer in up to 60 credits from a community college or 75 credits from a four year institution. These credits can fulfill the major and general education courses that are pre-requisites for upper level course work in the political science major.     


Major Requirements 

Political science majors complete 39 credits in political science. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in the major in order to graduate. Important note: courses offered by Policy Studies ("PST" courses) do not count towards political science major or minor requirements.

Foundation Courses

Twelve (12) credits required. These courses should generally be taken in the first or second year.

  • PSC 101 - Introduction to American Politics
  • PSC 151 - Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PSC 161 - Introduction to International Relations
  • PSC 171 - Introduction to Political Theory


MTH 104 or 120 is a prerequisite for PSC 349.

  • MTH 104 - Fundamentals of Statistics or MTH 120 - Quantitative Reasoning


Research Methods

Three (3) credits required.

  • PSC 349 - Political Science Research Methods


Three (3) internship/experiential learning credits are required; up to fifteen (15) internship credits may be earned. Recommended in senior year; may be waived in lieu of a study abroad of at least 4-weeks duration plus an upper-division course in PSC.

  • PSC 305 - Internship

Specialized Courses

Seven (7) courses, a total of twenty-one (21) credits. PSC courses must be above the 100 level, and may not include PSC 349 or PSC 305.

One of these 7 courses must be a non-Western course in any department (can also count toward other degree requirements).

  • A maximum of 2 of the 7 PSC courses can be completed at PSC 200 level
  • A minimum of 2 of the 7 PSC courses must be completed at PSC 400 level

Upper division courses (PSC 300+) must be taken in a minimum of 2 of the 4 main subfields: American politics/policy, comparative politics, international relations, political theory.


American Politics/Policy Subfield

  • PSC 315 - Public Policy in America
  • PSC 322 - Constitutional Law
  • PSC 323 - Civil Liberties and Rights
  • PSC 331 - Political Parties and Interest Groups
  • PSC 332 - Sex Roles and Politics
  • PSC 339 - Women and Public Policy
  • PSC 342 - Public Administration
  • PSC 347 - Environmental Law
  • PSC 348 - Ocean Policy and Law  
  • PSC 408 – Judicial Process and Behavior  
  • PSC 445 – Women and Politics Comparative Politics Subfield


Comparative Politics Subfield

  • PSC 362 - Topics in Comparative Politics (variable topics; may be repeated with change in topic)
  • PSC 450 - Topics in Comparative Politics


International Relations Subfield
Political Theory Subfield
Total Credits: 39
Total Credits including one 3-credit math course: 42


University Studies Requirements

Students majoring in Political Science transferring in less than 48 credit hours will meet their departmentally-determined University Studies requirements as follows:

1.C Intermediate Writing: PSC 249

1.D Mathematics: MTH 104/120

4.B The Nature of U.S. Society: PSC 101

4.C The Nature of Global Society: PSC 161

5.A Capstone Study: To be determined

5.B. Learning Through Engagement: To be determined

More information on University Studies


General Education Departmental Requirements

Students majoring in political science transferring in 48 or more credit hours will meet their departmentally-determined General Education requirements as follows:

Area E (Ethics)

Satisfied by:

  • PSC 101 - Introduction to American Politics

Area G (Global Awareness)

Satisfied by:

  • PSC 151 - Introduction to Comparative Politics or PSC 161 - Introduction to International Relations

Area M (Mathematics)

Satisfied by:

  • MTH 104 - Fundamentals of Statistics or MTH 120 - Quantitative Reasoning

Area O (Oral Communications)

Satisfied by two (2) PSC 400-level seminars.

Area I, Tier 2 (Information & Computer Literacy)

Satisfied by:

  • PSC 349 - Political Science Research Methods

Area W, Tier 1 (Written Skills)

Satisfied by two courses:

  • ENL 101 - Critical Writing and Reading I ENL 102 - Critical Writing and Reading II

Area W, Tier 2 (Written Skills)

Students may choose a course from approved “W” (writing) courses.

More information on General Education

Online programs and courses are offered by the Departments and Colleges of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth through UMass Dartmouth University Extension.