2004-2005 UAF Catalog  

Political Science

College of Liberal Arts
Department of Political Science
(907) 474-7609

B.A. Degree

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 120 credits

Downloadable PDF (102K)

The study of political science provides education for citizenship in a changing nation and world. Political science provides a sound preparation in the social sciences. As the study of power, political science explains who gets what, when, where and how. It examines the struggles over claims to authority that shape our lives and our world. As the study of values, it examines why citizens obey or rebel, the nature of just societies, and the ways individuals reconcile personal liberty with political authority. As the science of political behavior, it analyzes the actions of interest groups, political parties and public officials. Politics is an omnipresent force, not only in governments but in families, social organizations, schools and decision-making bodies of all types—from student councils to international institutions. A solid understanding of local, national and international politics will benefit any student throughout his or her career.

Courses are offered in the traditional fields of international and comparative politics, American government, political theory, public policy, and public law. The department also offers classes in environmental policy and politics, Native American studies, the politics of science, and women’s studies. Political science majors and minors graduate with excellent communications skills. We provide several writing- and oral-intensive courses, as well as two core curriculum requirements. In addition to our course offerings and faculty expertise, our department presents real world opportunities for political science students to apply their learning. Those include numerous internship and scholarship opportunities in Alaska and the rest of the United States. Students can participate in model United Nations simulations, join the political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha, aid faculty as research assistants, and take part in numerous other department projects such as bringing speakers to campus or hosting roundtables on important issues. Graduate students may also serve as teaching assistants.

The department provides students with stepping-stones to success in a variety of careers. The political science B.A. has led our students to graduate work in the social sciences; employment in the media and public relations; teaching at high school and university levels; and careers in business corporations and non-profits at the state and national levels. Political science provides a broad understanding of the formation, application and change of the law, as well as research techniques and standards of argumentation essential to legal practice. Our majors have been admitted to the nation’s top law schools. The study of political science also prepares students for work in various fields of government. Alaska offers exciting job prospects for our graduates as managers in state and local governments and as legislators and legislative staff members. Our students are also qualified to work outside of Alaska in numerous public and private sector jobs.

Major—B.A. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements (As part of the core curriculum requirements, complete: PS 100X, PS 300X and HIST 100X.)
  2. Complete the B.A. degree requirements.
  3. Complete the following major (program) requirements:*
    PS 101—Introduction to American Government and Politics 3 credits
    PS 222—Political Science Research Methods 3 credits
    PS 492W—Senior Seminar in Political Science 3 credits
  4. Complete 24 credits in political science. Include at least 1 course from 4 of the following sub-disciplinary groups:*
    1. Group A—American Government and Politics

      PS 212—Introduction to Public Administration 3 credits

      PS 301—American Presidency 3 credits

      PS 302—Congress and Public Policy 3 credits

      PS 401W—Political Behavior 3 credits

      PS 403W—Public Policy 3 credits

      PS 462—Alaska Government and Politics 3 credits
    2. Group B—Public Law

      PS 303—Politics and the Judicial Process 3 credits

      PS/JUST 404—Introduction to Legal Research and Writing 3 credits

      PS 435W—Constitutional Law I: Federalism 3 credits

      PS 436W—Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Liberties 3 credits
    3. Group C—Comparative Politics

      PS 201—Comparative Politics 3 credits

      PS 202—Democracy and Global Society 3 credits

      PS 460W—Government and Politics of Canada 3 credits

      PS 464W—East Asian Governments and Politics 3 credits

      PS/HIST 467W—Political Development in Latin America and the Caribbean 3 credits

      PS 468W—Government and Politics of Russia 3 credits
    4. Group D—International Politics

      PS 321—International Politics 3 credits

      PS 322—International Law and Organization 3 credits

      PS 323—International Political Economy 3 credits

      PS 437—United States Foreign Policy 3 credits
    5. Group E—Political Theory

      PS 314W—Political Ideologies 3 credits

      PS 315—American Political Thought 3 credits

      PS/WMS 340—Women and Politics 3 credits

      PS/PHIL 411W,O—Classical Political Theory 3 credits

      PS/PHIL 412W—Modern Political Theory 3 credits
  5. Minimum credits required 120

* Student must earn a C grade or better in each course.


  1. PS 101—Introduction to American Government and Politics 3 credits
  2. Complete at least 1 course from 4 of the sub-disciplinary groups listed in the requirements for the B.A. degree in political science. 12 credits
  3. Minimum credits required 15

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