Department of Political Science, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Political Science is one of the oldest fields of academic inquiry. Social ideals and their realization through law were systematically studied in ancient Greece. In an increasingly interdependent world, the study of politics and government has flourished as the relations between persons, groups and nations have become more complex, and questions of freedom and authority have challenged every citizen. Modern political science is equally concerned with questions of political philosophy and with the pursuit of social scientific research. These concerns are reflected in a broad and diverse curriculum.
The Political Science faculty are committed to the belief that understanding politics and government is essential to a well-educated person, vital to democratic citizenship, indispensable to effective public service, and critical to the maintenance and ethical progress of a free society.
Why Consider a Political Science/Social Studies Major?
The Political Science curriculum prepares students for careers in public service-related occupations in both government and business. Many students majoring in Political Science go on to law school, graduate school and into the professions.
Secondary Education students who wish to be endorsed in Social Studies may choose this major. However, the Political Science/Social Studies degree does not require that a student pursue a teaching certificate.
To receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification, students must complete the “teacher certification” program, including the contents method course SEC 426, which is offered by the Department of Secondary Education as 1) part of the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree, or 2) as a post-baccalaureate program, or 3) as a part of the Master’s in Teaching degree. See the Secondary Education section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements. Completion of this combined major leads to endorsement in social studies.
Teacher - Secondary Education | Attorney | Consumer Advocate | City Manager | Politician | Public Relations Specialist | Journalist | Author | Lobbyist | FBI/CIA Agent | Labor Relations Specialist | Urban Planner
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Students are eligible to declare the political science major and any of the majors combined with political science if they have completed any two of the following core courses: PLSC 250, 261, 271, 291, or the equivalent course(s) at another college or university. Due to high student demand and limited capacity, immediate access to specific courses cannot be guaranteed. Priority is given to seniors and juniors who need courses to graduate. Students who have no transfer credits for political science course work, stop by the political science department office, Arntzen Hall 415, with an unofficial Western Washington University transcript showing the two completed courses from the list above. If you have transfer credits for political science coursework from another institution, also bring an unofficial transcript from that institution showing the political science courses completed.
A grade of C (2.0) or better is required for a student’s major courses, including those required for a state teaching endorsement.