Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Program Requirements

Contents

The requirements discussed herein follow NIU's 2013-2014 Catalog. Please note that students should know which catalog year their degree progress report refers to (usually the year the student entered the University) as this determines which courses they may need to take. (Any student whose catalog year is prior to 2004 must go to Registration and Records (815-753-0681) to change their catalog).

Course Requirements within the Political Science Department:

  • Hours: Each emphasis in Political Science has a 36 credit hour minimum. Of these 36 hours, no more than 15 credit hours may be in 100/200 level courses. Students are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average in order to graduate. Please note, students may not count more than 50 hours of POLS courses toward the 120 credit hour graduation requirement.
  • BA Requirement: All POLS majors who intend to complete their Bachelor of Arts must take a language to fulfill this requirement. Previous language background may reduce or eliminate this requirement. Please see the following link for further details on completing the BA degree.
  • BS Requirement: All POLS majors who intend to complete their Bachelor of Science requirement must take POLS 340, Political Analysis, in order to graduate. This course will be counted towards the POLS elective section. Please see the following link for further details on completing the BS degree.
  • Field Requirement: All POLS majors must complete at least one course in 5 of the seven fields offered in the department. The numbers in parentheses correspond to the last two digits in all course offerings. For example, POLS 285 is an international relations course (80-89), but POLS 260 is a comparative politics course (60-79). The fields are as follows:
    • American Government (00-09)
    • Public Law (10-19)
    • Public Policy/Public Administration (20-39)
    • Empirical Theory (40-49)
    • Political Theory (50-59)
    • Comparative Politics (60-79)
    • International Relations (80-89)

Emphasis 1: Politics:

  • One of the following
    • POLS 100: American Government and Politics
    • POLS 150: Democracy in America
  • Two of the following
    • POLS 210: Introduction to Law and Courts
    • POLS 220: Introduction to Public Policy
    • POLS 251: Introduction to Political Philosophy
    • POLS 260: Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • POLS 285: Introduction to International Relations
  • Political Science Electives (27 credit hours-9 courses)

Emphasis 2: Public Law:

  • One of the following
    • POLS 100: American Government and Politics
    • POLS 150: Democracy in America
  • Two of the following
    • POLS 210: Introduction to Law and Courts
    • POLS 220: Introduction to Public Policy
    • POLS 251: Introduction to Political Philosophy
    • POLS 260: Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • POLS 285: Introduction to International Relations
  • Two of the following:
    • POLS 410: Constitutional Law I
    • POLS 411: Constitutional Law II
    • POLS 412: Constitutional Law III
  • One of the following:
    • POLS 310: The U.S. Supreme Court
    • POLS 312: Law and Film
    • POLS 314: Law, Politics, and Baseball
    • POLS 317: Judicial Politics
    • POLS 323: Biomedicine and the Law
    • POLS 324: Environmental Law and Policy
    • POLS 354: Natural Right and Law
    • POLS 358: Religion and he Constitution
    • POLS 389: International Law and Organization
    • POLS 414: Topic in Law and Social Problems
      • May be repeated up to 6 semester hours
    • POLS 415: Criminal Law
    • POLS 418: Jurisprudence
    • POLS 419: Mock Trial
    • POLS 495: Seminar in Current Problems
      • May be counted toward the emphasis when the topic is appropriate
  • One additional course from either of the two preceding lists
  • Political Science Electives (15 credit hours-5 courses)

Emphasis 3: Public Administration and Service:

*Students completing the B.S. degree in this emphasis must also complete POLS 220, in addition to POLS 340, in order to graduate

  • POLS 100: American Government and Politics
  • POLS 331 or PSPA 331X: Public Administration
  • Two of the following:
    • POLS 150: Democracy in America
    • POLS 210: Introduction to Law and Courts
    • POLS 220: Introduction of Public Policy
    • POLS 251: Introduction to Political Philosophy
    • POLS 260: Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • POLS 285: Introduction to International Relations
  • One of the following:
    • POLS 322: Politics and the Life Sciences
    • POLS 323: Biomedicine and the Law
    • POLS 324: Environmental Law and Policy
    • POLS 356: American Political Thought I
    • POLS 382: U.S. Foreign Policy Making
    • POLS 383: Changing World Political Economy
    • POLS 389:International Law and Organization
  • Two of the following:
    • POLS 302 or PSPA 302X: Government in Metropolitan Areas
    • POLS 303 or PSPA 303X: State and Local Government
    • POLS 308: The American Chief Executive
    • POLS 326 or PSPA 326X: Nonprofit Management
    • POLS 327 or PSPA 327X: Electronic Governance
    • POLS 330or PSPA 330X: Bureaucracy and the Public Policy Process
  • Electives in Political Science (15 credit hours-5 courses)

Emphasis 4: International Politics

  • One of the following
    • POLS 100: American Government and Politics
    • POLS 150: Democracy in America
  • Two of the following
    • POLS 210: Introduction to Law and Courts
    • POLS 220: Introduction to Public Policy
    • POLS 251: Introduction to Political Philosophy
    • POLS 260: Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • POLS 285: Introduction to International Relations
  • Two of the following:
    • POLS 359: War, Empire, and Ethics
    • POLS 362: Politics of Developing Areas
    • POLS 380: American Foreign Policy
    • POLS 381: The U.S. and Latin America
    • POLS 382: U.S. Foreign Policy Making
    • POLS 383: Changing World Political Economy
    • POLS 384: Contemporary Foreign Policy
    • POLS 386: Global Terrorism
    • POLS 388: National Security Policy
    • POLS 390: International Law and Organization
  • Two of the following:
    • POLS 360: Government and Politics in Western Europe
    • POLS 361: British Government and Politics
    • POLS 363: Dictatorships and Democracies
    • POLS 365: Government and Politics in Eastern Europe
    • POLS 366: Politics of Russia and Eurasia
    • POLS 368: Governmental Systems in Africa
    • POLS 371: Politics of Southeast Asia
    • POLS 372: Politics of China, Japan, and Korea
    • POLS 373: Women and Politics
    • POLS 375: Middle East Politics
    • POLS 376: Political Violence
    • POLS 377: Revolt, Revolution, and Genocide
    • POLS 378: Political Islam
  • One additional course from either of the two preceding lists
  • Political Science Electives (12 credit hours-4 courses)

 Emphasis 5: Justice and Democracy: The American Experiment

*Students completing the B.S. degree in this emphasis must also complete POLS 340, in order to graduate

  • Two of the following
    • POLS 100: American Government and Politics
      • or POLS 150: Democracy in America
    • POLS 210: Introduction to Law and Courts
    • POLS 251: Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • Three courses in at least two of the following three Categories
    • American Political Thought Courses
      • POLS 355: African-American Political Thought
      • POLS 356: American Political Thought I
      • POLS 357: American Political Thought II
      • POLS 358: Religion and the Constitution
    • Political Behavior Courses
      • POLS 304: American Public Opinion
      • POLS 305: Political Parties and Elections
      • POLS 309 American Electoral Democracy
    • American Instituion Courses
      • POLS 307: The U.S. Congress
      • POLS 308: The American Presidency
      • POLS 310: The U.S. Supreme Court
      • POLS 317: Judicial Politics
  • One of the following:
    • POLS 410: Constitutional Law I
    • POLS 411: Constitutional Law II
    • POLS 412: Constitutional Law III
    • POLS 415: Criminal Law
    • POLS 418: Jurisprudence
  • One of the following:
    • POLS 351: Liberalistm and Its Critics
    • POLS 353: Democratic Theory
    • POLS 354: Natural Right and Law
    • POLS 365: Government and Politics in Eastern Europe
    • POLS 366: Politics of Russia and Eurasia
    • POLS 368: Governmental Systems in Africa
    • POLS 371: Politics of Southeast Asia
    • POLS 372: Politics of China, Japan, and Korea
    • POLS 373: Women and Politics
    • POLS 375: Middle East Politics
    • POLS 376: Political Violence
    • POLS 377: Revolt, Revolution, and Genocide
    • POLS 378: Political Islam
  • POLS 494: Senior Seminar in Political Science

Suggested Course Plan by Semester

*Please note that these are suggestions and that each student must customize his or her plan based on needs.

Student entering in as freshman: (4-year Sequence)

Suggested 2- to 4-Year Sequence for a Student Majoring in Political Science
Year 1 Fall Credits Spring Credits Total Credits
Engl 103 3 Engl 104 3
BA/BS Requirement 3 BA/BS Requirement 3
POLS 100 or 150 3 POLS 220/251/260/285 3
Humanities Gen Ed 3 Humanities Gen Ed 3
Science Gen-Ed 3 or 4 Science Gen Ed 3 or 4
Total 15-16 15-16 30-32
Year 2 Fall Credits Spring Credits
COMS 100 3 Math Core Comp. Requirement 3
BA/BS Requirement 3 BA/BS Requirement 3
POLS 220/251/260/285 3 POLS 200/300 level elective 3
Humanities Gen Ed 3 Social Science Gen Ed 3
Social Science Gen Ed 3 Interdisciplinary Gen Ed 3
Total 15-16 15-16 60-64
Years 3 and 4:
Suggested Sequence for a Political Science Major/Example: Emphasis Public Law
Year 3 Fall Credits Spring Credits
Gen Ed/Elective 3 Gen Ed/Elective 3
POLS 410/411/412 3 POLS 410/411/412 3
POLS 317-495* 3 Additional POLS Public Law course** 3
POLS Elective 3 POLS 340 (if BS) OR POLS Elective (for BA) 3
Course for Minor 3 Course for Minor 3
Total 15 15 90-94
Year 4 Fall Credits Spring Credits
POLS Elective 3 POLS Elective 3
Course for Minor 3 Course for Minor 3
Course for Minor 3 Course for Minor 3
Additional course (as needed) 3 Additional course (as needed) 3
Additional course (as needed) 3 Additional course (as needed) 3
Total 15 15 120-124

 

Suggested 2 + 2 program for students entering in as juniors
(a guide for community college students)

Suggested Semester Plans at Community Colleges
Year 1 Fall Credits Spring Credits Total Credits
Engl 103 3 Engl 104 3
For Lang/Math 3 For Lang/Math 3
POLS 100 or 150 3 POLS 220/251/260/285 3
Humanities Gen Ed 3 Humanities Gen Ed 3
Science Gen-Ed 3 or 4 Science Gen Ed 3 or 4
Total 15-16 15-16 30-32
Year 2 Fall Credits Spring Credits
COMS 100 3 Math Core Comp. Requirement 3
For Lang/Math 3 For Lang/Math 3
POLS 220/251/260/285 3 POLS 200/300 level elective 3
Humanities Gen Ed 3 Social Science Gen Ed 3
Social Science Gen Ed 3 Interdisciplinary Gen Ed 3
Total 15-16 15-16 60-64
Years 3 and 4:
Suggested Sequence for a Political Science Major at NIU/Example: Emphasis Public Law
Year 3 Fall Credits Spring Credits
Gen Ed/Elective 3 Gen Ed/Elective 3
POLS 410/411/412 3 POLS 410/411/412 3
POLS 317-495* 3 Additional POLS Public Law course** 3
POLS Elective 3 POLS 340 (if BS) OR POLS Elective (for BA) 3
Course for Minor 3 Course for Minor 3
Total 15 15 90-94
Year 4 Fall Credits Spring Credits
POLS Elective 3 POLS Elective 3
Course for Minor 3 Course for Minor 3
Course for Minor 3 Course for Minor 3
Additional course (as needed) 3 Additional course (as needed) 3
Additional course (as needed) 3 Additional course (as needed) 3
Total 15 15 120-124