Political Science Major

Chair: Camille Burge, Ph.D.
Office Location: 202 Saint Augustine Center
Telephone: 610-519-4710


Today, no less than in the past, it is essential for citizens in a democracy to be educated about the political system in which they live and to know how that system relates to other governments and international issues.  The study of political science will educate you about timely and important political issues on a national and global scale while helping you develop a set of analytical, reasoning and research skills to last a lifetime. As a political science major, you will learn about American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory; become familiar with the methodology of social science inquiry and learn how to conduct research; build competence in oral and written expression; develop reasoning and analytical skills; become a politically engaged citizen-leader; prepare for any number of politically-oriented careers or for graduate or professional training. As a political science major, you will learn how political leaders operate; governments make decisions; politics shapes public policy; governments respond to internal and international conflicts; people develop political attitudes and preferences; groups attempt to influence government; and governments can best serve their people.

PRIMARY MAJOR (122 credits)

Required Major Courses (33 credits)

In the context of the liberal arts tradition, the Department of Political Science seeks to encourage in its students a commitment to intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, and responsible civic engagement.  The Department is committed to helping students improve their skills of observation, critical reading, rigorous thought, careful evidence-based argumentation, and effective communication, and to develop values of good citizenship.

Program Notes:

  • Foundational courses should be taken immediately upon declaring the major. They serve as prerequisites for many of the upper division courses and the senior seminar.
  • With the exception of internships (up to 3 credits), courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis cannot be used to satisfy requirements for the major.
  • Any senior with a GPA of 3.0 or above may request to take a graduate PSC course.
  • Captsone: A student may substitute PSC 7000 and above for PSC 6900.
Upper-Level PSC Electives for B.A.  +
Sub-Total Credits

Core Curriculum Requirements (38 credits)

Political Science Majors meet the following core requirements in the major and therefore are omitted from the summary below: 

  • Social Sciences (6 cr)
Mathematics or Statistics (1 course)  +
Natural Science (2 courses with laboratory)  +
Literature and Writing Seminar (1 course)  +
History (1 course)   +
Fine Arts (1 course)  +
Upper-Level Theology (1 course)  +
Language Requirement (Proficiency)  +
Diversity Requirement (2 courses)  +
Sub-Total Credits

Free Elective Requirement (51 credits)

Students with a Political Science primary major have fifty-one (51) required free elective credits. 

Degree Credit Summary

  • Major Credits: 33 credits
  • Core Credits: 38 credits
  • Free Electives Credits: 51 credits
  • Total Required Credits: 122 Credits

Note: The above credit totals are based on the minimum number of required credits in each degree area. The minimum number of required credits in each area listed above must be met. Credits taken beyond the required minimum for one area may not be applied to another area. 


Students who declare Political Science as a secondary major must complete the Required Major Courses to achieve this major. Students are able to count any eligible course taken in their primary major, the core curriculum, minors, concentrations, or free electives toward these requirements. 

Total Credits:


The above program requirements are applicable to students entering Fall 2023 and beyond. Please consult the appropriate archived handbook available on the homepage for years prior to these requirements. In order that programs offered by Villanova University reflect current advances and additions to knowledge and upgraded professional requirements, Villanova University reserves the right to change programs and requirements without prior notice. Students generally are bound to the requirements in effect and published online for the year in which their class begins its first year of study. Special requirements may be in effect for students who have left the University and are being readmitted. Students are advised to check with the web catalog or with their college offices regarding changes that may affect them. Additional academic information may be obtained from the various college offices and the web sites listed for the particular policies, programs and services found in this catalog. 




Bachelor of Arts

Curriculum Guide

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