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Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Political Science offers three main undergraduate degrees:

  • Associate of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science

Within the framework of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs, students may pursue a major in political science or they may choose an emphasis in pre-law. There is no specified curriculum which pre-law students are expected to follow.

An advisory committee has been created to assist students in developing a curriculum that reflects their individual needs. The program phone number is (208) 282-2211, Stop 8073. You can also contact the political science chair, Dr. Mark McBeth if you have any questions. Please visit the political science section inside the current 2015-2016 undergraduate catalog for more specific information on teachers, classes, and program requirements.

Student Stories

Read the stories of political science students.

Undergraduate Program Objectives

  • To gain a well-rounded knowledge of the basic fields of the discipline.
  • To develop an understanding of how political scientists think, gather evidence, process data, and reach tentative conclusions.
  • To think critically about political phenomena and thought.
  • To develop effective oral and written communication skills.
  • To engage in problem solving, either as an individual researcher or executive or working in teamwork with others.
  • To be exposed to a rich variety of perspectives and ideas.
  • To prepare for a career or profession after graduation that is related to the political science major, which includes graduate school.

Core Curriculum

The courses in political science are grouped into several topics, including American Indian Studies, American Politics, Comparative Government, General Courses, International Politics, Introductory Courses, Political Analysis, Political Theory, Public Administration, and Public Law.

In addition to the general requirements for the B.A. and B.S. degrees, political science majors are required to take courses from the following core curriculum:

POLS 1101Introduction to United States Government

POLS 2202Introduction to Politics

POLS 2221Introduction to International Relations

POLS 3313Introduction to Political Philosophy

POLS 3331Comparative Politics: Framework for Analysis

POLS 4401Political Parties and Interest Groups OR

POLS 4427 Voting and Public Opinion

POLS 4403The Presidency OR

POLS 4404 Legislative Process

POLS 4442Constitutional Law

POLS 4443Constitutional Law

POLS 4460Senior Seminar

In addition to the 27 credits from the core curriculum, majors are required to earn a minimum of 12 elective credits selected from any of the courses in the political science curriculum (excluding POLS 4459 Internship).


Pre-Law Students

Students interested in pursuing the pre-law track and/or attending law school should meet with Tom Eckert. He can be reached at (208) 282-2211

Minor in Political Science

Students seeking a minor in political science must complete the following: POLS 1101, 2202, six credits of core curriculum courses (excluding POLS 4460) and six elective political science credits (excluding POLS 4459).