Undergraduate programs

The program in political science leading to the B.A. or B.S. degree is designed to meet the needs of the liberal arts major who wishes to learn more about public and international affairs, government, and the demands of citizenship. It is appropriate for professionally motivated students who wish to pursue careers in political science, public administration, international organizations, domestic government, communications, education, or law. It is also appropriate for inquiring students desiring to learn more about the way human beings live together and the structures and institutions they have developed (or might develop) to facilitate social cooperation and conflict management.

The most current information about undergraduate degree programs, internships, and other opportunities is available on the program website (www.pdx.edu/hatfieldschool/undergraduate-program-political-science).

Degree Maps and Learning Outcomes

Admission requirements

Degree requirements

Political Science B.A./B.S.

Political Science Honors Program

Political Science Minor

Law and Legal Studies Minor

Political Science Honors Program

The honors program is designed for our top students who seek out additional intellectual challenges, including research and writing an honors thesis during their senior year. It is distinct from the University Honors Program, but political science majors may be admitted to both programs.

Students apply for admission to the program during the winter or spring quarter of their junior year. To be eligible for the honors program, a student must be a political science major and have earned at least a 3.2 grade point average overall and a 3.5 GPA in their political science coursework. Applicants submit the following information to the Honors Program advisor: PSU and other college transcripts, letters of recommendation from two political science faculty, and a statement of purpose (500 words or less) indicating interest in the program, area of research for the honors thesis, and the faculty member willing to supervise the research.


Political science honors students complete all of the coursework required for the standard major, but honors coursework must include the following:

Required Courses

PS 493Philosophy of the Social Sciences


PS 495Research Methods for Political Science


PS 403Honors Thesis


Thesis credits are awarded in conjunction with thesis research and writing during the senior year, and students submit and defend their honors theses at the end of their senior year. For political science students who are also enrolled in the University Honors Program, the process is designed to satisfy the thesis requirements of both programs.