The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a Major in Political Science at the University of West Georgia offers a course of study leading to an Undergraduate Degree in Political Science. This is our most popular degree program. For the B.S. degree students take one course in each of the four main areas of Political Science: American Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. Students complete the major with six additional courses in areas of their choosing. Students can select from the four fields above as well as courses in Public Adminstration, policy analysis, data analytics, and law. Students complete their coursework by taking a capstone seminar during their senior year.

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog. A program map, which provides a guide for students to plan their course of study, is available for download in the Courses tab below.

  • Overview
  • Cost
  • Courses
  • Faculty
  • Admissions
  • Dates
  • Objectives
  • Overview

    For the Bachelor of Science degree, the student chooses a career emphasis, such as public or nonprofit organizations, state and local government, international organizations, or foreign service, with statistics and writing as recommended tools. 

    For a minor in Political Science, the student must take fifteen hours of upper division (3000/4000) political science courses in which the student makes a "C" or better.

    For Pre-Law students, the department has developed a set of recommended courses that can fulfill requirements in the core, the major, or serve as electives.

    For information about the courses available for Political Science  in the Fall and Spring, view the Two Year Rotation Tentative Schedule.

    The Senior Seminar (POLS 4984) is a capstone course that offers students a broad overview of the discipline of political science. The specific purpose of this course is to identify and to concentrate on remedying deficiencies in individual student programs of study. Senior seminars are offered in the Spring and Fall semesters.

    Program Location

    Carrollton Campus

    Method of Delivery

    Coursework is available face to face, and 100% online; required orientation can be done on campus or virtually.

    Accreditation

    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 120

  • Cost

    This program may be earned entirely online, entirely face-to-face, or anything in between.

    Save money.

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.

    Details

    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online courses are charged at the general tuition rate plus an eTuition rate BUT with less fees and no extra charges to non-Residents.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Bursar's Office website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

  • Courses

    Downloads

    Major Selects

    • POLS-2601 - Political Science Methods I

      Students are introduced to various qualitative and quantitative methods used in the social sciences. They learn how to find, evaluate and ethically use appropriate information to conduct political science research. They construct research questions and write research papers using case studies, comparative methods and statistics.

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    • POLS-3101 - American Political Institutions

      An analysis of the roles of interest groups and political parties in the American political system with emphasis on their organizations, functions, goals, tactics, and power.

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    • POLS-3102 - Gender and Politics

      This course is an introductory course that examines the role of gender in the field of political science. This course will explore gender oriented approaches to the range of subjects in political science (comparative politics, American politics, political theory, and international relations.)

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    • POLS-3103 - Media and Politics

      Analysis of the role of the mass media in American politics, including the impact of media coverage on public and elite opinions and the interactions between the media and public institutions.

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    • POLS-3201 - Public Policy

      An analysis of diverse public policy issues, as well as the decision process leading to the formulation of government policy. An analysis of societal factors that influence policy, and the effect of government policy on society.

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    • POLS-3401 - Comparative Politics

      Comparative Politics is the study of the political forces, institutions, and practices of countries in order to describe, explain, predict political events.

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    • POLS-3402 - Politics of Western Europe

      This course explores the political systems of Western Europe. It investigates basic issues of political arrangements, political parties, and the challenges faced by each nation. It also explores the rise and expanding powers of the European Union. Topics will include government formation, the role of political parties, and how policy is made, among others. Countries will include Britain, France, and Germany, among others.

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    • POLS-3501 - International Relations

      This is an analysis of the contemporary international system. The course will examine foreign policy decision- decision-making, the use of power, the causes of war, and the role of international law and organizations.

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    • POLS-3601 - Political Science Methods II

      POLS 3601 Political Science Methods II Credits: 3.0 As a sequence of POLS 2601, this course focuses on quantitative research methods for political science. Students are introduced to quantitative data collection methods and basic statistical analyses. Lecture: 3.00 Lab: .00 College: College of Social Sciences Department: Political Science/Planning Pre-requisites: POLS 2601

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    • POLS-4101 - Legislative Process

      A study of the role, functions, and organization of the U.S. Congress and state legislatures with special attention to the Georgia General Assembly. Theories of representation and legislative voting patterns are examined, and comparisons between the American political process and that of parliamentary systems made.

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    • POLS-4102 - The Presidency

      This course focuses not only upon the institutional and legal frameworks set out in the constitution regarding the Presidency, but also upon the historical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological aspects of the office. The American system of checks and balances is compared to that of parliamentary democracies.

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    • POLS-4103 - Public Opinion

      This course examines the nature and development of public opinion in America and the interaction between public opinion and government. The influence of public opinion on government institutions and public policy formation in America and the impact of government upon citizens' attitudes and opinions are explored.

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    • POLS-4186 - Internship in Government

      Students may receive academic credit for personal experience in the political process and/or public employment. Credit hours only apply toward electives.

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    • POLS-4200 - Principles of Public Administration

      An introductory examination of the characteristics of the public organization and its impact on society. Analysis of the theories of public administration, personnel issues, budgetary activities, legal dynamics, as well as historical development of the field are included.

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    • POLS-4202 - Interorganizational Behavior

      An examination of the interactions between various levels of government, nonprofit and private organizations in the federal system.

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    • POLS-4204 - Public Finance

      A study of the equity and economic effects of government spending programs, taxes, and debt. The course is primarily applied microeconomics. Same as ECON 4440.

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    • POLS-4207 - Technology Policy

      Technology Policy will emphasize the development of national and state energy, manufacturing, information, and medical technology policies and how they structure society, business, and, in turn, government. Interactive exercises foster student understanding of the issues, groups involved and the dynamics of change.

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    • POLS-4208 - Health Policy

      This course examines the health policy process at the national, state, and local levels, with a detailed look at the steps in the process, groups involved, and resultant policies. Through group exercises, each student will experience the policy process, gain an understanding of the dynamics of change, and develop the ability to form coherent policies.

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    • POLS-4209 - Environmental Policy

      Environmental Policy will emphasize the national and state policy making process, focusing on the dynamics of pluralist change, policy implementation and current environmental status.

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    • POLS-4210 - Public Management

      Various changes in the management of public organizations are identified and analyzed. Includes the role of technology, modification of the relationship between public and private spheres, and current trends in the management of change and supervision of a diverse work force.

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    • POLS-4211 - State and Local Politics and Administration

      An in-depth study of the political process and administrative procedures used in American state and local governments to address social, economic and political issues. Comparative analysis of relevant actors and strategies across the states is incorporated.

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    • POLS-4212 - State and Local Government Finance

      Exploration of rationale for public revenues and expenditures, with emphasis on practical application and current state and local finance issues.

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    • POLS-4213 - Comparative Public Administration and Policy

      This course is an introduction to Comparative Public Administration and Policy. Focusing primarily on democratic states, it explores recent innovation in public administration and policy evolution and transformation within the context of the modern welfare state. It examines the institutions and political setting in several countries, which will include both advanced industrial countries and developing nations, and addresses policy areas ranging from social welfare to environmental politics.

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    • POLS-4214 - Urban Politics

      This course examines the major areas of scholarly inquiry in urban politics. The course begins with an overview of theoretical foundations and systems model of urban politics. Contemporary approaches to studying urban politics from a political economy or regime perspective are given special attention. The remainder of the course is divided into two major areas of inquiry: (1) urban political institutions and (2) political behavior and political processes in urban settings.

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    • POLS-4215 - Management of Non-Profit Organizations

      This course is designed to explore the theoretical principles and practical applications of management for charities and/or nonprofit organizations. The underlying thesis of this course is that by understanding fundamental principles such as developing effective mission and objectives statements, fundraising, marketing and accounting strategies, nonprofits can become more effective and responsive to their constituency's needs. The course will include a field research component.

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    • POLS-4301 - Constitutional Law I

      Study of the constitutional divisions of power among the branches of the national government and between the national and state governments.

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    • POLS-4401 - African Politics

      Designed to be an introductory course, this course examines, in historical perspective, the current politics systems, movements and cultures of sub-Sahara Africa. The course will also examine the African diaspora to the U.S. and its impact on the American political system.

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    • POLS-4402 - Russian Politics

      This is an examination of the domestic politics and foreign policy of the Russian Federation. The course analyzes the institutions of the Russian government as well as the influence of ideological, political, social, economic and international factors in the decision-making process.

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    • POLS-4403 - Latin American Politics

      This is an examination of the government and politics of Latin America. The course analyzes political culture and socialization, party and interest group activity, government structures and public policy formation, issues of political and economic development.

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    • POLS-4405 - Politics in the European Union

      This course is an introduction to the history, political institutions, and policy of the European Union. In the past half-century, the EU has grown from a set of weak and poorly defined institutions with a limited policy domain and an emphasis on national sovereignty into an extensive political system with increasingly strong supranational actors influencing all aspects of political and economic life.

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    • POLS-4406 - British Politics

      This course analyzes the politics of the United Kingdom, investigating the Norman roots of British politics. It focuses on the evolution and functioning of the current political system and the institutional structure of Britain. We discuss who has the power and how it is used. The course also addresses the interplay between a unitary state structure and regionalism in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England as well as cultural and political identity in those regions.

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    • POLS-4407 - European Environmental Policy

      This course is a survey of the critical issues that define the relationship between environmental quality and the course of European integration. These include the historical origins of environmental policy, the difficulties of implementing changing regulations, the role of EU governance in policy implementation, and the future prospects for the EU's success in environmental regulation (with an occasional glance at environmental policy in the United States).

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    • POLS-4408 - EU Science & Technology Policy

      This class will examine Science and Technology Policy, with particular attention to the European Union and (for comparison) the United States. The course begins with an overview of technological innovation, and of the current state of science and policymaking in the EU and the US. The class then examines how governments can encourage scientific and technological innovation, and concludes by asking whether government and society can (or should) try to limit or control technological innovation.

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    • POLS-4409 - Democracy and Democratization

      This course analyzes the concept of democracy and the process of democratization around the world. First, we will discuss the range of definitions of democracy, and some of the difficulties associated with the concept and its measure Second, we will examine how key regime characteristics lead to different modes of democratic transitions, and we will identify the key determinants of democratic consolidation. Finally we will study the process of democratic erosion and breakdown through the experiences of Germany, Chile, Russia, and other cases around the world. At the end of the central problems that plague transition and consolidation processes, and synthesize the key findings and conclusions about democratization.

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    • POLS-4411 - Federalism and Multilevel Governance in the EU

      Students taking this course will learn about the different types of federalism in a comparative (US-Europe) context. In examining the relationship between various levels of government in the EU, the multi-level character of the Union will emerge. The complex relationship between levels of government will be examined.

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    • POLS-4412 - Democracy & the EU

      This course analyzes the concepts of democracy and the process of democratization around the world. First, we will discuss the range of definitions of democracy, and some of the difficulties associated with the concept and it measures. Second, we will examine how key regime characteristics lead to different modes of democratic transitions, and we will identify the key determinants of democratic consolidation. Finally, we study the process of democratic erosion and breakdown.

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    • POLS-4413 - Social Policy in Europe

      This course examines the history of social policy in the European Union, and the course focuses on the current social policy arrangements in Europe and in the European Union. We will examine gender policy, education, child care, elder care, and other policies in the context of improving social conditions in the domestic policy arena.

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    • POLS-4414 - History of European Integration

      This course examines the different integrational pushes in Europe, including the EU. We will compare various regional organizations and examine the reasons that the EU has survived, grown, and prospered when several other alternatives did not.

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    • POLS-4462 - American Politics since 1933

      A study of the history of American politics from the New Deal to the present, with emphasis on the history of the presidency, electoral changes, political ideologies, political parties, and national political trends.

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    • POLS-4501 - International Law

      This is an introductory course designed to familiarize students with the body of international law, its applicability, and the existing organs or arbitration and adjudication. The course examines the role of international courts, laws of war and peace, human rights law, migration law and the role of the individual in international law.

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    • POLS-4502 - Gender and Ethnicity in International Politics

      The course introduces students to the interconnectedness of gender roles and ethnic classifications with international relations. Thus, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of colonialization, war and peace, revolutionary theory, social movements, development, and human interaction with environment.

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    • POLS-4503 - International Organizations

      This is an analysis of international organizations with an emphasis on the United Nations. The course examines the role of the UN in peacekeeping, collective security, economic development, and human rights.

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    • POLS-4504 - International Political Econmy

      This course analyzes the politics of international economic relations, investigating the roots and evolution of the international political economy since World War II, and focusing on the rise and implications of global economic governance and globalization. The course will address the interplay between politics and economics in a range of different issue areas, including the international financial system, international trade, and attempts at regional economic integration.

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    • POLS-4505 - American Foreign Policy

      This course is designed as an upper division reading course in American foreign policy. This course will discuss the foreign policy process, a brief history of American foreign policy and its traditions, the inputs and outputs that make up foreign policy and a variety of approaches to understanding foreign policy. The goal of the course is to provide students with the theoretical and analytical tools needed to be intelligent consumers of foreign policy. The course will incorporate current events in American foreign policy as a means of demonstrating the academic concepts of the course in practice.

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    • POLS-4506 - International Conflict and Conflict Management

      This course is about violent conflict in the international system. The course will focus on the sources of conflict in international relations and the factors that contribute to conflicts of interest escalating to violent conflict. This course will examine the types of violence in the international system (interstate war, internationalized civil war, state failure, and violence by non-state violent actors) and the steps that have been taken to reduce and eliminate armed conflict (traditional alliances, collective security, arms reduction, non-proliferation efforts, and international law). In addition, this course will explore the changing nature of violence in the international system in areas such as the privatization of military force and the increasing role of non-state violent actors in international politics.

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    • POLS-4507 - US-EU Relations

      This course examines political institutions in the European Union and the United States and how the factors of culture, ideology, history, structure, and political leadership shape action in key policy arenas. The course is focused on the history of the relationship between the EU and the US and on current issues in the transatlantic relationship.

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    • POLS-4508 - European Economic and Monetary Union

      This course addresses the core policies of the enlarged European Union, focusing on those relating to money and monetary decision making. It analyzes the evolution of the major policy areas and institutions, as well as the evolution of the European Monetary System as a whole. It examines the emergence of the Euro and focuses on recent economic trends and problems in the Euro-zone.

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    • POLS-4509 - EU Law & Legal Systems

      This course focuses on the legal institutions that constitute the European Union and the legal processes of those institutions. The course examines the body of law, both static and dynamic, on which these institutions rest and that have been produced by the institutions themselves. This law includes the several treaties that provide the legal basis of the EU; the body of statutory law enacted by the Parliament, the Council, and the Commission; and the judicial decisions adjudicated by the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance; and finally, the administrative rulings issued by the European Ombudsman.

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    • POLS-4510 - Foreign Policy & the EU

      The course explores regionalism in international relations with a focus on how its growing complexity reflects the variations in regional political, social, and cultural contexts. The early part of the course focuses on theories of regional integration. The remainder of the course will examine these three regions of the world in light of these theories. We will explore differences in institutional design, goals, and scale across these regions and how these differences reflect the particular context of these regions. We will focus on three intergovernmental institutions: The European Union, The North American Free Trade Agreement, and the African Union (formerly the Organization of African Unity). Special attention shall be given to the role of the EU as an exemplar of regional integration and its influence in the evolution and design of the other two organizations.

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    • POLS-4601 - Ancient and Medieval Political Thought

      A critical reading of selected works by major ancient and medieval western political thinkers, e.g., Sophocles, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Machievelli.

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    • POLS-4602 - Modern Political Thought

      A critical reading of the major works which form the basis for political thinking in modern times. Authors include such thinkers as Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx, Hegel, and Nietzsche, exploring issues like freedom, family, community, order, and the modern state.

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    • POLS-4603 - American Political Thought

      A critical reading of selected essays, speeches, debates, and literary works from America's great and unique political tradition. The course will focus on various major themes, for instance, commerce, freedom, justice, race, democracy, representation, community, or family life.

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    • POLS-4705 - Computers in Politics, Planning, and Management

      This course will acquaint students with computer-based methods that are used in the fields of political science, planning and public administration.

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    • POLS-4984 - Senior Seminar

      The Senior Seminar is a capstone course that offers students a broad overview of the disciple of political science. The specific purpose of this course is to identify and to concentrate on remedying deficiencies in individual student programs of study. Required of all Political Science majors.

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    • POLS-4985 - Problems in Politics

      Specialized areas of analysis in a subfield of political science with the specific titles announced in the class schedule and entered on the students' transcripts. Students may repeat the course for credit as topics change.

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  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    Each UWG online degree program has specific requirements that you must meet in order to enroll.

    Program Specific Admittance Guidelines

    Students must have cumulative GPA (including all transfer credit) of 2.0 at the time of the request to declare the major.

    Admission Process Checklist

    1. Review Admission Requirements for the different programs and guides for specific populations (non-traditional, transfer, transient, home school, joint enrollment students, etc).
    2. Review important deadlines:
      • Fall semester: June 1 (undergrads)
      • Spring semester: November 15 (undergrads)
      • Summer semester: May 15 (undergrads)
        See program specific calendars here
    3. Complete online application
      Undergraduate Admissions Guide

      Undergraduate Application

      Undergraduate International Application

    4. Submit $40 non-refundable application fee
    5. Submit official documents

      Request all official transcripts and test scores be sent directly to UWG from all colleges or universities attended. If a transcript is mailed to you, it cannot be treated as official if it has been opened. Save time by requesting transcripts be sent electronically.

      Undergraduate & Graduate Applicants should send all official transcripts to:
      Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Murphy Building
      University of West Georgia
      1601 Maple Street
      Carrollton, GA 30118-4160
    6. Submit a Certificate of Immunization, if required. If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.
    7. Check the status of your application

    Contact

    Dr. J. Salvador Peralta, Chair
    jperalta@westga.edu

  • Dates

    Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate only), Financial Aid, Fee Payments, Registration, Start/End of term, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.

  • Objectives
    • Students will demonstrate that they have developed an understanding of the constitutional, institutional, political and legal processes of the U.S. and Georgia.
    • Students will demonstrate that they have developed an understanding of the interrelationship between American governmental institutions.
    • Students will demonstrate that they have developed an understanding of the basic terminology of political science and U.S. politics.