Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) at the University of the Incarnate Word prepares students for impactful futures in public policy, public administration, law, nonprofit organizations, public sector organizations, international affairs or graduate education. Students find employment in government and non-government public sector organizations, including non-profit organizations or businesses relating to international affairs.


Why Political Science?

Political scientists study the origin, development and operations of political systems. With a degree in political science, students will be well-prepared to understand the forces that guide political processes. Students will learn strong critical thinking and communication skills, which are valuable in many different fields. Employers across sectors value college-educated individuals who can write and speak well, solve problems, learn new information quickly, and work well with others on a team.

Political Science Curriculum

The B.A. in Political Science is a rigorous 121-hour degree program that provides majors with a strong foundation to expand awareness and understanding of political life. The program stimulates scholarship and continuing interest in government, government service and civics. It provides a framework for enriching the exposure of its students and the wider University community to the study of government, politics and issues of public concern.

UIW students learn from distinguished faculty who are knowledgeable in a wide variety of political landscapes, including congressional politics, international politics and U.S. Federalism. Through small class sizes and the exploration of themes such as the effects of globalization and America’s leadership in the world, graduates will be well-equipped for a career or postgraduate degree in political science.

Political Science majors can further tailor their studies by selecting one of two tracks: American Politics or International Relations/Comparative Politics.

Students can choose from three concentrations:

The American Politics track emphasizes a deep understanding of United States politics and government. Through the required 18 hours of courses, students explore the U.S. legal system, constitutional law and the branches of government, and public and foreign policy. Courses on environmental law, human rights, political psychology and behavior, and gender and politics are also offered and provide insight into the intersection of political science and justice.

This track integrates courses from both the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics. Students examine global political structures and climates of European and Asian countries, as well as politics in developing regions. Political Science majors choosing this track round out their 18-hour track requirements with study in human rights, U.S. foreign policy, globalization, and terrorism and conflict.

The Political Science degree program also requires students to minor in an interdisciplinary or other approved program, including the Pre-Law Concentration. The concentration, designed primarily to prepare students for law school and the LSAT exam, is open to students of any major. Emphasizing reading comprehension, analytical writing and oral communication, this interdisciplinary program consists of 28 credit hours from among Political Science, Philosophy, English and Communication programs, as well as a one-hour Law School Preparation Colloquium.

Careers in Political Science

Graduates of UIW’s Political Science program are at work throughout the United States and abroad. They include teachers and educators, administrators, public safety officers, attorneys, law enforcement officers, and non-profit leaders. Others have pursued law school or continued their studies at the master’s or doctoral level. Others still have worked at institutions such as the United Nations or the Democracy Collaborative, non-government organizations (NGOs) and many more. The professional forecast for political science majors looks bright. In the United States today, there is an increased demand for public policy analysis in both government and non-government organizations, which will support employment growth. In fact, between 2019 and 2029, employment of political scientists is projected to increase 6%, faster than the average for all occupations.