Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

BA in Political Science

To graduate with a major in Political Science, students must complete 33 hours of course work (11 courses) in the department or through transfer or advanced placement credit. All majors are required to take any three of the following four courses: PLSC 100, 101, 102, and 103 plus one upper-division (200- or 300-level) course from each of the discipline's four subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory.

Please note that this requirement is being introduced for students who declare their majors after June 30, 2021. All students who declared their major prior to July 1 2021, are subject to the previous requirements: they are required to take all three of the following courses: PLSC 100, 101, and 102 plus one upper-division (200- or 300-level) course from each of the discipline's four subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory. 

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Learning Outcomes and Professional Success

The BA in Political Science is designed to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Provide students with an in-depth understanding of four foundational areas in the discipline of Political Science:
    • American Politics, including U.S. institutions and political processes.
    • Comparative Politics of various regions of the world, such as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
    • International Relations, most notably the impact of globalization on international affairs, and how it relates to U.S. foreign policy.
    • Political Theory, or the study of political philosophy ranging from Ancient to Modern and Contemporary political thought.
  • Provide students more broadly with an in-depth understanding of political institutions and processes in the United States and abroad.
  • Challenge students to think critically about various dilemmas, including achieving justice, in political life.
  • Enhance the ability of students to express their thoughts in writing (all upper division Political Science classes include a significant writing component).
  • Prepare majors for purposeful careers in politics, government, international affairs, law, the non-profit world, journalism, business, education, social services, and other professions.
  • Prepare majors for further graduate or professional study at professional schools and institutions of higher learning, both in the U.S. and abroad.

We as a Political Science department also encourage our students to take advantage of additional learning opportunities through numerous Political Science-sponsored programs that will enhance learning outcomes:

  • Obtain professional experience through our Chicago-based internship program that places students in host offices throughout Chicago during the fall, spring, and summer sessions, including participating in an internship class where you share your experiences with other student interns.
  • Obtain professional experience through our Washington DC-based internship program, in which students spend either the fall or spring semester in Washington DC interning and taking classes full-time at Loyola’s new Washington DC center with Loyola faculty and under the guidance of a Loyola Resident Director.
  • Acquire unique experience through semester-long programs, most notably the department's Model United Nations (spring semester), Mock Trial (spring semester), and Moot Court (fall semester) programs, each of which involves national competitions and a semester-long class.
  • Acquire advanced methodological training, most notably through the Political Science “Political Numbers” class that satisfies the Quantitative Knowledge requirement of the Core Curriculum for Political Science students.
  • Acquire advanced research skills by working on a research project under the mentorship of individual faculty members through Loyola’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (LUROP) and other internal or external grants.
  • Gain international, cross-cultural experience by participating in study abroad opportunities led by Political Science faculty or more broadly offered through Loyola’s Office for International Programs (OIP).
  • Graduate with Honors in Political Science by applying for enrollment in the Political Science Honors Seminar which is offered each spring semester and open to students in their junior and senior years.
  • Strengthen class-based learning by attending Political Science-sponsored events, most notably our endowed Hartigan (fall semester) and Covey (spring semester) lecture series that bring prominent scholars and political figures to Loyola every semester to share their ideas and to meet with students.

For more information, please contact Professor David Doherty (ddoherty@luc.edu), Undergraduate Program Director for the Department of Political Science.