Department of Political Science

Political Science Major

Photo of Three Political Science Students having a Discussion

Political Science involves the study of political theory, processes and institutions and the practice of government and politics. Xavier's program is structured to give students a systematic view of the various elements of political science, including American government, comparative government, political theory, and international relations.

Xavier's political science majors, upon graduation, are equipped with knowledge of theory and practice of modern government and politics. In addition to formal course work, students are encouraged to include job experience by participating in an internship in their program. The department supports a number of internship programs, including the State Politics Internship Program, the Washington Center Program, and local internship programs in Cincinnati or most places that students call home. Students also can receive course credit for studying abroad.

Foundational Courses

All Political Science majors complete four foundational courses (12 credit hours) which introduce students to the major subfields in the discipline:

  • POLI 120: Comparative Government and Politics
  • POLI 140: American Government and Politics
  • POLI 277: International Relations
  • POLI 301: Political Theory

Elective Courses

Political Science majors also complete 6 courses (18 credit hours) in political science elective courses. These courses allow students to more closely examine topics and areas of study of particular interest.

  • POLI 224: Middle East Politics
  • POLI 234: Chinese Politics
  • POLI 240: State and Local Politics
  • POLI 246: Media and Politics
  • POLI 275: Politics of War and Peace
  • POLI 280: Irish Political Culture
  • POLI 308: Rousseau's Human and Political Vision
  • POLI 309: Politics of Commerce and Character
  • POLI 316: Globalization
  • POLI 320: Global Islamic Politics
  • POLI 345: Pressure Groups and Congress
  • POLI 347: Supreme Court on Civil Liberties
  • POLI 350: Political Theory and the American Political Regime
  • POLI 359: Campaigns, Elections and Parties
  • POLI 367: Gender and Politics
  • POLI 368: Politics in Dictatorships
  • POLI 372: International Political Economy
  • POLI 374: US Foreign Policy
  • POLI 393: Advanced Political Analysis

Students may also take internship courses for elective credit. Internships allow students to observe politics firsthand, connecting what they see to the theories and concepts learned in the classroom while gaining skills and experience that will help them lead successful careers. Internship courses include:

  • POLI 397: Political Internship
  • POLI 398: Internship: City Government
  • POLI 399: Political Communication Internship
  • POLI 401: Washington Center Internship
  • POLI 402: Washington Center Internship Course

Seminar Courses

All political science students must take one of the department's seminar courses, which are offered in the Fall of each year. Most students take this course in their fourth year of study, though students interested in graduate work should discuss with their advisor to determine whether they should take the seminar in their third year. In seminar courses, students work closely with faculty to create a research design on a subject of their own choosing. Students are encouraged to work with faculty in the spring semester to complete their project. Many students go on to present their papers at an undergraduate research conference and exceptional papers are published in the department's undergraduate research journal, the Xavier Journal of Politics.

Seminar courses include:

  • POLI 390: International Relations Seminar
  • POLI 391: American Politics Seminar

Other requirements

Political Science majors are required to take two semesters of economics coursework (ECON 200 and ECON 201) as well as a statistics course (MATH 116 or 156) plus an additional 3 hours of Math elective.

A 2.000 cumulative average must be attained in the political science courses.

Upon successful completion of the undergraduate program, students receive a Bachelor of Arts in political science.

Four-Year Course Sequence

view an example of a four-year course sequence for a political science major. Note that the major is very flexible, so few students follow this sequence exactly.


If you have questions or need more information, contact Dr. Anas Malik, chair of the political science department at