Political Science Major

In addition to the School of Liberal Arts requirements, you need to take 33 hours of political science courses, with a grade of C or better in each, made up as follows:

Required courses (15 hrs)

  • Y103: Introduction to American Politics (3 hrs) 
  • Y205: Elements of Political Analysis (3 hrs) (to enroll you will need to have taken or placed out of Math 11100 or higher)
  • Y215: Introduction to Political Theory (3 hrs) or Y217: Introduction to Comparative Politics or Y219: Introduction to International Relations (3 hrs) (2 of the three)
  • Y490: Senior Seminar (3 hrs). Pre-requisites: Y205 and senior standing.

Electives (18 hrs)

  • Eighteen credit hours of major electives, at least 15 of which must be at the 300- or 400-level. No more than three hours of POLS-P courses can be used as electives.


In order to provide students with guidance that will both enhance their academic experience and avoid problems meeting requirements, the Department of Political Science has developed the following suggested curriculum for taking Political Science courses if you are a major.

Freshman year

  • Y103: Introduction to American Politics (3 hrs)
  • W131: Elementary Composition I (3 hrs)
  • W270: Elementary Composition II (3 hrs)
  • M118: Finite Mathematics (3hrs)
  • Y205: Elements of Political Analysis, or Y215: Introduction to Political Theory (3 hrs)

Sophomore year

  • Y205: Elements of Political Analysis, or Y215: Introduction to Political Theory (3 hrs)
  • Y217: Introduction to Comparative Politics or Y219: Introduction to International Relations (3 hrs)

Junior year

  • At least 9 credits of upper-division political science courses

Senior year 

  • At least 12 credits of political science courses, including Y490: Senior Seminar (3 hrs)

Note 1 - Y101: Introduction to Political Science is not recommended for majors and if taken limits your choice of electives in the Junior and Senior years

Note 2 - Transfer students frequently find that a number of their previous courses do not meet our departmental requirements. For that reason, it is strongly recommended that you meet with the Lead Advisor, Scott Wallace, in order to avoid conflicts and to avoid missing important courses, which might delay your graduation. The rules about completing the 200-level requirements still apply to you, so if you do not have these courses or their equivalent, you should be sure to take them as early as possible after transferring to IUPUI. Be warned that in political science it is assumed by instructors of 300/400-level courses that you have completed ENG W270 and know how to write a research paper. All 300/400-level courses have a term research paper as a requirement. Further, you must complete 26 credit hours at IUPUI and you must take your senior seminar, POLS Y490, at IUPUI, even if you think you have the equivalent from another university. If you have concerns, please see the lead advisor.

Five-Year BA/MA

You might also want to consider our five-year BA/MA, which would let you double-count selected courses and graduate after five years with both a BA and an MA.