Political Science

Programs offered
  • Political Science (major, minor, and tracks)

The Political Science major equips you to become a leader and citizen who can influence politics and public policy informed by Christian faith and tradition. As a Political Science major at SPU, you will wrestle with some of the most fundamental questions underlying faith and the political order.

  • What is the relationship between Christian principles and public policy?
  • How can Christians model both the character and truth of Jesus Christ in the public square?
  • How should we all live in local, national, and global community?

To assist in the exploration of these questions, you will receive broad training in political philosophy, government, law, public policy, geopolitics, international relations, and the political behavior of individuals and groups.You are also provided with peer support and co-curricular activities through the SPU Political Union, a nonpartisan student group.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Political Science (BA)

  • A minimum 53–58 credits are required for this major, including 25 upper-division credits.
  • You will choose between three tracks: General; Public Policy and Law; or International Affairs.
  • You are strongly encouraged to take POL 4940 “Political Internships,” and department faculty will work with you to arrange an Internship appropriate to your career interests.
  • No more than a total of 10 hours of Internship or Independent Study can be applied to meet your requirement, but you may add additional credits above the required hours, if you’d like.
  • You are encouraged to fulfill your Exploratory Curriculum mathematics requirement prior to the spring of your senior year by taking a statistics course such as SOC 2360 “Introduction to Statistics in Social and Behavioral Sciences” or MAT 1300 “Introduction to Statistical Reasoning.”

Additional specialization

If you wish to enhance your degree with additional specialization, applied coursework beyond the required credits and in associated majors or minors can be arranged in consultation with the Political Science advisor.

  • POL “4940 Political Internships” is strongly suggested as an elective in the Political Science: Public Policy and Law Track.
  • At least one year of a foreign language or equivalent is recommended, and more than this is strongly encouraged in the Political Science-International Affairs Track.

Political Science minor


You may formally apply online year-round for the Political Science minor. If you have any general questions about minors in the SBGE, email Dr. Dick Sleight (sl8@spu.edu). 

  • A minimum 30 credits are required, including 15 upper-division credits.
  • Prior to applying, you must complete at least 5 credits in Political Science and have a 2.5 GPA in Political Science courses to date.

Apply to the major or minor 

The Political Science major has rolling admission. The School of Business, Government, and Economics accepts online applications to the Political Science major or minor year-round.

To qualify for admission to the major, you must:

  • Complete at least 5 credits in Political Science coursework at SPU.
  • Have a 2.5 GPA in all Political Science courses.
  • Complete the major requirements in effect at the time you are admitted to the major.
  • Before you can be admitted to the Political Science minor, you need to first be admitted to a major.
  • For the minor in Political Science, you must have a minimum 2.50 GPA in all Political Science courses you have taken.

Future teachers

Certification With Elementary Education Endorsement

If you plan to teach in an elementary school and are interested in teaching Political Science or Geography, you must major in the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in social sciences. Further information can be found on the School of Education website.

Certification With Secondary Education Endorsement

If you plan to obtain secondary Residency Teacher Certification with an endorsement in Political Science, you should pursue a BA in Political Science, and you must also complete requirements for a Secondary Education Endorsement through the School of Education.

SPU students on campus

Political Science

Visit Political Science on the School of Business, Government, and Economics website and see how this degree can help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Political Science

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.

American Studies Program in Washington, D.C. 

You can go on a special study program in Washington, D.C., to enrich your academic experience. For more information about this special study program, contact Dr. Reed Davis (rdavis@spu.edu).

The faith and politics component

The Political Science Department offers several courses that focus on the intersection between faith and public life:

  • POL 2641 “Christianity and American Politics”
  • POL 2642 “Christianity and World Politics”
  • POL 3410 “Moral Foundations of Democracy”
  • POL 4899 “Political Science Capstone Seminar”