Major & Minors

The Political Science Department offers diverse and flexible programs designed to help students prepare for meaningful careers in government and international public service, law, journalism, teaching and other related areas. In the liberal arts tradition, programs and courses are fashioned to help students develop the skills and background necessary to interpret the political world and understand how politics shapes contemporary life. The department’s goals are to help students improve their capacity to creatively ask and systematically answer questions, and to improve their skills in communicating their knowledge and insights in both written and oral fashion. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors to plan their study and to sample widely from a variety of course offerings. Students must also participate in either community service and/or research activities appropriate to their career goals and interests.

Declaration of Political Science Major or Minor

Students can choose from the general major in political science, major in political science with teacher licensure, or minor in political science. To declare a major in Political Science Department, or for more advising, students should make an appointment with Dr. Cornett (ZH 208A) to discuss their interests and the program. Students must also satisfy the LANG 120 requirement and complete the Declaration of Major or Minor form that must be signed by the department chair to declare a major or minor.

Although it is not required, we also recommend that students complete Political Science 220 or 240, and 261 or 281, and Statistics 185 requirements before declaring.

Course Requirements

Review the course requirements in the UNC Asheville Course Catalog for the political science major and minor.

Gateway courses - Pols 220, 240, 261, 281, and 290

The following political science gateway courses are required of majors:

  1. Pols 220 or Pols 240 and
  2. Pols 261 or Pols 281 and
  3. Pols 290

Pols 220: Principles of American Political Behavior or Pols 240: Political Ideas and Imagination, and Pols 261: Introduction to Comparative Politics or Pols 281: Principles of International Relations, and Pols 290: Political Analysis  -- should be taken early for several reasons. First, they are prerequisites for many of the upper-division courses. More importantly, these introductory courses are designed to prepare students to succeed in upper level courses by introducing them to the foundational concepts, theories, and methods of political science.

Senior Requirements - Pols 490 and Pols 460

All political science majors must complete a senior capstone experience, fulfilled by Pols 490: Senior Research Seminar and Pols 460: Senior Colloquium. These courses are offered every semester but should be taken senior year.

Work closely with your advisor during your junior year to make sure you are on track to graduate according to plan.

Study Abroad

The Political Science department strongly encourages students to study abroad. However, because the senior requirements must be met on campus, students should plan to study abroad during their sophomore or, ideally, junior year. Talk to your advisor about your study abroad plans early and often.