Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Political Science (BA)

The department seeks to instill in its students a variety of skills and levels of knowledge that will serve them regardless of the profession they ultimately choose. Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science take courses in several different subfields, including American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, Public Law, and Public Policy. The department also provides majors with opportunities for internships, for credit, in the legal profession, political campaigns, legislative offices, and public administration.

Please see the web page of the Department of Political Science at www.unlv.edu/politicalscience for information about programs, faculty, and facilities.  Degree worksheets and 4/5 year plan for the major are available at www.unlv.edu/degree/ba-political-science.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Use critical reasoning skills for problem solving.
  2. Write persuasively so as to articulate, support, and defend an argument.
  3. Apply the research process in the social sciences so as to differentiate between normative and empirical perspectives, comprehend the difference between deterministic and probabilistic outcomes, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the major analytical approaches used in applied research (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, formal).
  4. Consume and understand sophisticated information communicated through the media and scholarly writing.
  5. Fulfill the obligations and expectations of citizenship in a democratic society.
  6. Explain how political outcomes are shaped by the of the interplay between preferences and institutions.
  7. Describe the multiple motivations and constraints that underlie and shape political behavior.
  8. Explain how outcomes in the political and social world are affected by the multiple causal factors.
  9. Describe how multiculturalism shapes international political exchanges and outcomes.


Please see advising information at the UNLV College of Liberal Arts Wilson Advising Center at www.unlv.edu/liberalarts/wac.


For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please visit the following webpage:

  • Institution - Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities www.nwccu.org.

University Graduation Requirements

Please see Graduation Policies for complete information.

Political Science (BA) Degree Requirements - Total: 120 Credits

 (See Note 1 below)

General Education Requirements - Subtotal: 35-46 Credits

First-Year Seminar - Credits: 3

English Composition - Credits: 6

Second-Year Seminar - Credits: 3

Constitutions - Credits: 3-6

Mathematics - Credits: 3

Distribution Requirement: Credits 19-20

Please see Distribution Requirements  for more information.

  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 9 Credits
    • Two courses 3 credits each from two different humanities areas - 6 credits
    • One course in fine arts- 3 credits
  • Social Science
    • Automatically satisfied by Major requirements
  • Life and Physical Sciences and Analytical Thinking: 10-11 credits
    • Two courses from life and physical sciences category; at least one must have a lab.
    • Analytical Thinking 3 credit course 

Multicultural and International: Credits: 0-6

Multicultural, one 3 credit course required
International, one 3 credit course required

These courses may overlap with general education and major requirements.  A single course may not meet the multicultural and international requirements simultaneously. For the list of approved multicultural and international courses, go to: www.unlv.edu/provost/multicultural-requirements.

Culminating Experience

Major Requirements - BA in Political Science - Subtotal: 61 Credits

COLA Gen Ed: 18 credits. Must be unique from those satisfied in the general education area.

Social Science - Credits: 9

Fine Arts - Credits: 3

Foreign Languages/Foreign Culture - Credits: 6

General Electives - Credits: 13-24

At least 12 of which must be in upper-division courses.

Total Credits: 120


  1. All political science courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher to be counted towards the degree program in Political Science.
  2. PSC 200  and PSC 302  must be taken to satisfy the Milestone Experience Requirement.
  3. PSC 200  and PSC 302  are Milestone Experience courses for Political Science B.A.
  4. PSC 499  or HON 499   are Culminating Experience courses for Political Science B.A.