Political Science and International Relations Major

Globalization, liberalization, migration, regionalization, integration, revolution, digitalization, climate change, demographic change, interdependence. We may hear these words and may find it difficult to make sense of them. Still, they affect us. 

In our world of continuous change, we need to understand the forces and actors that affect how we think, how we work, how we live, and how we live with others. The major in Political Science and International Relations prepares and encourages you to recognize, analyze, and evaluate the role of major actors, structures, and processes in our world.

A more developed understanding of the world allows you, the citizen, to choose and advocate better public policies on the local, national, and global levels. It allows you, the person, to approach problems from other viewpoints and develop different solutions that others may not see.

The Political Science and International Relations program seeks to help you achieve the following learning outcomes over the course of your studies:

  • Understand political processes and institutions at the local, national, regional, and global levels; 
  • Appreciate other viewpoints, cultures, and identities; 
  • Consider the ethical implications of political issues, institutions, and processes; 
  • Research political issues and policy problems using appropriate methodologies; 
  • Identify relevant information gathered from reliable sources; 
  • Communicate clearly in a variety of formats; and,
  • Interact with others effectively to organize and complete projects.

The Political Science and International Relations major is traditionally considered excellent training for careers in government and diplomatic service, law, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and businesses that work with the public sector, as well as further education in graduate programs.

Graduates of the Political Science and International Relations program have gone on to complete graduate programs in politics and other fields at prestigious universities such as Harvard University, College of Europe, London School of Economics and Political Science, Princeton University, Oxford University, Stanford University, and University of Pennsylvania. Graduates have gone on to careers in European and North American universities, non-governmental organizations, national ministries, European Union institutions, corporations, and private companies.

Total: 32 credit hours

Required Courses (5 courses):

POS 101 Introduction to Politics
POS 102 Introduction to Global Politics
POS 103 Topics in Contemporary Politics
                or POS 104 Model UN Preparation
POS 201 Comparative Politics
                 or EUR 213 Comparative Politics of Europe
POS 202 Foreign Policy Analysis (WIC)

Elective Courses

Three courses out of the following:

EUR 212 EU Politics
POS 301 Bulgarian Government and Politics
POS 303 Conflict and Conflict Resolution
POS 304 Global Political Economy
POS 305 International Law and Organizations
POS 306 Public Policy Analysis
POS 307 Research Methods (also listed as EUR 307)

Nine credit hours out of the following:

POS 401 Topics in Politics*
POS 481 Internship**

* POS 401 topics may be repeated for credit as long as the precise topic is different. POS majors may substitute one course with a non-POS designator for POS Topics credit toward the major from the following: PHI 304; ECO 310, and any EUR-designated course at the 400 level.
** MLL 301, 302, or 303 may be substituted for POS 481.

Disciplinary Honors in Political Science and International Relations

To fulfill the requirements for a degree with honors in Political Science and International Relations students must have a 3.5 or higher GPA in courses counted toward the major and earn a grade of B+ or above in POS 492 Senior Thesis.

A successfully completed senior thesis substitutes for the Bulgarian state exam, but POS 492 does not count as credit hours earned towards a POS major.

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