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Political Science: Ideas & Methods Emphasis

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Political Science: Ideas & Methods Emphasis

Bachelor of Arts

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Political science is the study of government, public policy, and the political behavior of individuals and groups. Political science uses humanistic and scientific perspectives to examine relationships among societies and nations in all countries and regions of the world. The major introduces students to concepts in politics, policy issues, and the structure of governments. Students interested in law, civil service, or foreign service should consult a department advisor regarding an appropriate course of study. The Ideas and Methods specialization studies philosophical, normative and empirical approaches to the study of political life with a focus on the problems of democracy, liberty, authority, obligation, and ideology.  Students in this concentration will take courses such as:  POL 203 Political Theory; POL 301 Methods of Political Inquiry; POL 434 Quantitative Analysis; POL 363 Games of Strategy;   POL 323 Modern Political Theory; POL 428 Problems in Contemporary Political Theory; POL 433 Feminist Political Theory; POL 461 Feminist IR Theories; and POL 437 Democracies Emerging and Evolving.

Major Details

College: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Admissions Requirements:

No Additional Requirements

Math Required:


    The M-strand is for students who require mathematical facility at the level of at least MATH 110 (Collegiate Algebra). This strand involves reasonable facility with algebra and algebraic functions, graphs, and simple modeling. Students who choose the M-strand are prepared for further mathematical work. This work may include LING 178 (The Mathematics of Language and Linguistics), MATH 114 (Finite Mathematics), MATH 113 (Elements of Calculus), or a statistics class from outside the Mathematics Department, such as ISTA 116 (Statistical Foundations for the Information Age) or SBS 200 (Statistics for the Social Sciences).
Second Language Required:

4 Semesters

  • Scoring the equivalent of fourth-semester skill level on an entrance or placement examination administered by The University of Arizona.
  • Completion of a two-course sequence beyond the second semester of post-secondary language instruction.
  • Completion with a C or higher of a 300- or 400-level language course at the post-secondary level.
  • Completion of one course beyond the third semester in combination with an AP (Advanced Placement) score, IB (International Baccalaureate) score or a CLEP (College Level Entrance Program) score determined by the individual language department.
  • An AP, IB, or CLEP language score determined by individual language departments.
  • A minimum of one semester study abroad in a language program approved by the appropriate language department as the equivalent of fourth-semester skill level.
4 Semesters
Fees: Yes
Pre-Major: No
Available at:
  • Main Campus

Four-Year Plan

Archived plans are available on Degree Search 2011-2016 for many degree plans. These are sample plans. Please work with your academic advisor for more specific and up-to-date requirements.

Select a year:

UA Course Requirements Units
1st Semester
ENGL 101 First-Year Composition 3
First Semester Second Language 4
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
2nd Semester
ENGL 102 First-Year Composition 3
Second Semester Second Language 4
MATH 109C Applied College Algebra with Data Analysis or 112 College Algebra Concepts and Applications 3
Tier I General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
3rd Semester
Third Semester Second Language 4
POL 200 Introduction to Statistics for the Social Sciences 3
Tier I General Education 3
POL Intro 3
Tier II General Education 3
4th Semester
Fourth Semester Second Language 4
Tier I General Education 3
POL Intro 3
Minor Course 3
Elective 3
5th Semester
POL 203 Political Ideas 3
SGPP 300B Politics, Policy, and Governance: The U.S. and the World (Part B) 3
Tier II General Education 3
ECON 200 Basic Economic Issues 3
Minor Course 3
6th Semester
SGPP 300A Politics, Policy and Governance: The U.S. and the World 3
Ideas Concentration Course 3
Minor Course 3
Minor Course 3
Elective-Upper Division 3
7th Semester
Ideas Concentration Course 3
Ideas Concentration Course 3
Minor Course 3
Ideas Concentration Course 3
Elective-Upper Division 3
8th Semester
Major Elective-Upper Division 3
Major Elective-Upper Division 3
Minor Course 3
Elective-Upper Division 3

AZ Transfer Pathways

This page is designed for in-state transfer students who plan to attend the University of Arizona. The information presented lists the most accurate course equivalencies and may not include all possible requirements. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to use this site for reference only and not for self-advising.

Transfer students should work with their community colleges and UA advisors to develop an individualized plan for transfer, and visit

  • All posted Pathways (except for Bachelor of Applied Science Pathways) fulfill an AGEC and most also fulfill an Associate Degree
  • Following a Pathway does not guarantee admission to the UA nor admission to a college/major/program at the UA
  • Use Pathways in consultation with advisors from your community college and the UA
  • Pathways are subject to change at any time

Which college/university do you attend?

Career Planning

The knowledge of government, public policy, and political behavior, as well as philosophical, normative, and empirical approaches to the study of political life gained from a major in Political Science in the Ideas and Methods concentration provides a strong career foundation.  Graduates in Ideas and Methods might work as analysts, policy advisers, campaign or political staffers, educators, or activists. This major is also excellent preparation for law school or graduate studies in public administration or public health policy. Some of the jobs titles listed below require an advanced degree.

Potential Career Areas

  • Analysis
  • Research
  • Consulting/advising
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Reporting
  • Campaign management
  • Polling
  • Public relations

Sample Employers

  • Politicians
  • Government agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Media outlets
  • Polling agencies
  • Think tanks
  • Research institutes
  • Colleges and universities
  • Schools

Sample Job Titles and National Salary Range

Job Title Salary Range
Policy Analyst $30,000 - $93,000
Legislative Assistant $30,000 - $45,000
Women¿s Rights Activist $32,000 - $75,000
Opposition Researcher $30,000 - $250,000
Political Scientist $48,000 - $69,500
Political Science/Civics Teacher, Secondary $35,000 - $53,200
Congressional Aide $29,891 - $51,815
Political Science Professor $36,000 - $70,500
Campaign Manager /month $6,000 - $7,000
Pollster $30,000 - $50,000
Political Consultant $30,000 - $105,000
Political Correspondent $25,000 - $60,000
Research Analyst $35,000 - $90,000