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Department of Political Science

  • Students sitting at tables outside in the fall sun


The Department of Political Science at USC develops today’s undergraduates into the leaders and change-makers of the future. Students learn to address the central questions of politics and seek to understand how government and law intersect in all areas of life. 

Two programs aligned with your goals 

We offer bachelor’s degrees in political science and in international studies. Both majors allow you to tailor your focus to areas that will best prepare you for your career path, whether you plan to go into law, American government, environmental studies or global politics.

B.A. in Political Science 

The Bachelor of Arts in political science provides a foundation for you to understand politics, law and the role of government in society. The degree program gives you exposure to many fields of political science, including American politics, comparative politics, public administration and policy, political theory and more.

You can also specialize in specific areas, customizing the degree to your goals, whether to go to law school or to work in government, public service and advocacy, or politics. The intensive major offers advanced students the chance to take additional coursework and conduct original research. Check out the major map for more.

B.A. in International Studies 

The Bachelor of Arts in international studies gives you an interdisciplinary look at fields such as comparative and international politics. Especially for those interested in studying foreign policy, global studies and the environment, or international diplomacy, the program provides a understanding of the central concepts of international relations.

This program also offers many ways to specialize, so that you can pursue your career right out of college. The intensive major offers further distinction, classes and research experience for students who wish to go to graduate school. Visit the major map.

I can think of no better place to pursue a political science degree than in the heart of politics in South Carolina. With key government offices five minutes away, a hands-on opportunity in the political arena is not hard to find. The ability to use my expertise and skills in the real-world political arena has enhanced my educational journey.

– Bakari Jackson, political science major 

Leadership Studies Minor 

In addition to minors corresponding to our degree programs, our department houses the university’s leadership studies minor, an ideal complement for students who wish to develop their public speaking, communication and management abilities.


Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Political Science undergraduate program, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Doug Thompson.

Phone: 803-777-3109

Academic Bulletin

The academic bulletin is the university's official document of record concerning undergraduate-level academic programs and regulations. This is where you can find specific curriculum and required course information.

Undergraduate Bulletin »

This interdisciplinary minor prepares you for the lifelong process of leadership development and action. Through diverse approaches to leadership training, the minor provides students with the knowledge and practical experience to promote positive social change.

Making the program your own 

The Department of Political Science is home to more than 800 undergraduate majors as well as thousands of students who enroll in our courses. To make a large department in the college a bit smaller, students are encouraged to go beyond the classroom

You can take a “Maymester” or study abroad, explore research with faculty mentorship, become a leader by participating in campus organizations, and find an internship to earn valuable experience as well as a paycheck and/or class credit. Undergraduates at various levels also may be eligible for scholarship opportunities.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.