Jun 02, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Political Science [BA]

Politics and government have a huge influence on people’s lives both at home and at work. They are also immensely complicated, and most people find them confusing and even intimidating. Political science majors develop a deep and sophisticated understanding of political phenomena and governmental dynamics in the U.S. and around the world.


Students will learn about our reasons for having governments, what is at stake in how they are structured and operate, and the individuals and groups who influence and are influenced by them. They will also learn to critically examine normative and empirical claims about the political world and to bring evidence to bear in choosing sides.


Political science students have ample opportunities to conduct original research along with, or under the supervision of, faculty, and it is not unusual for twenty or more to present papers at the Undergraduate Symposium. There are numerous opportunities for internships, through the department’s connections with local governments and nonprofit organizations. The department sponsors three highly successful academic teams: Mock Trial, Model UN, and Moot Court. Because political science is a challenging and rigorous major with widespread applications, graduates are attractive to employers in almost all fields, as well as to law schools and graduate schools.

Department Information

Political Science 601 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.3113 

Barbara Patrick, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information

Please see emich.edu/polisci/advising for advising information.

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or view the General Education Worksheet [PDF] .  

Major Requirements: 33 hours

To fulfill the requirements for a major in political science, students must complete at least 33 hours in the major as specified below and attain at least a C average in the major.

A maximum of three credit hours of independent study or internship/cooperative education courses may be applied to the 33 credit hours required for the major. Students should consult a departmental advisor for guidance about applying these and special topics courses towards the major.

For more information regarding internships, visit the department site here.

Required Core Course: 3 hours

Area of Concentration: 30 hours

Ten courses from the four groups listed below, including at least one course from each group. At a minimum, four courses (12 hrs) must be at the 300-level or above, and include an approved Writing Intensive (GEWI) course. Students are strongly encouraged to take a 100-level or 200-level course in a group before taking a 300-level or 400-level course in that group.

Students may achieve a concentration if they complete at least four courses within a particular group. Students must declare their concentration with the University Advising and Career Development Center.

Minor Requirement:

This major requires a minor. Please see Programs  for a list of available minors or contact your major advisor.

Program Total:

Students must earn a minimum total of 120 credits at the 100-level or above.

Critical Graduation Information

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements (or their equivalents) of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

Minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University

Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult this catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 120 credit hours at the 100-level and above.
    • Courses numbered below 100 are not counted toward this degree requirement.
    • At most, eight credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses are counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below), including completing a Writing Intensive (GEWI) course in the student’s major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details).
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor. A double major automatically satisfies the need for a minor unless one of the two majors requires a specific minor. Students should check the requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required. 
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits over the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used to calculate an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses a student takes at EMU and those applied to their major or minor are used to calculate their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)

General Education Requirements - EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.