Political Science (B.S.)

Political Science (B.S.)
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Make a difference.

Do you care about elections, civil rights, national security, the law, or diplomacy? Would you like to travel the world, meet presidential candidates, and get a degree that prepares you for many different careers? Then political science at Plymouth State is right for you!

In New Hampshire, politics is very personal, and our first-in-the-nation primary makes this an exciting place to simultaneously study and actively participate in politics. It isn’t unusual to see presidential candidates in town or hanging out in our student union. PSU students have unique opportunities to gain practical, résumé building experiences as campaign volunteers or interns with local, state, and federal officials.

Interested in foreign affairs? You can participate in our award-winning Model UN program, which has traveled to over 20 countries including China (Hong Kong), Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Peru, among others. Students have met international leaders such as the president of Taiwan, the King of Spain, and the Pope.

Our graduates forge successful careers in politics, the law, education, nonprofits, diplomacy, criminal justice, the military, and medicine among many others. Already committed to a different major? Politics touches everything; think about how politics affects your major and how you can benefit from a double-major or minor in political science.

Plymouth State has it all: small class sizes where you can be sure your professor knows your name, learning from respected experts, and a front-row seat to national and international politics.

Political scientists inquire how government can best fulfill the diverse needs of humanity as individuals, as well as in various groups. The study of politics deals with the ways in which humanity shares and distributes such fundamental values as security and prosperity and seeks self-determination. In the tradition of the liberal arts, this program prepares students to make sound decisions and creates a foundation for lifetime intellectual and spiritual growth. This includes such specific skills as the collection and evaluation of valid data, the systematic analysis of problems, and the clarification of values.


Academic Operations Manager
Phone: (603) 535-2664
Office: Justice & Security, Mary Lyon Hall Rm 015, MSC 59, Plymouth, NH 03264

Program Coordinator, Political Science
Phone: (603) 535-3068
Office: Tourism, Environment & Sustainable Societies, Rounds Hall Rm 313, MSC 39, Plymouth, NH 03264

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  • Group of students and faculty with airplane
  • The group at the Harvard World Model United Nations in Madrid in 2019
  • Explaining a poster
  • A group of political science majors
  • 5 political science graduates in a row
  • Students at Academic and Model United Nations

PSU Political Science Program in the News

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Political science Professor John Lappie discusses both regional and national politics on WFEA radio. Listen

Curriculum & Requirements

Course Title Credits
Major Requirements
PO 1025American Government4
PO 1025American Government4
PO 1060PO 1060: Politics in Action4
PO 2025Public Administration (DICO)4
PO 3065Political Analysis and Policy (TECO,WRCO)4
American Politics
Complete one course from the following:4
PO 3070
The Presidency and Congress
PO 3125
Political Parties, Elections, and Interest Groups (TECO)
PO 3635
Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties
PO 3655
American Foreign Policy
International Relations/Comparative Politics
Complete one course from the following:4
PO 2050
Comparative Politics and Government
PO 3005
Politics and Conflict in the Middle East (GACO)
PO 3085
Model United Nations (GACO)
PO 3305
Latin American Politics (GACO,WRCO)
PO 3750
War and Conflict
Quantitative Reasoning in the Discipline Connection
MA 2300Statistics I (QRCO)3
or SS 3705 Social Statistics (QRCO)
General Education
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1115Tackling a Wicked Problem4
MAMathematics Foundations3-4
CTDICreative Thought Direction3-4
PPDIPast and Present Direction3-4
SSDISelf and Society Direction3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI) 14-8
INCPIntegrated Capstone3-4
WECOWellness Connection3-4
GACOGlobal Awareness Connection 26-8
PO 3000/4000 level Political Science electives12
Total Credits120

Directions should total 16-17 credits because SSDI is waived for BA Political Science.


The foreign language requirement for all BA degrees calls for 0-8 credits: One Year of language (6-8 credits); or one 3000/4000 level world language course (3 credits); or being a native speaker of a language other than English (zero credit). American Sign Language I and II fulfill this requirement; however, American Sign Language does not satisfy the Global Awareness Connection.

A 2.50 grade point average in PO courses taken for the degree is require. 

Check all course descriptions for prerequisites before planning course schedule. Course sequence is suggested but not required.

To complete the bachelor’s degree in 4 years, you must successfully complete a minimum of 15 credits each semester or have a plan to make up credits over the course of the 4 years.  For example, if you take 14 credits one semester, you need to take 16 credits in another semester.  Credits completed must count toward your program requirements (major, option, minor, certificate, general education or free electives).

Plan of Study Grid
Year OneCredits
EN 1400 Composition 4
IS 1115 Tackling a Wicked Problem 4
MAMathematics Foundations 3-4
PO 1025 American Government 4
PO 1035 World Politics (GACO) 4
PO 1060 PO 1060: Politics in Action 4
CTDICreative Thought Direction 3-4
GACOForeign Language 6
Elective 3-5
Year Two
PO 2025 Public Administration (DICO) 4
PPDIPast and Present Direction 3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry Direction 3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI) 1 4-8
Quantitative Reasoning in the Discipline Connection Course:
MA 2300
or SS 3705
Statistics I (QRCO)
or Social Statistics (QRCO)
WECOWellness Connection 3-4
Electives 6
Year Three
Complete one American Politics Course from the following: 4
PO 3070
The Presidency and Congress
PO 3125
Political Parties, Elections, and Interest Groups (TECO)
PO 3635
Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties
PO 3655
American Foreign Policy
Complete one International Relations/Comparative Politics Course from the following: 4
PO 2050
Comparative Politics and Government
PO 3005
Politics and Conflict in the Middle East (GACO)
PO 3065
Political Analysis and Policy (TECO,WRCO)
PO 3085
Model United Nations (GACO)
PO 3305
Latin American Politics (GACO,WRCO)
PO 3750
War and Conflict
PO 3815
Political Thought
Electives 14
Year Four
PO3000/4000 level Political Science electives (not PODI) 12
INCPIntegrated Capstone 3-4
Electives 14-15
 Total Credits120

  • Communicate effectively and clearly
  • Cultural sensitivity and civic engagement
  • Conduct Research using PO Methodology
  • Understand/apply political philosophies, theories and concepts
  • Understand political institutions, patterns and processes
  • Understand/apply emerging technologies to political science

Government Employee, Campaign Manager/Political Consultant, Intelligence Analyst, Police Officer, Public Relations, Law, Academia, Community Organizing, Diplomatic Service, Law Clerk, Lobbying, Market Research, Program Administration, Teaching

Explore Program Details

Students who would like to be considered for scholarships that identify financial need as a criterion will need to complete the Federal Financial Aid Application before the March 1 deadline. Academic and Non-Academic Departments offering scholarships collaborate with the Student Financial Services Office, therefore, it is imperative that students comply with PSU policy. Please contact the Student Financial Services Office for further assistance. A student must be enrolled as a full-time student at PSU to be eligible to receive scholarship awards listed.

James J. Hogan Memorial Fund
This endowment honors the memory of Professor James J. Hogan and, in his memory, funds scholarships for worthy undergraduate students pursuing study in international affairs. Recipients are selected based on their academic achievement in areas related to international affairs, their intention to pursue further study in the discipline, the degree and quality of their community and civic service, and their contributions to PSU activities. The donor prefers one award. Recipients are chosen by a committee. No application process is required.

Catherine and Kirk Middlekauff Fund
The purpose of this endowment fund is to support awards or stipends for social science students majoring in geography, anthropology, sociology, or political science. Funds may be used by students for travel related to particular social science or interdisciplinary courses. Funds may be applied to the course credit fee or to travel expenses (i.e., accommodations, airfare, food, etc.) for study away from PSU campuses. Please contact Professor Patrick May, MSC 39 for application information. 

Dr. Thomas O. Schlesinger Memorial Scholarship in Political Science
The purpose of the Dr. Thomas O. Schlesinger Memorial Scholarship in Political Science is to provide recognition and financial support for deserving, high-achieving students at Plymouth State University who are seeking a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. The recipient shall be a full-time matriculated returning student who is a declared Political Science major, will be a junior or senior in the year the award is disbursed, and has a minimum 3.0 GPA. 

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