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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 21, 2024
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Political Science, BPHIL

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Political Science Major Requirements

The major requires the completion of 33 credits.

The political science department offers a large number of courses in four substantive fields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. Core courses provide a survey of each field and with the methods employed in the contemporary study of politics. The field courses, at 1000-level, provide students with advanced coursework in each of these areas of specialization. The combination of core and field courses provides students with a comprehensive overview of political science as a discipline while permitting students to concentrate in a particular field or fields.

Political Science BS and BPhil

Outstanding and motivated students seeking an even more challenging academic experience, especially those who are considering graduate school, should consult with an advisor about the option of a BS or BPhil in Political Science. The BS degree requires the departmental minor field to be Methods and Models in Political Science (PS 1702  and PS 1710 ), as well as 12 credits of additional coursework in cognate fields and an original paper of high quality. The BPhil degree, which is offered through the David C. Frederick Honors College (FHC), requires a plan of cognate fieldwork and a thesis approved by the department and FHC. For more information on the BPhil, see

Second Language

None required beyond the requirements of Arts and Sciences. Study of a second language is highly recommended for students with an interest in politics outside of the United States and for all those considering graduate work in comparative politics or a career in government agencies concerned with international affairs.


Not required for majors, but highly recommended for all those interested in graduate education in political science, business, or public policy.

Independent Study

Students who have completed the field course may explore a particular subject in greater depth in a tutorial with the appropriate faculty member. Permission of the instructor is required.

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