Political Science

Students of politics learn to examine and critically analyze political ideas, behavior, culture, institutions, and legal systems, while studying U.S. and foreign political systems, and international relations. They build on the foundational concepts studied in introductory courses and learn to develop strategies for exploring and making political choices about important political questions and issues.

About The Program

Faculty in the political science major utilize interdisciplinary frameworks in teaching political science, including economics, psychology, sociology, history and philosophy. Students graduating with a degree in political science are prepared for careers in government, non-profit organizations, private business, law, and international organizations, as well as preparing for effective citizen participation in the political process. In addition to fulfilling the core requirements, the major allows students to follow an interest track in Pre-Law.

Major: Political Science (BA)
Minor: Political Science

Program Chair: Dr. Sally Shedd
College: Birdsong School of Social Science

Students majoring in political science complete 48 hours in specified course work. Drawing together ideas from economics, psychology, biology, sociology, philosophy, and history, the political science major complements the liberal arts cur ­ riculum. Students can choose to focus on public policy and administration, comparative politics, international relations, American government, pre-law, or can tailor their own unique study experience by selecting some combination of all five areas. Real-life international experiences with internship, study abroad, or simulations supple­ ment classroom study.

Hampton Roads is the headquarters for international organizations, including North American Treaty Organizations Allied Command Transformation (NATO-ACT). Virginia Wesleyan University’s established relationships with such organizations provide a unique opportunity for students to develop knowledge of diplomacy in coordination with such entities. The International Organizations and Diplomacy Certificate focuses on the theory and practice of diplomatic actions, with a special emphasis on diplomacy within international organizations. For more information, please contact the Office of Enrollment Services.

Certificate Requirements: International Organization and Diplomacy

Course Number And Title

Sem. Hrs.

POLS 210: Introduction to International Relations 4
POLS 345: International Law and Organizations 4
Select one of the following:
POLS 347: Model United Nations
POLS 373: Conflict Management
Select one of the following:
POLS 240 Topics in International Organizations and Diplomacy
POLS 250 Introduction to International Political Economy
POLS 344 European Union in World Politics
POLS 348 International Human Rights
POLS 350 Immigration and Citizenship
POLS 353 Globalization and its Discontents
POLS 440 American Foreign Policy
Total 16


Students may elect to complement the classroom experience with an internship opportunity. Internships allow students to gain supervised experience in applying knowledge from the major in real-world settings and in developing professional skills, providing students with the opportunity to expand their intellectual horizons. Internships provide students a "competitive edge" in the job market or when applying for admission in postgraduate degree programs.

Political science majors leave Virginia Wesleyan with excellent critical thinking and communication skills, in addition to a broad understanding of culture and history. The skills that students gain through the political science program prepare them for effective citizen participation in the political process. These skills also enable students to pursue careers in a wide array of areas, including work with governments, non-profit organizations, law, international organizations, and private businesses. In addition, a number of graduates seek postgraduate degrees such as J.D., M.A., Ph.D., M.P.A., and M.B.A. degrees.