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Political Science Major

Politics are pervasive and important, since all human societies make collective decisions. Consequently, the political science major is an excellent choice for a liberal arts  education, because it helps students study how politics function in various contexts and helps them become informed citizens.

Students interested in preparing for law school, graduate school, or a career in government or international affairs often major in political science. The political science major is excellent preparation for a full range of careers, including work in law, education, public policy, government or public service, and the private sector.

The political science major at the University of Richmond has an unusually distinctive array of choices. In addition to the usual advantages of a small university—close working relationships with faculty and an excellent liberal arts education—students can enroll in a 2-unit internship program at the General Assembly during spring semesters (which puts them on the floor of the Legislature, working directly with delegates); participate in an internship in Washington, D.C., organized by departmental faculty; double major or minor in leadership studies, international studies, or law and liberal arts; and even take courses taught by law school faculty.

The department's knowledgeable and dedicated faculty offer challenging coursework that covers the major subfields of political science (American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, public law, public policy, and research methods) and supervise undergraduate research and internship or study abroad opportunities. Our geographic location—in the City of Richmond, the capital of Virginia and only a short drive from our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.—offers students opportunities beyond the classroom. To learn more about studying political science at the University of Richmond, contact us.

Political Science

The Political Science Major

Note: The grade point average of the coursework in political science comprising the major, must be 2.00 or above with no course grade below C- (1.7).

10 units, including:

  • One unit, chosen from:

    • PLSC-220 Introduction to American Government

    • PLSC-260 Introduction to Public Policy

  • One unit, chosen from:

    • PLSC-240 Introduction to Comparative Politics

    • PLSC-250 Introduction to International Relations

  • PLSC-270 Social Science Inquiry

  • One unit, chosen from:

  • PLSC-400 Senior Seminar

  • Four elective units at the 300 level


The major must include a minimum of six units of University of Richmond political science courses. No more than two units of credit toward the major can be given for courses, including cross-listed courses, offered by other departments or schools at the University.

With Department approval (by the Chair), students may transfer credit for up to three courses that count toward the Political Science major.

Study abroad and internships also are encouraged. Students who have an interest in attending law school should consult with the pre-law advisor; students interested in attending graduate school should consult with the department chair about undergraduate courses that they should consider taking.