Program Overview

A minor in political science is particularly appropriate for students in professional programs such as psychology, law enforcement, criminal justice, human services, social work and international business. Such a minor is also an excellent complement for liberal arts students who are majoring in history, gender studies, professional communication, ethnic studies or philosophy.

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Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

Social studies majors may NOT minor in anthropology, political science, or sociology.

At least half of the credits required for the minor must be completed at Metropolitan State University. Students must earn a grade of C- or above in all minor courses.

Transfer courses may be applicable to minor requirements. The university's degree audit will specify transfer courses that are directly equivalent to minor requirements; other transfer courses must be approved by the chair of the Social Science Department. Only one lower division course (100 or 200 level) will be accepted for the minor.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Political Science Lower Division Elective (3-4 credits)

Any 100 or 200 level course in Political Science or POL 101 as noted below:

  • POL 101 Introduction to American Government and Politics
    4 credits

    This course introduces students to the structure of American government, the core ideas and values that underlie it, and approaches to effective civic engagement. Through reading, class exercises, and case studies students gain an understanding of how American political institutions function and how to engage in meaningful political action.

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Requirements ( 19-20 total credits)

Political Science Survey (4 credits, select one)

  • POL 301 Citizenship in a Global Context
    4 credits

    This course investigates the theory and practice of citizenship in local communities, the United States and the world. Students draw on core concepts from political science to explore contrasting ideas about citizenship and the political, economic and cultural dimensions of critical issues facing the global community. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experiences and investigation.

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  • POL 321 World Politics
    4 credits

    This course examines critical global issues and the organizations and institutions that are attempting to address them. Drawing on concepts from political science and international relations, students explore such issues as human rights, the global environment, violence within and between nations, and the gap between "have" and "have not" nations. The course investigates the response of the United States to these issues as well as the effectiveness of formal international organizations like the United Nations and emerging transnational citizen organization. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experience and investigation.

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Political Science Electives (12 credits)

Select 300-level courses in political science.
Students may also take the following courses as upper-division electives for the political science minor:

  • SSCI 300 Seeing Like a Social Scientist
    4 credits

    Most of us are only dimly aware of how politics, culture, and society influence, and often coerce, our daily lives. The calling of a social scientist is to help us make these invisible social structures visible. In this course, students develop the skills and tools to discover, analyze, and interpret these obscure social processes. Ideally, this knowledge will have a liberating effect on their individual lives. Students will also perceive how their civic and ethical participation can change politics, culture, and society, as well as themselves.

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  • SSCI 311 Research Methods in Social Science
    4 credits

    This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of social science research. Students learn and implement a variety of research methods, and critically reflect on the relationship of these methods to philosophical traditions within social science. The courses examines two approaches to social science research, quantitative and qualitative, and the unique contribution of each approach for understanding social life. Experiential activities enhance classroom learning.

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  • SSCI 401 Social Science Seminar: Contending Perspectives
    4 credits

    This course provides students with the opportunity to understand, integrate, and apply the core themes and contending perspectives that underline the social studies disciplines. Through guided readings, research and discussion, seminar participants further develop the capacity to analyze selected issues through multiple lenses. Students apply these multiple perspectives to teaching middle and secondary social studies.

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  • SSCI 501 Great Ideas: Classics of Social Science
    4 credits

    The social sciences have been shaping views of the human condition for more than 150 years. This seminar explores those ideas that continue to engage and perplex thoughtful observers of social life. Students become acquainted with writing by major thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Sigmund Freud, Ruth Benedict, Frantz Fanon and Hannah Arendt. The course addresses the social and historical roots of the great ideas as well as the moral aspirations and creative impulses of these social scientists.

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