Bachelor of Arts Political Science

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Political science, the systematic and rigorous study of politics and government, is becoming increasingly crucial in a complex and controversial world. Current cynicism about politics and public leadership belies a need for responsive, representative, effective, and capable public authority. Citizens still expect government to tackle such intimidating social problems, such as healthcare, community security, economic, and social justice and the balancing of conflicting rights and freedoms. Political science analyzes the ways societies use public authority to address collective problems. The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program is designed to equip students with specialized research and analytical skills as well as familiarity with more generalized problem-solving skills sufficient to allow them to make valuable contributions to any vocation or enterprise they pursue and to ensure that they will be prepared to solve public problems.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science will engage students in the study of social, economic, and political life, nationally and globally. A bachelor’s degree in political science can lead to exciting careers in federal, state, and local governments; law, business, and international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management, electoral politics, and polling; journalism; and research and teaching.

BA Political Science/Master of Public Administration (MPA) Transition Program

Students who are currently enrolled in the BA Political Science program who have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and are within six courses of completion of the BA program may register for the BA Political Science/MPA transition program. They may do this by asking their admission advisor to submit a plan change into the transition program allowing them to take two MPA classes as electives during the BA Political Science program. To be eligible, students must apply for and begin the MPA program within six months of completing their Political Science degree. Students may choose up to two 600 level public administration (PAD) courses with the exception of PAD 631 and PAD 644.

For students in the BA Political Science/MPA transition program, the University will waive two graduate-level public administration courses taken as part of the bachelor's degree, but these students must still meet the residency requirements for the MPA.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain major theories, concepts, and methods of political science.
  2. Apply key political science perspectives and theories to real world situations.
  3. Apply the methods used by political scientists to undertake research and answer questions about politics and government.


To be awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University and 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level. In the absence of transfer credit, students may need to take additional general electives to satisfy the total units for the degree. Students should refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information on admission and evaluation.

Preparation for the Major (1 courses; 4.5 quarter units)
Requirements for the Major (9 courses; 40.5 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Required Upper-Division Electives (7 courses; 31.5 quarter units)