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Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in politics.

Description of Program

The Department of Politics and International Relations provides an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship. With the liberal arts focus of the program, students will develop a foundation both for citizenship in a democratic society and for successful training in a career, in a graduate school or in a professional school. Majors will be prepared for entrance into state, local and federal government service, business careers, social work, journalism, teaching and politics; approximately half of Drake's politics and international relations majors go to law school or graduate study.

Drake’s location allows students to supplement classes with experiences in government and politics.Des Moines is both the state capitol and the largest city in the state, making it a center of both government and politics. Students can find internship/volunteer experiences in both government (for example, the state legislature, Governor’s office, various state agencies and nonprofit organizations that work with government) and politics (the political parties, offices of U.S. Senators, interest groups and other political organizations). And once every four years, it is the center of the Iowa caucuses, providing unparalleled opportunities for political activity.

Requirements for Major

1. Majors must complete a minimum of 33 credits of politics coursework to be distributed as follows:

a. Required courses (21 credits):

  • POLS 001 (The American Political System)
  • POLS 065 (Comparative Politics)
  • POLS 075 (World Politics)
  • POLS 18x (a course in political theory)
  • POLS 085 (Concepts in Politics)
  • POLS 095 (Methods in Politics)
  • POLS 191 (Senior Seminar in Politics)

b. The remaining 12 credit hours or more of coursework in politics are departmental electives that students may select in any subfield, in consultation with their adviser regarding their interests and career plans.

2. Nine credit hours (in 100-level courses) in a single related field – history, sociology, philosophy or economics. Students can meet the related fields requirement in other appropriate disciplines or with a group of classes that combine disciplines after discussion with, and approval from, their adviser.

3. For graduation, majors must have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA in each of two separate areas:

  • All Politics courses, including those beyond the 33-hour requirement.
  • Those related-field courses applied to the major.

Requirements for Minor

The minor in politics provides a broad overview of the breadth of topics examined in the field and the opportunity to delve more deeply into a specific area of political science.

Eighteen credit hours of politics coursework distributed as follows:

  • Required courses (12 credits):
    • POLS 001 (The American Political System)
    • POLS 065 (Comparative Politics)
    • POLS 075 (World Politics)
    • POLS 18x (a course in political theory)
  • Elective courses in politics: (6 credits)


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