Political scientists study political ideas and analyze governments, policies and political trends. Politics involves systematic preparation for the law, government service, administration, journalism, teaching, lobbying, nonprofit activities, the intelligence services, the military and police, and corporate strategy.

Political science students gain a broad knowledge of domestic and foreign political institutions, processes and problems. The political science program in The University of Tulsa’s Kendall College of Arts and Sciences offers a bachelor of arts degree that focuses on three areas: American politics, international studies, and political and legal theory.

Undergraduates choose the political science degree track for many reasons. Some imagine themselves in the halls of power and seek the fast track of political involvement in parties, candidates and issues. Others analyze the sweep of space and time showing the tragedy of clashing nations and people. Politics shows language students how the speakers of their languages are governed and prepares them for international careers. Business managers and executives have gone global and search for the bottom line with the eye of a political analyst. Scientists raise questions of ethics, fundraising and societal direction that only statecraft can answer. Teachers have a natural interest in understanding the spirit of American democracy. The study of law also is closely linked to political science.

Program Objectives

Students who complete the undergraduate program will:

  • Students who complete the undergraduate program in political science will be able to evaluate political ideas, institutions and processes within states and in a global context. By the time students have finished the three introductory 2000 courses, they will have competency in (at least) one of the three Learning Outcome rubrics listed under each of the subfields.
  • Students will have an in depth knowledge of at least one of the following subfields: American politics, international studies, and political and legal theory. By the time they complete the major, students will have competency in all three Learning Outcome rubrics in their chosen field and should understand the importance of accepting the responsibility of citizenship.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to defend a thesis in written and oral format.

Students from the American politics subfield will be able to:

  • Demonstrate substantial knowledge of current political and governmental structures and processes in the United States;
  • Explain the development of American political institutions, as well as the social, cultural, and historical contexts in which they were formed; and
  • Comprehend the history and meaning of American political ideas, being especially attentive to the ideological conflicts that have characterized our political history.

Students from the international studies subfield will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the main theoretical perspectives that facilitate an understanding of politics within and among states;
  • Recognize the patterns of interaction among actors of the global community and have an informed awareness of the structural, social, economic, and political factors that shape those interactions; and
  • Understand in a comparative context the political structures, institutions, governing processes, and cultures of a diverse selection of developed and developing countries.

Students from the political and legal theory subfield will be able to:

  • Demonstrate familiarity and engagement with the great thinkers and political ideas that have shaped the development of political life in the West for over 2500 years;
  • Be aware of contemporary debates about recurrently contested political ideas, such as equality, liberty, virtue, tolerance, and justice; and
  • Understand the major schools of constitutional/legal thought and interpretation.
Degree Options

Political Science, B.A.

Focuses on political ideas, political institutions, and political processes touch and mold our lives.

Political Science Minor

Non-majors interested in learning more about political science are encouraged to add it to their degree program as a minor.

Typical Four Year Schedule
AS-1001MATH-1083 or above
Foreign LanguageForeign Language
Block IIBlock I
POL-2053POL 2000 International
FS-1973Block I
Foreign LanguageForeign Language
Block III with labBlock III no lab
Block IIBlock II
POL-2083POL UD Elective
Block IIAS-2001
POL UD ElectivePOL UD Elective
POL UD ElectivePOL UD Elective
POL UD ElectivePOL UD Elective
General Elective
MinorSenior Project
General ElectiveGeneral Elective
General ElectiveGeneral Elective
General ElectiveGeneral Elective
General Elective