Political Science

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Political Science

Barack Obama visits Clemson University during the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

The BS places a greater emphasis on math and science courses for the general education and departmental requirements and allows students to narrow their focus of study in Political Science. Additionally, BS students must take a survey course focused on research methods in political science (POSC 3410). 

BS students are required to select a concentration from among the following:

American Politics Concentration: The American politics track focuses on national (the presidency, United States Congress, the judiciary and federal bureaucracy) and subnational institutions at the state and local levels in American government, as well as political behavior (interest groups, social movements, political parties and elections in the American context). Students will learn about how the actors that comprise these institutions and organizations operate within the American political system and how they interact with each other.

Global Politics Concentration: The global politics track involves the study of politics on a global scale, which includes both international relations and comparative politics. Students pursuing this concentration not only gain an understanding of the politics and cultures of different countries, but they will acquire an in-depth understanding of the interactions among states and non-state actors, such as international organizations, non-governmental organizations and multi-national corporations. Some of the topics covered are conflict and cooperation, diplomacy, foreign policy, globalization, terrorism, international organizations and law.

Political Economy Concentration: The political economy track focuses on the interactions between politics and the economy. Specifically, it examines how political institutions affect economic outcomes, including public policy and political behavior in the economic arena, and it applies economic reasoning to the study of political behavior. In this concentration, students will gain a better understanding of the political and economic motivations of human interactions along with who gets what and how with respect to power and resources in society.

Public Policy Concentration: The public policy track focuses on the core theories and frameworks that explain the policy process at the national, state and local levels in American politics. Specific emphasis is placed on exploring the various stages of the policymaking process including the identification of policy problems, agenda setting, the formulation and adoption of public policies, implementation and policy evaluation. Students also will become familiar with the types of participants, such as elected officials, bureaucrats, political institutions, subsystem governments, interest groups, think tanks and citizens that are actively involved in the policymaking process and the problems that those policy entrepreneurs encounter when pursuing their policy agendas.

Public Administration Concentration: The public administration track focuses on the core political roles of agencies, elected officials, bureaucrats and non-profit organizations that carry out the administrative functions in public policy implementation, evaluation and service delivery for national, state and local governments. Students will gain a greater understanding about how these entities organize and manage human, budgetary and other resources to achieve the goals of democratic governance. 

The BS check sheets are provided here (years refer to first academic year in program):