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Political Science Undergraduate

The Department of Political Science offers BA and BGS programs for students.

The primary distinction between the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of General Studies degree is the foreign language requirement, which is part of the BA degree. Students must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language through the fourth-semester level in one of three ways.
This may be done by: 1) Pass the proficiency examination in one foreign language, 2) Complete a fourth-semester level course in one foreign language, 3) Complete any foreign language course that has a fourth-semsester-level course as a prerequisite. Students whose native language is not English may be exempt from the foreign language requirement if they can show that the high school they attended taught in a language other than English.

A requirement of the BGS degree is junior/senior concentration, an approved minor outside the major, or a second major or degree.
-The junior/senior concentration requires a minimum of three upper-level courses (numbered 300 and above) totaling at least 9 credit hours in one department outside the major.
-Requirements for the minor vary, but all must be at least 18 hours including 12 hours at the junior/senior level (numbered 300 and above). Nine of the junior/senior hours must be taken in residence at KU.
-Students completing 2 or more majors or degrees are exempt from this requirement.

The department encourages students to study for the B.A. rather than the B.G.S.  The B.A. is preferred if you are interested in international affairs or comparative politics.  Foreign language proficiency is important to these areas.

Why study Political Science at KU? (pdf)

Law :Students who are accepted into LEAD complete an accelerated BA and JD. So long as certain criteria is met, LEAD students are guaranteed admittance into KU Law. This program is specific to KU, and more information can be found here: https://law.ku.edu/lead. 

Info about Political Science Careers and Job searching from the KU Career Center.


KU Department of Political Science -Graduation with Honors in Political Science

  1. Eligibility:
    1. Undergraduate majors in the department with senior standing, a minimum 3.5 GPA in political science and a minimum 3.25 overall GPA, are eligible to enroll in departmental honors work.  These GPA levels also must be achieved at the end of the candidate’s final semester, for both in-residence and combined work.
  2. Procedures:
    1. Majors wishing to pursue the honors program must file a declaration of intent form with the department’s Undergraduate Studies Coordinator no later than at enrollment for the final semester of undergrad study.  Normally students will be expected to enroll at the beginning of their senior year of study, for two consecutive semesters.
    2. Students pursuing honors will enroll in POLS 498, Honors Thesis, with an individual faculty member who has agreed to serve as a thesis adviser, thus accepting responsibility for directing the honors research project.  Enrollment for 3 hours for two consecutive semesters in POLS 498 is usually expected.  In unusual cases, students may enroll for 6 hours in one semester if they have approval from their thesis advisor, doing all the thesis work in that period.  (i.e. need to enroll/complete 6 total hrs of either POLS 498 and/or POLS 506; with a grade of “B” or higher)
  3. Requirements:
    1. Completion of a written research project which has been read and approved by a committee of at least three members of the College faculty (of whom at least two must be political science faculty, including thesis advisor).  The committee will then certify successful completion of the honors thesis enrollment.  
    2. Work considered by the project director to be less than “A” quality will not be considered for honors and will not be presented to the committee for approval.  The written report is expected to be more than an extended term paper, while something less than a graduate-level thesis.  It must reflect analysis and perceptive understanding of the subject matter being studied.
  4. Research timetable:
    1. It is strongly recommended that students follow a relatively strict schedule in completing their research studies, in order to avoid having the honors oral examination come very late in the final semester.  The following timetable is recommended:
      1. A research design should be submitted by the middle of the first semester of enrollment.
      2. At the latest, the first draft of the written report should be completed approximately two months before the end of the semester in which honors are to be awarded (e.g. March 15, or October 15).
      3. At the latest, the final draft of the written report should be completed one month before the end of the semester in which honors are to be awarded.


**College Departmental Honors requirements as stated in the undergraduate catalog: http://catalog.ku.edu/liberal-arts-sciences/#undergraduateregulationstext**

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