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:
- Pass the proficiency examination in one foreign language
- Complete a fourth-semester level course in one foreign language
- Complete any foreign language course that has a fourth-semester-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. See more about why you should study Political Science.
- Intro to U.S. Politics (POLS110 or 111) and either
- POLS150(151), Intro to Comparative Politics or POLS170(171) Intro to International Politics
- Introduction to Political Theory (POLS301) or POLS308, POLS501, POLS612, POLS630, POLS640,POLS644,POLS674,POLS680 or POLS686
- Political Science Methods of Inquiry (POLS306)
- Plus, 18 hours of electives (15 hours at 400 level or above)
- See Undergrad Major and Tracks for more information.
*KU offers an accelerated law degree option for undergraduate students. Students who are accepted into LEAD program will complete an accelerated BA and JD. Completing required courses allows LEAD students guaranteed admittance into KU Law. This program is specific to KU. If interested in law, see more information about the LEAD Program.
- Political Science minor
- Public Policy in the U.S. minor
- Minor in Intelligence & National Security Studies
In addition to our majors and minors, students can also complete an undergraduate certificate in Intelligence & National Security Studies. See more about this undergraduate certificate.
Students are encouraged to meet with one of the Undergraduate Academic Advisors at Jayhawk Academic Advising each semester to ensure they are making progress toward their academic goals.
Declaring your major in Political Science should be done before completing 60 hours at KU or, for transfer students, during the initial term at KU. Declaring this major after completion of 60 hours or the initial KU term for a transfer student will likely delay graduation. To declare a major or minor, students can contact Jayhawk Academic Advising.