University of Wisconsin-La Crosse |

Political Science and Public Administration

Expand page menu
Skip to page menu
  • Undergraduate majors/minors

  • All Majors/Minors

    Political Science Major - Bachelor of Arts (BA)

    (All colleges, excluding teacher certification programs)

    30 credits, at least 15 credits of which must be at the 300/400 level.

    Political science foundation:
    POL 101American National Government3
    Select one course from:3
    Contemporary Global Issues 1
    Comparative Politics
    International Relations
    POL 251Political Theory3
    Select one course from:3
    Political Inquiry and Analysis 2
    Research Methods in Politics and Government 3, 4
    POL 494Capstone Seminar in Politics and Government3
    Political science areas of inquiry:
    Select three credits at the 300/400 level in three of the following four areas of inquiry (see lists below):9
    American government
    Comparative politics
    International relations
    Political theory
    Political science electives:
    Select an additional six credits of electives from political science (POL) or public administration (PUB) courses not used to satisfy the above requirements.6
    Total Credits30

    Students may not take POL 202 Contemporary Global Issues (3 cr.) if they have already taken ANT 202ECO 202, GEO 202, HIS 202, or SOC 202 Contemporary Global Issues (3 cr.). Instead, these students must take either POL 234 Comparative Politics (3 cr.) or POL 244 International Relations (3 cr.) to satisfy this requirement.


    Students who complete POL 261 Political Inquiry and Analysis (3 cr.) to satisfy this requirement must take at least three credits of 300/400-level electives.


    MTH 145 Elementary Statistics (4 cr.) is a required prerequisite of POL 361 Research Methods in Politics and Government (3 cr.).


    POL 361 Research Methods in Politics and Government (3 cr.) is a requirement for the political science and/or public administration honors program.

    A maximum of three credits from each repeatable political science (POL) or public administration (PUB) course may be applied to the political science major.

    Political science majors may count a maximum of nine credits towards a public administration major or six credits towards a public administration minor.

    American government

    POL 102State and Local Government3
    POL 221The American Legal System3
    POL 222Law, Governance and Politics3
    POL 301American Presidency3
    POL 302Legislative Process3
    POL 303Wisconsin Government and Politics3
    POL 304Politics and the Media3
    POL 305Political Parties3
    POL 306Judicial Process3
    POL 307Political Language and Communications3
    POL 308Interest Group Politics3
    POL 309Identity Politics3
    POL 310Public Opinion and Political Behavior3
    POL 326Mock Trial I: Trial Advocacy3
    POL 329Mock Trial II: Preparation2
    POL 370Constitutional Law I: Powers of Government3
    POL 371Constitutional Law II: The First Amendment3
    POL 372Constitutional Law III: Racial, Gender and Targeted Group Discrimination3
    POL 373Constitutional Law IV: Rights of the Accused3
    POL 374Constitutional Law V: Right to Life3
    POL 375Constitutional Law VI: Criminal Procedure3
    POL 376Constitutional Law VII: Administrative Law3
    POL 377Constitutional Law VIII: 1787 and Original Intent3

    Comparative politics

    POL 330Politics of Developing Areas3
    POL 331Politics of Democratization3
    POL 333Asian Government and Politics3
    POL 334Post-Communist Politics3
    POL 336Middle Eastern Government and Politics3
    POL 337African Government and Politics3
    POL 338European Government and Politics3
    POL 339Contemporary Latin America3
    POL 433Women and Politics in Asia3
    POL 436Women and Politics in the Middle East3
    POL 437Women and Politics in Africa3
    POL 439Women and Politics in Latin America3

    International relations

    POL 340American Foreign Policy3
    POL 341America and the World3
    POL 344Global Governance3
    POL 345International Law3
    POL 346Model UN: The United Nations System3
    POL 446Model UN: International Diplomacy3

    Political theory

    POL 350American Political Theory3
    POL 351Classical Political Theory3
    POL 353Modern and Contemporary Political Theory3
    POL 355Political Ideologies3

    Other courses

    POL 201Introduction to Political Science3
    POL 205Women and Politics3
    POL 212Search for Economic Justice3
    POL 215Politics and Film3
    POL 250Leadership and Engagement1-2
    POL 400Political Forum2-3
    POL 450Internship in Political Science1-12
    POL 451Internship in Criminal Justice3
    POL 498Honors/Graduate Reading & Research in Political Science2-3
    POL 499Independent Study in Political Science1-3
    PUB 210Introduction to Public Administration3
    PUB 320Public Budgeting and Finance3
    PUB 330Public Policy3
    PUB 332Urban Policy3
    PUB 334Health Policy3
    PUB 338Environmental Policy3
    PUB 340Public Personnel Administration3
    PUB 342Urban Administration3
    PUB 344Health Administration3
    PUB 346Ethics Management in Government3
    PUB 450Internship in Public Administration1-12
    PUB 451Civic Engagement and the Wisconsin Idea3
    PUB 453Nonprofit Organizations3

    All students must complete the general education, college core, major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR. 

    College of Liberal Studies (CLS/SAC) Bachelor of Arts core requirements

    The following conditions apply to one or both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees:

    1. Students majoring in English or in a modern language must earn a Bachelor of Arts degree (education majors earn a Bachelor of Science degree).
    2. Students majoring in other CLS programs may choose either a B.A. or a B.S. degree.
    3. Language courses (CHI, FRE, GER, RUS, SPA, MLG) used to fulfill general education requirement: "Mathematical/logical systems and modern languages" (GE 02, category 2) may also be used to meet the B.A. and B.S. language requirements.
    4. All other courses used to meet the requirements below must be in addition to the minimum 39 credits required in the General Education Program.
    5. At least one course in the B.A. or B.S. college degree program (core requirements) must be a CLS designated diversity course.
    6. Applicable courses may be found on the CLS B.A./B.S. Degree Option Course List or in the Advisement Report (AR) when the degree has been declared.

    Courses used to fulfill general education requirements will not apply to core requirements except for language courses (CHI, FRE, GER, RUS, SPA, MLG) that count in the general education requirement: "Mathematical/logical systems and modern languages" (GE 02, category 2).

    Declare ONE of the following tracks in the CLS Academic Services Office in 260 Morris Hall:

    A. Language track

    1. Native speakers of English complete:
      Select one of the following:
      Intermediate Chinese II
      Intermediate French II
      Intermediate German II
      Intermediate Russian II
      Intermediate Spanish II
      World Languages: Intermediate II
      Heritage Language: Intermediate
      Heritage Language: Advanced
      Non-native speakers of English: score at least 80 on the La Crosse Battery of exams for non-native speakers of English; or submit a TOEFL or IELTS score that meets the university's English language proficiency requirement for admission; or complete ESL 252 or ESL 253, and one additional course from ESL 250, ESL 251, ESL 252, ESL 253. (Contact the English as a Second Language Institute for eligibility and regulations); and
    2. Two additional courses outside of the student's major in two of the following: humanities, social sciences or fine arts.

    B. Humanities track

    1. One modern language course 102 or higher or an Office of International Education (OIE) approved semester long study abroad experience combined with the INS 250, INS 251, INS 252 sequence; and
    2. Two additional courses outside the department of the student's major from two different departments chosen from: history, English, philosophy; and
    3. One additional course in social sciences or fine arts.

    C. Fine arts track

    1. One modern language course 102 or higher or an Office of International Education (OIE) approved semester long study abroad experience combined with the INS 250, INS 251, INS 252 sequence; and
    2. Two additional courses outside the department of the student's major from two different departments chosen from: art, communication studies, music, theatre; and
    3. One additional course in social sciences or humanities.
    In addition to all other College of Liberal Studies core requirements, all students in CLS must complete a second major, minor, or program option by satisfying one of the following:
    1. Complete a minor (or second major) outside of the student's major program, consisting of at least 18 credits; or
    2. Complete an emphasis, program or concentration of at least 18 credits outside the student's major program. General education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements; or
    3. Complete 18 credits in two or more departments or programs (at least 12 credits earned at the 300/400 level). These courses must be outside the student's major department and can be from any college. General education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements.

    Baccalaureate degree requirements

    Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:

    1. Fulfill the general education requirements.
    2. Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
    3. Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college. (No substitutions for graduation may be made in course requirements for a major or minor after the fourth week of the last semester of the senior year.)
    4. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1 At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 (senior college) level courses. Courses earned at the 100/200 level that transferred to UW-L as 300/400 level courses do not apply to this requirement nor do courses from two-year schools.
    5. Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
    6. A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UW-L is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
    7. File a completed "Apply for Graduation" form via the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.

    Grade point average requirements for some programs will be considerably higher than 2.00. Re-entering students may be required to earn credits in excess of the 120 needed for graduation in any curriculum in order to replace credits earned in courses in which the content has changed substantially in recent years. Each case will be judged on its own merit.

    No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.

    Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). This sample plan also assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan. Actual degree plans may differ. Some courses may not be offered every term. Review course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.

    The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UW-L in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.

    General Education Program
    General education (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UW-L. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education curriculum. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Consult with your advisor and/or the assistant to the dean in your college for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.

    Note: at least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400 level.

    This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student plan their academic career.

    Year 1
    POL 101 (Gen Ed Self & Society)3HIS 101, 102, or ARC 200 (Gen Ed World History)3
    Gen Ed Health & Well Being3ENG 110 or 112 (Gen Ed Literacy - Written)3
    MTH 145 (Gen Ed Math)4Gen Ed Minority Cultures3
    CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy - Oral)3POL 251 (Gen Ed Elective)3
    Gen Ed Arts2-3Gen Ed Natural Lab Science4
     15 16
    Year 2
    Gen Ed Elective3POL 361 or 26113
    POL 234 or 202 (or POL 244 (Gen Ed Global Studies)3CLS Core Elective3
    Gen Ed Arts2-3Minor Course3
    102+Level Modern Language-Gen Ed Lang/Logical Systems & CLS Core4Gen Ed Elective3
     University Elective3
     13 15
    Year 3
    Gen Ed Hum-Lit3Minor Course3
    Minor Course3POL Elective3
    CLS Core Diversity Elective4Minor Course3
    POL 300/400 Areas of Inquiry3CLS Core Elective3
    University Elective3POL 300/400 Areas of Inquiry3
     16 15
    Year 4
    Minor Course3POL 4943
    POL 300/400 Level Elective3University Elective3
    University Elective3Minor Course3
    POL 300/400 Areas of Inquiry3University Elective3
    University Elective3University Elective3
     15 15
    Total Credits: 120

    At least two courses must be designed as writing emphasis.


    Political science majors have the option of taking POL 261 or POL 361; however, students considering graduate school are encouraged to take both. Additionally, the Political Science and Public Administration Honors Program requires students to complete POL 361.


    CLS Core Humanities and Fine Arts Tracks require 102+ level language. CLS Core Language Track requires 202 level language. Students unprepared for 202 level will need to complete prerequisite course work.

    Back to top of catalog