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Degrees Offered

The Political Science Department administers the two degrees of political science (BA), and public administration (BPA), a Certificate of Non-Profit Management (see also the Department of Human Services), and Geography Courses.

A required curriculum of twenty-five (25 ) credit hours consisting of:

PO106 The Government of the United States 
PO 107 Kansas and the U.S. State and Local Government 
PO 225 Introduction to International Politics 
PO 235 Introduction to Comparative Politics 
PO 308 Federalism and Public Policies 
PO 325 Advanced International Politics 
PO 335 Advanced Comparative Politics 
PO 390 Applied Political Research 
PO 450 Senior Seminar

A further nine (9) credit hours from the following upper division courses:

PO 371 Topics in American Politics and Government 
PO 372 Topics in Comparative Politics 
PO 373 Topics in International Relations 
PO 374 Topics in Public Administration 
PO 396 Topics in Applied Research 
PO 397 Advanced Applied Research

Political Science Minor

A minor consists of no less than 15 hours. Students must take PO 106, PO 107, and select 9 hours of additional courses 6 of which must be from upper division courses. Students must have a grade of C or better in each course applied to the minor.

A student cannot major in either political science or public administration and receive a minor in the other area.

Brief General Description: At least 34 credit hours in Political Science are required, to be distributed as follows: Twelve (12) hours of designated lower division PO courses, PO 390 (3 credit hours), PO 450 (1 credit hour), 12 credit hours of upper division courses with at least 1 three-credit hour upper division course in four of the five sub-field areas, and six hours of elective courses from any additional lower or upper division political science offerings.

Designated lower division PO courses (106 or 107; plus any three from 225,235,245, or 275) are intended to be pre-requisites or “gateway survey courses” for Majors to upper division PO courses within the same area. (Example: a Major must take 106 or 107 to be able to take 308), but a Major may take up to nine (9) total hours of upper division political science courses at Washburn (or have the transfer credit equivalent) without having met the pre-requisite or “gateway survey” required 100/200 level course.

 Breakdown of the Requirements

I. The twelve credit hours of lower division work may be satisfied by:

a) PO 106 or PO 107 (3 hrs) 
b) Any three courses (9 credit hours) from among: PO 225, 235, 245, or 275

II. The twelve hours of upper division work (300 or 400 level) must include at least one of the designated courses in Four of the Five following areas (A to E).

A. American Politics

(Area prerequisite: PO 106, 107 or consent of instructor)

PO 304 Political Behavior
PO 305 Policy *


PO 308 Federalism and Public Policies*
PO 306 Urban/Metropolitan Government
PO 320 The Legislative Process
PO 321 The Presidency
PO 339 Federal Institutions


PO 340 Civil Liberties

B. Political Theory

(Prerequisite for this area: PO 275 or consent of instructor)

PO 333 Classical & Medieval Political Theory
PO 334 Modern & Contemporary Political Theory
PO 356 American Political Theory

C. Comparative Politics

(Prerequisite for this area: PO 235 or consent of instructor)

PO 360 China, Japan and Asian Politics
PO 361 European Politics
PO 362 Mexico & Latin American Politics
PO 365 Democratization and Int'l Political Economy

D. International Relations

(Prerequisite for this area: PO 225 or consent of instructor)

PO 352 Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution
PO 351 International Organizations and Law 
PO 353 American Foreign Policy
PO 354 Issues in International Politics & Security

E. Public Administration

(Prerequisite for this area: PO 245 or consent of instructor)

PO 305 Public Policy *


PO 308 Federalism and Public Policies *
PO 343 Administrative Law


PO 391 Public Personnel Administration
PO 393 Public Budgeting
PO 394 Public Management


PO 395 Non-Profit Management

* NOTE: Students can pick PO 305 or PO 308 to apply to ONE area. The same course may not be treated as satisfying two subfield requirements.

III. Students must enroll in PO 390 Research Methods (includes both quantitative and qualitative research methods) (3 cr. Hrs.), and seniors must take PO 450 Senior Political Science Capstone (1 hr). Seniors must also take the ACAT national political science assessment exam during their final semester.

IV. Six (6) additional hours of lower or upper division political science courses.

V. Optional Internship Credits PO 307 - Internships of up to 6 cr. hours that may be counted toward the major are an available option for interested students. The prerequisite is PO 107.

The Bachelor’s in Public Administration (BPA) emphasizes Public and Non-Profit Management. The Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) degree leads to employment in state or local governments, non-profit agencies, the national government, or certain aspects of business relating to human resources management, government relations or government regulations. The BPA degree requires 24credit hours of cognate courses 15 of which fulfill general education requirements, and not more than 40 political science and public administration credit hours as described below. The Department is active in seeking internships in public and non-profit agencies for Juniors and Seniors, leading in many cases to full-time employment.

I. Required Courses for the BPA Major (27 to 30 credit hours):

     PO 107 American State and Local Government

     PO 245 Intro to Public Administration

          (sometime within the first 12 credit hours of the major)

     PO 305 Public Policy

     PO 307 Internship (3 or 6 credit hours)

     PO 390 Applied Political Research

     PO 391 Public Personnel Administration

     PO 393 Public Budgeting

     PO 394 Public Management Techniques

     PO 401 Program Evaluation


     HS 495 Admin. And Eval. Of Human Service Programs

 II. PO Electives for the BPA (9 to 12 credit hours): 

     PO 306 Urban-Metropolitan Government

     PO 308 Federalism and Public Policies

     PO 343 Administrative Law

     PO 346 Special Topics ( 3 to 6 credit hours total)

     PO 395 Non-Profits Management

III. Non-PO Cognate Courses for the BPA:

Students must take the following courses in the General Education Curriculum: EC 200, EC 201, PY 100, CN 101, and SO 101. These courses also count towards fulfilling the General Education and elective requirements of the University. Students must also take CM 101, AC 224 Financial Accounting, and CN 300 Organizational Communication OR CN 350 Persuasion (Prerequisite CN 101).

The Certificate of Non-Profit Management is offered jointly with the Department of Human Services. The Certificate of Non-Profit Management is valuable for individuals who seek manager positions or advancement into the field of non-profit agencies (United Way, YMCA, etc). The Certificate is offered in three ways: A. ON-LINE, B. to any on-campus student with any Major, or C. with fewer required hours as a Major in Public Administration who Minors in Human Services, or a Human Services Major who Minors in Public Administration.

Option A. Available ON-LINE to working adults in any outlying location by the Internet, or through campus courses (see list of 9 courses in the Option B paragraph immediately below)


Option B. Add to any Major or graduate program, with the following courses: English 100. HS 100 Orientation to Human Services; HS 445 Legal and Ethical Issues; HS 302 Social change and Advocacy; PO 245 Intro to Public Administration; PO 393 Public Budgeting, or PO 346 Non-Profit Fundraising; PO 395 Non-Profit Management; PO 401Program Evaluation, or HS 495 Admin and Evaluation of Human Services; PO 307/HS 481 Internship 3 to 6 credit hours.

Total of 27-30 credit hours (9 courses)

Option C. 6 courses (18 hours). For any Majors in Public Administration who Minor in Human Services, or any Majors in Human Services who Minor in Public Administration, as follows:

Any Human Services Major with this Minor in Public Administration: 

     PO 245 Intro to Public Administration

     PO 346 Non-Profit Fundraising

     PO 391 Public Personnel Administration

     PO 393 Public Budgeting and Grants

     PO 394 Public Management Techniques

     PO 395 Non-Profit Management

Any Public Administration Major with this Minor in Human Services:

  • HS 100 Orientation to Human Services
  • HS 300 Prevention in Human Services
  • HS 302 Social Change and Advocacy
  • HS 305 Case Management
  • HS 330 Theories of Intervention
  • HS 445 Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Services

Public Administration Minor

The general minor in Public Administration consists of 18 credits distributed as follows: 9 lower division credits (PO 106, 107, and 245) and 9 upper division credits chosen from the following list (PO 306 or 392, 343 or 391, 393, 394 or 395, 390).

A student cannot major in either political science or public administration and receive a minor in the other area.

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