Resources for Prospective Students
Do you want to learn more about political systems and institutions in the U.S. and around the world? Are you interested in developing critical thinking and writing skills that you can use in many different careers? A political science degree might be right for you.
We're excited to welcome you to the Department of Political Science, and we want to support you as you begin your admissions process. If you have questions, you can email us.
"My degree in political science prepared me for the academics of my master's degree from Columbia University in New York, as well as an internship through Georgetown University and a fellowship in Germany through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. I can firmly say that the education I received with DU's poli sci program, and the support I was given by my professors there, helped me gain acceptance to and success within all of these endeavors."
Frequently Asked Questions
What are political science classes like?
Our professors use a variety of educational methods to encourage understanding of course material, including written assignments, readings, in-class discussions and simulations.
Professors promote cooperative, student-centered learning about topics ranging from comparative politics to constitutional law. Some of our classes offer community-engaged learning through partnerships with organizations in our communities.
You can review our upcoming courses and course schedules on our Portfolio page.
Do you offer internship opportunities?
Yes. The department has connections with many community organizations across the Denver metro area. We can help students find internships with campaigns, the state legislature and legal services.
Students can earn academic credit for the internships they find by enrolling in one of our internship seminars. We offer a fall Campaign Internship Seminar during each major election year. We also routinely offer a state legislative internship seminar during winter quarter of even years and an online legal internships seminar during the summer.
Which graduate schools have departmental graduates attended?
Our students have recently been admitted to the political science programs at Stanford and Columbia, as well as other universities. For law school, our recent alumni are attending UCLA, Vanderbilt, Duke, University of Vermont, Lewis and Clark, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Denver.
Does the department accept AP scores for credit?
Yes, the University accepts AP credit for the U.S. Government and Politics test and the Comparative Government and Politics test.
U.S. Government and Politics AP tests with a score of 4 or 5 usually count toward PLSC 1000: Intro to American Politics, for 4 credit hours.
Comparative Government and Politics AP tests with a score of 4 or 5 usually count toward PLSC 1110: Comparing Politics Around the World, for 4 credit hours.
Can I transfer credits from another school to the political science major?
Yes, students can transfer up to 20 credits from another institution (including study abroad programs) to the political science major.
If you're an incoming student, please speak with the Office of Admission to make sure you meet basic requirements. You can call 303-871-2036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The chair of the Department of Political Science will also review and approve courses transferred to the major from study abroad programs or other special cases.
Is it difficult to double major with political science?
Many of our students are double majors, and they tend to find that their political science courses enhance their studies in other fields. We welcome students from any major. We encourage political science majors to consider double majors in another language, e.g. Spanish, or another distinct field of study in order to expand their career opportunities at home and abroad.
If you're a double major, visit your advisors in both departments regularly to make sure you're on track to graduate.
Does the department of political science have graduate programs?
No; the Department of Political Science focuses on undergraduate education, offering a bachelor's degree in political science for majors and a political science minor.
If you're interested in graduate study, we encourage you to consider enrolling in our Global Masters Scholars Program with Lund University in Sweden. In this program, you'll spend your first three years studying political science at DU. You'll study abroad in Sweden for the fourth year of your BA degree, and then spend your final year at Lund completing an MS in political science. If you're interested, we encourage you to learn more about our Global Masters Scholars Program.
Our undergraduate-only program offers a comprehensive introduction to political science and opportunities to learn outside the classroom and in the community.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
We support our students' goals through departmental scholarships, University financial aid, and federal grants and work-study.
Intro to Law & Society
About this Course
This course introduces the relationship between law and society, exploring principles of legal conduct in social contexts and explaining how social scientific methods are used to understand these principles. Questions discussed include what is the relationship between the “law-on-the-books” and “law-in-action,” and what can we learn from gaps between formal law and the “real” law that is experienced in society? Empirical examples may include international comparisons and the evolution of law over time. This course counts toward the Scientific Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
Democratic Erosion: Comparing Experiences Across Countries Over Time
About this Course
As the conclusion of the Cold War spurred a tidal wave of democratization around the globe, western policy makers and pundits often assumed that even in weak, poverty-impacted states attempts to democratize were bound to succeed – at least eventually. By 2008, however, the discourse of democratization had been transformed. “Celebrations of democracy’s triumph are premature,” wrote a noted scholar of democratization; “in a few short years, the democratic wave has been slowed by a powerful authoritarian undertow.” Recently, both the quality and quantity of “democratic” states have declined. Even the world’s oldest, most taken-for-granted liberal democratic regimes increasingly flout democratic norms and policies. We begin with a focus on the United States and then consider European cases and the cases of Venezuela and Zambia. Along the way, we engage theories of populism, political polarization, “stealth authoritarianism” (politicians’ use of seemingly democratic laws for antidemocratic purposes), and theories of gradual institutional change. Satisfies the departmental sub-field major requirement in comparative/international politics.
American Government Simulation
About this Course
This course explores American politics by simulating the legislative process of the federal government. Students play either a member of the House of Representatives or a member of the Executive Branch. The simulation requires that students seek the goals related to their position. By putting theory into practice, students gain a better understanding of Washington politics. Satisfies the department distribution requirement in American politics. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.