The Political Science Program offers students a choice of two tracks: Political Science Track and International Studies Track. Only one track must be completed to earn the B.A. in Political Science. Most majors complete the Political Science Track; however, students who have an especially strong interest in world affairs should consider the International Studies Track.
Political Science Track
The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University’s Core curriculum) required for the Political Science Track: 39.
Students must complete POS 101, POS 104, POS 203, POS 205, and POS 290. Introducing ideas that are fundamental to the discipline, these required courses should be the first priority for students upon entering the major. Students may choose from any of the major’s other offerings to fulfill remaining credit hours, with the requirement that at least 12 credits be completed at or above the 300-level. A grade of C- or better is required to receive credit for POS courses in the Political Science Track.
International Studies Track
The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University’s Core curriculum) required for the International Studies Track: 39 + foreign language requirement.
Students in the International Studies Track must attain an overall GPA at USM of 2.5 or better. A grade of C- or better is required to receive credit for any course that fulfills an International Studies Track requirement.
Students in the International Studies Track must complete the following:
Required Courses (15 credits)
HTY 101 Western Civilization I
ECO 104 The U.S. in the World Economy
POS 104 Introduction to International Relations
POS 203 Introduction to Political Science Research
POS 205 Introduction to Comparative Politics
Political Science Electives (12 credits)
Students must complete at least four internationally-related political science electives from the list below:
POS 245 French Politics and Government
POS 280 Issues Before the United Nations
POS 310 Internet and Politics
POS 333 Theories of Democratization
POS 335 Politics in Western Europe
POS 340 The Politics of Developing Nations
POS 342 Government and Politics of the Middle East
POS 345 British Politics
POS 347 The Politics of China
POS 349 The Middle East in International Politics
POS 360 Terrorism and the American Public
POS 374 United States Foreign Policy
POS 380 Topics in POS (dependent on topic)
POS 385 Conflict and Security in Contemporary World Politics
POS 399 Topics in Political Science (dependent on topic)
POS 405 The European Union
POS 406 Research in the European Union
POS 445 – MeMUNC Conference Planners
POS 446 – Global Educators
POS 480 International Affairs Internship
Electives in Other Programs (12 credits)
Students must complete at least four electives from the list of Approved Internationally-Focused Elective Courses, which is available on the Political Science website at usm.maine.edu/pos.
Foreign Language Requirement (variable credits)
In addition to the courses listed above, students in the International Studies Track must achieve proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate level. This proficiency may be achieved through coursework at USM (i.e. successful completion through FRE202; GER202; SPA202), through transfer credits from another university, through study abroad, or through background (having lived abroad, being a foreign student, etc.)
In all cases of doubt, the final decision as to whether a student has completed the program’s language requirement is determined by a proficiency exam administered by the appropriate faculty member. Students who can show that they have achieved at least intermediate-level proficiency in some language other than English need to take no foreign language courses at USM, although they may do so if they wish.