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Political Science Major

Scenes from the Virginia Tech Department of Political Science

Our program prepares you to understand, analyze, and participate in governments, policy, and politics in the United States and around the world. Graduates pursue careers in governmental, nonprofit, and business organizations and attend prestigious graduate and professional schools. 









Total Credit Hours: 120

Political Science Requirements (54 hours)

General Education (45 hours)

Electives (30 hours)

What You'll Study

Select from a variety of courses including those in U.S. politics and government, international relations, public policy, political thought, and empirical political analysis. Some of our courses include: 

  • Introduction to Political Science and International Studies
  • U.S. Government and Politics
  • Comparative Government and Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Research Methods in Political Science
  • World Politics or Global Economy and World Politics

Additional requirements include:

  • 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, including Virginia Tech’s Pathways 
  • 30 hours of electives 

Related Links

What Is a Major in Political Science?

We study how governments and political systems interact to distribute wealth and power across a global society. The theoretical and historical foundations, cultural characteristics, and economic dimensions of both domestic and international politics are considered. The courses provide strong preparation for careers in government, business, law, politics, and education.

Why Study Political Science Here?

Our strong network with local, state, and federal governments will provide you with the opportunity to put your knowledge to work. Our advisors help with course selection, degree requirements, internships, career planning, and applications for graduate and law school. We offer options in legal studies, national security, and political theory.

Beyond the Classroom

Our students often get internships with the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, political campaigns, international organizations, and national, state, or local administrative agencies. We also offer programs such as the Washington Semester and Hokies on the Hill to help you prepare for a career in public service.



Our faculty members are productive authors, legal scholars, and award-winning teachers who are always eager to mentor students on research projects in their field of interest. If you have an undergraduate research project in mind that you’d like to pursue, just ask.



Law School Preparation 

Join the pre-law advising program to gain a wealth of information from our faculty and staff. They will guide you through decisions, academic preparation, and the application process. We also offer a legal studies option you can add to your degree.




We work with many students in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and ROTC, as well as veterans and students waiting to begin an armed forces training program. Our political science major also has an option in national security for training to advance your career in public service and the military.



Travel and Learn 

Although studying abroad isn't required, it can often be a pivotal experience for you. Living in a different country is the best way to understand the differences and similarities between cultures. It allows you to develop a personal expertise in a specific national or regional context or language.

PSCI Study Abroad

What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study

What do I do with a political science major?

We have multiple tracks of study that can lead to law school, professional school, or provide an excellent general liberal education for corporate employment in insurance, utilities, finance, public relations, and consulting. These skills are transferable, and employers say that our graduates are more focused and trainable than students with many other types of degrees.

Our graduates pursue careers such as: 

  • Research and policy analyst
  • Military officer
  • Attorney
  • Teacher and Professor
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Political Correspondent
  • Consultant
  • Campaign Staffer
  • Lobbyist
  • Civil Servant
  • Diplomat