Bachelor of Arts in Political Science


Program Description

General Overview BA in Political Science Politics – sometimes engaging, sometimes exasperating – is the way people come together to govern collectively. At UMaine’s Department of Political Science, you’ll learn from professors who do cutting-edge research and also care deeply about teaching and advising students. Some faculty focus on fundamental ideas about politics, going back thousands of years to contemporary times. Others examine the operations of politics and government today in the U.S. and around the world. Our faculty fosters an open and stimulating intellectual atmosphere that promotes the free exchange of ideas in the classroom and beyond. Our students and faculty come together to discuss political films, watch candidate debates, and talk about politics. Our faculty is recognized internationally for their expertise and frequently share their views with the public through Maine, national, and international media. And whether it’s an internship in Washington, DC, the Maine State Legislature, or involvement in the community through engaged policy research, our students learn outside of the classroom. Our graduates follow varied career paths, with much practicing law, running non-profit organizations, and serving in and affecting government.

Program Requirements

Political Science examines the nature of politics from diverse perspectives. The requirements for majors in the department teach students to think critically about the fundamental theories, principles, institutions, and practices of politics in their social and historical contexts. Coursework in the department is required in four main sub-fields of the discipline of political science — American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory — so that students will acquire knowledge and skills for further study in law school or graduate school, or will be prepared for careers in public service or related fields.

Major Requirements: (Detailed course information is available in the University of Maine online catalog) 1. POS 100: American Government 2. A minimum of 36 credit hours in POS courses with grades of ‘C’ (2.0) or better. The 36 hours must be distributed as follows:

  • American Politics 6 credit hours
  • International Relations 6 credit hours
  • Comparative Politics 6 credit hours
  • Political Theory 6 credit hours
  • POS Electives 12 credit hours (POS 100 may be used as an elective)

Note: At least 21 of the 36 hours must be at the 300, 400 or 500-level. Also, a minimum of 18 of the 36 POS credits required must be completed at the University of Maine.

Additional Degree Requirements:

  • Students must have a minimum of 72 credit hours outside their major.
  • Students must complete an academic minor or a second academic major.
  • All students must complete the University of Maine general education requirements.


UMaine makes it easy to apply — on your terms. Apply online, mail a downloadable application, or use the Common Application.

What can I do with a Political Science degree?

A good number of political science students enter directly into government careers at the national, state, and local levels. They work in all branches of government as well as for political parties, campaigns, interest groups, and non-profits. Many students continue their studies at graduate and law schools, including Harvard University, University of Maine School of Law, Columbia University and Boston College Law schools, and the University of Toronto, University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut and Boston University doctoral programs. Others find the liberal arts education they received prepares them for a career in business or other pursuits. UMaine political science students graduate with a wide variety of opportunities in front of them.


120 credit hours

Cost & Fees

  • $279/cr. in-state and
  • $349/cr. out-of-state


Fall / Spring / Summer

Last updated Nov 2017

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About the School

UMaineOnline is continually developing new, fully online programs with a focus on graduate options in our signature and emerging areas of excellence. Choose from a variety of online programs delivered ... Read More

UMaineOnline is continually developing new, fully online programs with a focus on graduate options in our signature and emerging areas of excellence. Choose from a variety of online programs delivered by leading faculty, in areas such as business, social work, bioinformatics, digital curation, and engineering. Read less