Have you ever wondered how cities decide where to put traffic signals? Are you interested in being part of the process of developing policies that will improve daily life?

East Carolina's political science program allows you to work closely with dynamic teachers studying a wide range of subjects, ranging from United States politics, to war and terrorism, as well as various areas of comparative politics, international relations and public policy.

You will take some required introductory courses to ground you in the disciplines, which will prepare you to study a wide variety of specific subjects. In addition, you will have an expanded array of requirements and structured electives, to ensure thorough coverage of the fields. Your education will cover analytical research, thinking and writing.

A Political Science degree provides you the opportunity to learn about the world, and polish skills in writing, research and analysis, and developing and presenting clear and persuasive arguments about issues which may impact people's daily lives.

ECU Advantage

The study of Politics is interesting and exciting, and engages you in the larger world. Political Science has great teachers doing cutting-edge research in their fields, and bringing that knowledge and energy into the classroom. The skills you learn and the contacts you develop will help you to build the career and life you choose.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Jonathan Morris (121-A Brewster Building; 252-328-1067; morrisj@ecu.edu)

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

    2. Core - 30 s.h.
    • POLS 1010 - National Government
    • POLS 2010 - Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics
    • POLS 2020 - Introduction to International Relations
    • POLS 2090 - Writing for Political Science
    • POLS 3031 - Research Design for Political Science
    • POLS 3032 - Statistical Methods for Political Science
    • Choose 3 s.h. from:
      • POLS 2070 - Introduction to Political Theory
      • POLS 3008 - Topics in Political Theory
      • POLS 3050 - Theory and Politics of Social and Protest Movements in the United States
      Choose 9 s.h. POLS courses above 2999
      3. Concentrations - 24 s.h.

      (Choose one from the following.)

        Campaigns, Elections, and American Politics - 24 s.h.
          Required courses:
          • POLS 3033 - Voting Behavior and Public Opinion
          • POLS 3034 - Political Marketing
          • POLS 3035 - American Political Parties and Politics
          • POLS 3037 - Campaigns and Elections
          Choose 12 s.h. from the following:
          • POLS 3006 - Topics in American Politics
          • POLS 3039 - Black Politics in America
          • POLS 3040 - Women in Politics
          • POLS 3045 - Humor and American Politics
          • POLS 3090 - Religion and American Politics
          • POLS 3202 - The American Legislature
          • POLS 3203 - The American Executive
          • POLS 4310 - Public Policy and the Media
          • POLS 4321 - Contemporary Southern Politics
        International Relations and Comparative Politics - 24 s.h.

        (Students pursuing this concentration are encouraged to take foreign language courses and/or study abroad, as both can be desired by relevant employers. Talk to your academic advisor about these important opportunities.)

          Choose 12 s.h. from the following:
          • POLS 3007 - Selected Topics in International Relations and Comparative Politics
          • POLS 3232 - The European Union
          • POLS 3234 - West European Political Systems
          • POLS 3236 - Russian Politics
          • POLS 3260 - Middle Eastern Political Systems
          • POLS 3265 - African Political Systems
          • POLS 4360 - Politics of Developing Areas
          Choose 12 s.h. from the following:
          • POLS 3140 - Politics of Globalization
          • POLS 3144 - American Foreign Policy
          • POLS 3155 - National Security Policy
          • POLS 3290 - Conflict and Peace in the Post-Cold War Era
          • POLS 3291 - Politics of Genocide in the Twentieth Century
          • POLS 3293 - International Organizations
          • POLS 3295 - International Law
          • POLS 4382 - Politics of Terrorism
          • POLS 4383 - War in the Modern Age
          • POLS 3297 - International Political Economy
        Pre-Law - 24 s.h.
          Required courses:
          • POLS 3204 - The American Judiciary
          • POLS 3223 - Constitutional Powers
          • POLS 3224 - Civil Liberties
          • POLS 4175 - Legal Negotiation and Analysis
          Choose 12 s.h. from the following (at least 6 s.h. above 2999):
          • CLAS 1300 - Greek and Latin for Vocabulary Building
          • HIST 3011 - Constitutional History of the United States Since 1888
          • PHIL 1180 - Introduction to Critical Reasoning
          • PHIL 1500 - Introduction to Logic
          • PHIL 2282 - Philosophy of Law
          • PHIL 4270 - Ethics
          • PHIL 4276 - Social and Political Philosophy
          • SOCI 4320 - Sociology of Law
          • SOCI 4322 - Law and Social Change
        Public Administration and Policy/State and Local Government - 24 s.h.
          Required courses:
          • POLS 3240 - State and Local Government
          • POLS 3252 - Public Administration
          • POLS 3255 - Domestic Public Policy
          Choose 15 s.h. from the following:
          • GEOG 2410 - Fundamentals of GIS or
          • PLAN 2410 - Fundamentals of GIS
          • space
          • GEOG 3430 - Geographic Information Systems I
          • PLAN 3032 - Planning Legislation and Administration
          • POLS 3009 - Topics in Public Administration and Public Policy
          • POLS 3041 - Women and Public Policy
          • POLS 3241 - Urban Political Systems
          • POLS 3253 - Government Fiscal Administration
      4. Minor (or second major) and electives to complete requirements for graduation.

      Note: No course counted for the POLS major may count for the POLS minor.

        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • Political Science and Government
        • Education and Training
        • Political Scientists
        • Political Science Teachers, Postsecondary
        • Political Science and Government

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.