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Political Science

College of the Sciences
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Department of Political Science
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926

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Undergraduate Program and Courses

Here are all the courses that the Department of Political Science offers on a regular basis, which is to say, courses which are taught at least once every two years, and many once a year. In fact, in the case of some high demand courses such as Political Science 210 (American Politics), several sections every quarter are offered. The courses listed below are arranged not in the usual numerical order, but according to "sub-field" of the discipline of Political Science. For, information on the courses needed for a major or minor in political science, please consult the online version of the CWU catalog corresponding to your entry year at


View our 2019-2020 Handbook!

Required courses for a BA in Political Science:

Core classes:required for the minor

  • POSC 101, Introduction to Politics and Political Science
  • POSC 210, American Politics
  • POSC 260, Comparative Politics
  • POSC 270, International Politics
  • POSC 280, Introduction to Western Political Thought

Major requires above core classes


  • POSC 489, Senior Assessment

Choose one of the following four courses:

  • POSC 481, Early Political Thought
  • POSC 482, Early Modern Political Thought
  • POSC 483, Recent Political Recent Thought 

Plus and additional 10 electives for minor, 20 elective credits for small plan and 35  for large plan.

Electives can be selected from the following list of courses which have traditionally been offered:

American Politics International Politics Comparative Politics Political Theory
POSC 230, State & Local Politics POSC 342, US Foreign Policy POSC 361, Latin American Politics POSC 481, Early Political Thought
POSC 312, Public Opinion POSC 373, Pacific Rim POSC 362, Western European Politics POSC 482, Early Modern Pol Thought
POSC 313, Legislative Process POSC 375, Middle East POSC 363, Russian Politics POSC 483, Recent Political Thought
POSC 314, Presidency POSC 378, Internat'l Pol Economy POSC 366, East Asian Politics POSC 485, American Political Thought
POSC 315, Campaigns & Elections POSC 470, Contemporary Issues in Int'l Politics POSC 367, Japanese Politics  
POSC 318, Parties & Interest Groups   POSC 368, Chinese Politics  
POSC 320, Public Administration   POSC 369, Korean Politics  
POSC 325, Public Policy   POSC 460, Contemporary Issues in Comparative Politics  
POSC 340, Politics and American Capitalism      
POSC 350, Intro to Public Law      
POSC 342, US Foreign Policy      
POSC 485, American Political Thought & Culture      
POSC 429, Research Sem in Public Policy      
POSC 451, Constitutional Law      
POSC 452, Constitution & Human Rights      


There are some additional courses which don't fit neatly into the above classification scheme: POSC 311, Women and Politics, is one such course. We also have "Special Topics" courses, numbered 298, 398, and 498, which are "temporary" courses, so to speak, offered by instructors who wish to pursue some particular subject. POSC 490, Cooperative Education, is reserved for students who are doing off-campus internships related to politics. POSC 499 is for occasional seminars. If one wishes to minor rather than major in Political Science, Department requirements may be stated very simply: Take POSC 101, 210, 260, and 270 and an additional ten credits in any other political science courses, making a total of thirty credits. Two of our courses, 260 and 270, are exactly the same as the previous 360 and 370. We've simply changed the number. On the other hand, POSC 489 is a relatively new course which is required of all political science majors in their final quarter here or in their next to last quarter here. It's offered every quarter.

A note about major and minor application forms: If you would like to register as a political science major or minor, you need to meet with a political science department advisor. Please see the Advisor List in the Student Resources and Documents section for a list of advisors and copies of the Major and Minor Application Forms. Your advisor will sign your major or minor application form. A signed form is required for program registration. Please contact a faculty member to serve as your advisor or call the department office at 509-963-2408 to make an appointment with an advisor.

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