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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

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
  • POSC 485, American Political Thought and Culture

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 PoliticsInternational PoliticsComparative PoliticsPolitical Theory
POSC 230, State & Local PoliticsPOSC 342, US Foreign PolicyPOSC 361, Latin American PoliticsPOSC 481, Early Political Thought
POSC 312, Public OpinionPOSC 373, Pacific RimPOSC 362, Western European PoliticsPOSC 482, Early Modern Pol Thought
POSC 313, Legislative ProcessPOSC 375, Middle EastPOSC 363, Russian PoliticsPOSC 483, Recent Political Thought
POSC 314, PresidencyPOSC 378, Internat'l Pol EconomyPOSC 366, East Asian PoliticsPOSC 485, American Political Thought
POSC 315, Campaigns & ElectionsPOSC 470, Contemporary Issues in Int'l PoliticsPOSC 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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