Degree Requirements

The following Political Science B.A. major requirements are for students matriculating in Fall 2018 or later. For students who matriculated before Fall 2018 and choose to graduate under the earlier rules, please see the General Announcements (GA) for the year you matriculated at Rice.

Major Requirements

To complete the Political Science major, students must successfully complete 13 courses (41 credit hours*) designated for the major as described here:

  • 2 200-level introductory courses chosen from among:
    • POLI 210 – Introduction to American Politics
    • POLI 211 – Introduction to International Relations
    • POLI 212 – Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • 2 300-level research methods courses, specifically:
    • SOSC 302 – Social Science Statistics
      - (SOSC 302 requires an accompanying lab. We recommend POLI 102.)
    • POLI 395 – Applied Research Methods in Political Science
  • 2 400-level research seminars taught by different instructors
  • 4 300-level POLI courses (in addition to the research methods courses)
  • 3 elective POLI courses (at any level except POLI 110, 111, and 112)

* Note: Most courses are 3 credit hours each. SOSC 302 and POLI 395 are 4 credit hours each. If a course is not 3 credit hours, then the requirements for "courses" need to be translated into "credit hours." You may need more than the specified number of "courses" in a category above to meet the requirements.


  • POLI 305/306 – Directed Readings I/II count only toward the 3 elective POLI courses
  • POLI 3xx courses count only toward the 3 elective POLI courses and no more than 2 POLI 3xx courses are eligible
  • Students may only count 4 transfer courses toward the political science major
  • Exceptions to the major requirements and restrictions will be rare. Any exception must be in writing and signed by the Major Advisor

The Rice University General Announcements (GA) provides more details on these major requirements. Please note: if discrepancies exist between the summary on the department website and the GA, the GA rules apply.