College of Liberal Arts students study four different subfields when earning their bachelor of science in Political Science degree. Alternatively, you can minor in political science or earn a political economy certificate. Standout students are eligible for the political science honors program and distinction, the Temple University Honors Program, the Honors Scholar Track and honors funding and support.

Learn Diverse Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to Studying Political Science

Capital College of Liberal Arts students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science, a minor that can be paired with any other program of study and/or a certificate in political economy. Political science faculty conduct research in these areas and offer classes related to their research specialties and current issues and controversies. The political science BA program gives students a broad education in politics and government institutions. Our courses sharpen analytical thinking skills and challenge you to critically evaluate the rights and responsibilities of citizens living in a democracy.

The political science discipline has four distinct subfields:

  • American Politics focuses on studying of the American political system, including institutions (e.g., Legislative, Executive, Courts, and Bureaucracy) and mass political behavior (e.g., elections, public opinion, and the media).

  • Comparative Politics focuses on studying foreign governments outside of the United States, with an eye to comparing how different political systems affect political outcomes. Topics include the study of political and economic institutions as well as mass political behavior across different contexts.

  • International Relations explores how nation states interact in the global system. Topics include the study of international conflict and the role that international institutions play in shaping nation states’ behavior.

  • Political Theory theoretically evaluates how individuals behave and ought to behave in a collective polity. Political theorists bring precision to fundamental - yet contested - key political concepts, such as freedom, equality, democracy and justice.

Learn More about the BA in Political Science.

Minor in Political Science

Want to pair political science with another program of study? Our political science minor is ideal for you. 

Learn More about the Minor in Political Science.

Certificate in Political Economy

Temple’s undergraduate Certificate in Political Economy is for students interested in an in-depth study of the relationship between politics and economics. 

Learn More about the Certificate in Political Economy.

Political Science Honors Program and Distinction in the Major

The political science honors program gives highly motivated political science students the opportunity to take academically rigorous honors seminars with other honors students. You’ll acquire the skills necessary to undertake in-depth independent research on topics of interest. The department’s honors program deepens the information literacy goals of the general education requirement and is excellent preparation for graduate school.

Political science majors who have completed their sophomore year with a 3.5 GPA or above are eligible for the departmental honors program. Departmental honors students are allowed to take the junior (POLI 3996) and senior (POLI 4996) capstone. Students who pass both capstones with a B or better will graduate with distinction in the major. In addition, POLI 3996 counts as an upper-level elective and writing-intensive course and POLI 4996 counts as the senior capstone requirement.

Learn More about the Political Science Distinction in Major Honors Program

University Honors Program

Students accepted into the University Honors Scholar Program may select political science as their field of concentration to join the political science honors program. University honors students interested in earning distinction in the major should take the junior and senior honors capstone course, as described above. University honors students who do not wish to pursue distinction in the major should, nonetheless, sign up for POLI 4996 as their capstone.

University Honors Scholar Track

The thesis proposal is submitted to the university honors program, preferably by the beginning of the second semester of your junior year. All proposals are due by the end of junior year and are reviewed by the honors director and the student’s faculty advisor. Thesis topics may emerge from coursework (e.g., the capstone), an independent study or curiosity about some other facet of political study. The completed thesis must be at least 8,000 words exclusive of footnotes and bibliography. The thesis can serve as the core of a student’s dossier as she or he applies for graduate school.

The university honors program maintains a set of minimal progress standards that every honors student must satisfy in order to continue in the program. Students failing to make satisfactory progress are placed on probation and may ultimately be dismissed from the program. To learn more about joining the program, contact the university honors director, Ruth Ost at

Honors Funding and Support

Funds are available in the Diamond Research Scholars program. Honors students are also encouraged to submit their completed thesis to the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research.

Robin Kolodny
437 Gladfelter Hall
(215) 204-7709

Undergraduate Chair:
Heath Fogg Davis
447 Gladfelter Hall
(215) 204-7796

Jessica Brennan
708 Gladfelter Hall
(215) 204-7796

LaTasha Goodman
408 Gladfelter Hall
(215) 204-7796

Pi Sigma Alpha Faculty Advisor, Political Science Honor Society Delta Rho Chapter:
Sean Yom
452 Gladfelter Hall
(215) 204-7796