• Department of Humanities &
    Catholic Social Thought

  • Political Science

    Political Science Program

    Who is man? How is he to live in community? What are his obligations to others? What is his obligation to the state? What is the state? Why does it exist? What are its duties and responsibilities? What are its limitations and boundaries? What principles should govern its relations to its citizens? To other states and nations?

    These are the questions at the heart of political science.

    As a political science major at Franciscan University, you will explore the rights, limitations, obligations, and relationships of individuals and the communities and states they form. You will learn how different peoples in different places and times have understood those rights and obligations. And you’ll explore the foundations of the laws and freedoms that govern life in 21st-century America.

    Over the course of four years, your studies will engage you in a dialogue with the great thinkers and leaders of Western Civilization. It will also enrich your understanding of the ideals that gave rise to America’s founding and the legal system that provides a framework for life in America today.

    Political Science StudentsMost important, as a political science major at Franciscan University you will learn about the relationship between faith and politics. You will study the Church’s rich history of social teaching, and become familiar with the principles of the natural law. You will also see how the moral law must undergird all political relationships in order for individuals and communities to flourish.

    Your program of study will require you to complete 31 hours of course work in political science, as well as 9 hours of philosophy, 6 hours each of English, history, and an intermediate-level foreign language. The program affords you the opportunity to take on a minor in various fields or a second major in history, English, theology, philosophy, or foreign languages. In some circumstances, a second major can be taken in other fields, too.

    All political science majors are required to take courses in political philosophy, foundations of politics and government, American national government, state and local government, international politics, comparative government, and constitutional law. You also will be able to choose from a wide variety of electives on Catholic political thought, the American presidency, the judiciary, foreign policy, and more. Finally, as a senior you will need to complete a thesis under the direction of a faculty member.

    By the time you complete your studies, you will have honed your ability to think critically and with precision, as well as to write with greater insight and skill. This major is excellent preparation for law school, government, or political organization work; work in non-profit organizations; writing or journalism; or graduate study in the social sciences, public administration, and business.


    Here are just a few of the places a political science degree from Franciscan University has taken recent graduates:


    • Notre Dame University (School of Law)
    • Duquesne University (PhD Candidate in Philosophy)
    • St. Louis University (School of Law)
    • The Institute of World Politics (Graduate Student in National Security and Intelligence)
    • John Paul the Great University (Director of Student Life)


    Sample Program | Course Descriptions

    First Semester Second Semester
    Found. of Politics & Government American National Government
    Freshman English I Freshman English II
    Philosophy of the Human Person Metaphysics
    History of US I History of US II
    Elem. Foreign Lang. or Elective Elem. Foreign Lang. or Elective
    First Semester Second Semester
    International Politics Political Philosophy II
    Political Philosophy I Lyric & Dramatic Voices
    Foundations of Ethics The Word of God:
    Scripture & Tradition
    Foundations of Catholicism Interm. Foreign Language Req.
    Interm. Foreign Language Req. Natural Science Core
    Natural Science Core  
    First Semester Second Semester
    American State/Local Gov Comparative Politics
    Epic & the Person American Constitutional Law
    Christian Moral Principles Political Science Elective
    Catholic Trad in Fine Arts Core Elective
    History Core Elective
    First Semester Second Semester
    Political Science Elective Coordinating Seminar
    Principles of Economics or Math Elective
    Elective Elective
    Elective Elective
    Elective Elective

    Meet the Faculty

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