Political Science

Political Science

Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science
Honors Bachelor of Arts
Honors Bachelor of Science
College of Liberal Arts
Hybrid: Primarily in-person; select courses delivered online through Ecampus


Politics is one of the most powerful forces on earth. It’s the foundation behind decision and policymaking that impact us at all levels and in all areas from education, social justice and agriculture, to the environment, energy, public safety and more.

In lectures and dynamic discussions, and in your chosen option, you'll explore ideas of leading historic thinkers and delve into the stories behind contemporary news headlines. You’ll deepen your ability to reason and think analytically, learn to assess and develop arguments, and become adept at communicating persuasively in writing and in person.

You’ll gain knowledge and skills that will help you effect change from within or outside a government system, or in business or a nonprofit, so that you can contribute to a better world.

Political Science at OSU-Cascades is a hybrid degree program. Select courses in this major are delivered online through Ecampus.


Program Information

Courses taken in-person at OSU-Cascades in Bend:

  • Baccalaureate core courses
  • College of Liberal Arts core

Courses taken in-person at OSU-Cascades in Bend and online through OSU Ecampus:

  • Political Science core curriculum
  • Specialization options

See Political Science Degree Guide for details.

General Political Science Option

Political Science is the systematic study of politics wherever it takes place — in governmental institutions, the international arena, and civil society. Political science majors may choose the general political science major, or one of the three options that focus on law and politics, international affairs, or environmental and energy politics. All political science majors learn to think critically, write clearly and speak persuasively. They learn the ideas of great political thinkers, learn the political fundamentals behind the headlines, and have engaging discussions from all points of view with other students and professors.

Environmental and Energy Politics Option
Non-profit, corporate and government employers make critical decisions affecting our natural and urban environments. You’ll study:

  • Historical and contemporary environmental problems.
  • Governmental and non-governmental efforts to address problems on local, state, federal and international levels.
  • Interactions between key actors and institutions involved in environmental policymaking in the U.S. and internationally.

International Affairs Option
Career opportunities in international affairs have increased in government, international organizations, non-profits and the private sector, as well as in graduate programs. In this option you’ll focus on:

  • Political systems and dynamics within countries and regions around the world.
  • Relations among countries and non-state actors.
  • Global issues, problems and institutions.

Law and Politics Option
This option is for students interested in a career in law, politics or public service in government agencies, nonprofits or the private sector. It offers coursework in:

  • The role of courts and other institutions in defining the breadth and scope of government.
  • Judicial procedures and behaviors and their implications for our democracy.
  • Relationships between the branches of the U.S. government, and between state and federal governments.
  • Normative arguments regarding justice and equality in theory and in practice.

A total of 180 quarter credits are required to graduate, including 60 upper-division credits. Requirements include:

  1. Baccalaureate core: approx. 48 credits
  2. College of Liberal Arts Core: 15 credits
  3. B.A./B.S. requirements: 15 – 24 credits
  4. Political Science major requirements: 51 credits
  5. Electives if needed to meet the 180 credits, at least 60 upper division credits

Degree Guides

Political Science Degree Guide (PDF)
Political Science Oregon Transfer Guides

Using the following course forecast information students will plan ahead and work with their advisor to create and update academic plans.

OSU Course Catalog

OSU Class Search

Political Science Courses by Term

  • Comprehend the basic structures and processes of government systems and/or theoretical underpinnings.
  • Analyze political problems, arguments, information and/or theories.
  • Apply methods appropriate for accumulating and interpreting data applicable to the discipline of political science.

The Political Science degree program is an excellent undergraduate pathway to various careers in legal studies or politics. The program provides a key knowledge base for students who wish to apply to law school.

There are a variety of resources and opportunities for students considering a career in law. Students at OSU-Cascades work with their major advisor in partnership with the OSU Pre-Law Advisor, and the OSU-Cascades Career Development Center to create their plans and pathway to apply to law school.

Political Science Minor

A minor in political science can strengthen a major in almost any field, giving you a broad background in government and politics that you can apply to your chosen field. Take courses in: American politics, public policy, public law, public administration, political theory, state and local government, international relations, and comparative politics.

Credits for Minor

  • Students selecting the Political Science minor must complete 28 credits of political science, including at least two 4-credit introductory courses (chosen from PS 201, PS 204, PS 205, and PS 206) and at least 20 credits at the upper-division level.
  • No more than 8 credits from PS 401 – PS 410 may be applied to the minor.
  • To declare a political science minor students should contact their OSU-Cascades academic advisor.
  • Minor curriculum


Hands-On Lobbying Experience

Join fellow students in Salem to support needs in higher education.


Internship and Career Advising

Work with a dynamic team to prepare for professional opportunities.


An OSU Degree is Worth It

95% of students are employed or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation.

Learn by doing

Get outside the classroom and discover more about a career in political science by participating in an internship through a government agency, law firm, national or international organization.

What can I do with my degree?

Political science graduates can have careers in a wide variety of fields, including business, government, media, nonprofits, law and higher education. Students will gain skills and strengths in analytics, critical thinking, and verbal and written communication much desired in a variety of employment opportunities. 

  • Attorney/Lawyer
  • Campaign Manager
  • Case Manager
  • Consultant
  • Environmental Law and Policy
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Lobbyist
  • Political Scientist
  • Professor
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Public Relations


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We're here to help! Future students can connect with an OSU-Cascades admissions advisor for admission and program questions.