Political Science

Chairperson: Laura Brunell
Professors: B. Garvin, M. Leiserson (Emeritus)
Associate Professors: L. Brunell, M. Connolly, S.J., J. Isacoff, M. TreleavenR. Waterman
Assistant Professors: J Gardner, C Stavrianos, S. Taninchev

Political science courses invite students to examine political thought and systems past and present. A major or minor in political science provides an enduring political education for citizens, a solid basis for graduate work, and a fine background for the study of law and the teaching or practice of politics.

Our faculty believes that public-spirited participation in civic affairs serves the department’s mission and the mission of Gonzaga University. So we encourage majors to do politics in our public affairs internships and other forms of experiential learning as well as in pursuing their own political interests and passions. In the fall or spring semester of their senior year, all political science majors must take POLS 499, “Preparation for the Comprehensive,” a one credit seminar that helps students review their departmental and related studies in preparation for comprehensive examination in November or April. Students base the examination on the special interests and thematic questions they have discovered in their courses as well as in their own political engagement, service learning, internships, study abroad, etc.

The faculty also provide guidance and advice about applying to graduate school or law school and pursuing careers in politics, public administration or international affairs.

B.A. Major in Political Science: 31 credits
Lower Division
POLS 101 American Politics 3 credits
POLS 102, POLS 103 or POLS 104
if taken in the freshman or sophomore years
0-6 credits
Upper Division
POLS 300-329; POLS 484 U.S. Government and Politics 6 credits
POLS 330-349; POLS 486 Political Thought 6 credits
POLS 350-389; POLS 487-488 Comparative Government/International Relations 6 credits
POLS - - Electives 3-9 credits
POLS 499 Comprehensive Exam Preparation
1 credit

Minor in Political Science: 18 Credits
Lower Division
POLS 101 American Politics 3 credits
POLS 102, POLS 103 or POLS 104
if taken in the freshman or sophomore years
0-3 credits
Upper Division
POLS 302-329; POLS 484 U.S. Government and Politics 3 credits
POLS 330-349; POLS 486 Political Thought 3 credits
POLS 350-389; POLS 487-488 Comparative Government/International Relations 3 credits
POLS - - - Electives 3-6 credits

The core curriculum or common body of knowledge of the College of Arts and Sciences consists of 59 to 62 credits which are common to and required of all degree programs in the College: the first 31 credits (of which there is a more complete description in the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue) form the University Core, while the remaining 28 to 31 credits are common to all Arts and Sciences degrees.
Students should attempt to spread the core curriculum over their entire fours years at Gonzaga.

  1. Thought and Expression (7 credits): ENGL 101, SPCO 101, and PHIL 101 (preferably in the same semester).
  2. Philosophy (9 credits): PHIL 201, PHIL 301, and  PHIL  400 level elective.
  3. Religious Studies (9 credits): RELI 100, 200, and 300 levels: one course from each level.
  4. Mathematics (3 credits): one MATH (not CPSC) course on the 100 level or above; NURS 320 is substituted for a MATH course for BSN students; MATH 203 fulfills this requirement only for students who graduate with certification in Elementary Education.
  5. English Literature (3 credits): ENGL 102 or 103H or 105 or 106.
  6. History (6 credits): HIST 101 and either HIST 102 or HIST 112 in their first year. If they are unable to complete all six 100-level HIST credits in their first year, HIST 201 or 202 may be substituted for one 100-level course after the first year.
  7. Fine Arts (3 credits): one course in either VART, MUSC, or THEA from courses approved by Dean of Arts and Sciences.
  8. Laboratory Science (4 credits): one course with laboratory in either BIOL, CHEM, or PHYS.
  9. Mathematics or Natural Science (3 credits): one course in either MATH, CPSC, BIOL, CHEM, PHYS, or ITEC.
  10. Literature (3 credits): one British or American literature course (ENGL 201 - 285).
  11. Social Science (6 credits): CRIM 101, ECON, SOCI, POLS, or PSYC: two courses from these departments.
  12. Foreign Language or Culture (3 credits): one course in any foreign language (classical or modern) or one (foreign culture) course approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences.  Foreign-language speaking students from foreign cultures who have completed the nine English core credits at Gonzaga prior to their fourth year (last thirty credits) may petition the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences for a waiver of the foreign language or Culture requirement..
  13. Social Justice (3 credits): One course on Social Justice issues related to experiences of difference (like race, class, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation), from courses approved by the Dean of Arts & Sciences; (may be combined with other core or major requirements).