Political Science at Nebraska
Political Science is the study of who gets what, when, and how.
|UNL Political Science Fields Of Study|
|American Government, Politics and Law||examines national, state, and local government|
|Foreign and Comparative Government||explores how countries other than the United States govern themselves|
|International Relations||addresses problems arising when nations interact with each other|
|Political Theory||treats the fundamental issues of how states should organize and justify themselves|
|Public Policy and Administration||examines public organizations and how they make decisions (administration) and explores specific issues and the political process that shapes, molds, and enacts policy preferences into law (public policy).|
|Biology, Psychology, and Politics
||explores the role of biology and psychology in people's political attitudes and behaviors|
To declare a Political Science major, go to the College of Arts & Sciences Advising Center in 107 Oldfather Hall.
Thirty (30) hours including:
- POLS 100 (Power and Politics in America) or POLS 100H (denoting honors)
- One of the following from the political theory field of study: POLS 108, 380, 383, 384 or 385
- POLS 160 (International Relations) or POLS 160H (denoting honors)
- POLS 400 (the senior-level capstone course)
- Six (6) hours from three of the following areas of study: American government, politics and law; foreign and comparative government; international relations; political theory; public administration and public policy; biology, psychology, and politics.
- At least nine (9) hours at the 400 level
Students may not take courses in the major pass/no pass except POLS 395 (internship).
Majors in political science and related disciplines may also pursue a certificate in public policy analysis which includes work in a number of programs and disciplines and is particularly well suited for students interested in working for government or a specific policy field.
- A Plan A minor in political science requires eighteen (18) hours including POLS 100 and one course at the 400 level
If you have earned 85 or more credits, please make arrangements for a "senior check" with Linda Pence in 109 Canfield. The review insures that you have completed the necessary requirements to graduate.
As Lincoln is the seat of state government, students have an opportunity to observe government in action. Political Science has a vibrant internship program where students may intern with the state legislature, the governors office, and other agencies of state government.
An internship with a government agency, office holder, political party, interest group or other organization active in politics can provide students with a very practical look at the world of politics and link it to an academic exercise supervised by a faculty member. Internships also provide potential career opportunities.
Student are free, subject to approval, to setup their own internship or work with the Student Employment and Internship Center in setting one up. The Center maintains a listing of available internships and how to apply.
Students generally meet at the start of the semester where they are assigned a faculty member who will oversee the internship and develop an academic component. Internships with the Unicameral as a senate page are also available through the Department.
Internships are also available with local interest groups, non-profit agencies, corporations, and political parties. Some internships are available in Washington and some overseas. Such experiences occasionally lead to career positions as students return to the agencies where they interned as undergraduates.
- Student Employment and Internship Center, Nebraska Union, Room 345, 472-3145
- Internship Coordinator at 472-2346
For those interested in international relations and comparative government, there are numerous study abroad opportunities. Tuition and boarding costs are equal to those at UNL. The International Affairs office at 420 University Terrace (472-5358) oversees UNL's Study Abroad program.
Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience (UCARE) provides undergraduates an opportunity to engage in research under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
In year one, students work with a faculty member on his/her research, and in year two, launch a project of their own.
The program offers students a rare opportunity to work closely with faculty as well as observe by doing what it is political scientists do.
McKelvie Scholarships are open to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in government. The purpose is to promote and strengthen public service leadership in the public sector. Applicants will be judged on their scholarship and academic standing; evidence of commitment to a public service career, reflected in past, current and/or anticipated future government employments and/or an internship with a public/government agency. In addition to the application form, applicants must submit transcripts of all academic work, a resume, and two letters of support. Ten to fifteen scholarships ranging up to $2,000 are awarded each year.
John Jay Douglass Scholarships
John Jay Douglass Scholarships are open to UNL undergraduate political science majors, sophomores and above, with demonstrated academic merit. In addition to the application form, applicants must submit transcripts of all academic work, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member in political science, and an essay of no more than two pages on Why I Deserve a Scholarship in Political Science. Two scholarships of $500 are awarded each year.
Libby Swanson Jacobs Scholarship
The Libby Swanson Jacobs Scholarship is open to UNL undergraduate political science majors, juniors and above, who have an outstanding academic record and extraordinary involvement in campus and/or community organizations and activities. Preference will be given to students demonstrating financial need. In addition to the application form, applicants must submit transcripts of all academic work, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.
Send applications materials to:
UNL Political Science Department
511 Oldfather Hall
P.O. Box 880328
Lincoln, NE 68588-0328
Or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, attention: Scholarship Committee
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.
Formal application is required for the University Honors Program. Students admitted to the Program have ACT composite scores in the upper 20s or above, are in the top quartile of their high school class and, most importantly, have demonstrated a commitment to intellectual curiosity and academic excellence.
Acceptance into the Program is based on a comprehensive evaluation of the student's potential by the Honors Program Faculty Committee. All the undergraduate colleges support the Program, and honors courses apply to college and major requirements.
A special notation is made on the transcript and diploma upon graduation from the University Honors Program to inform graduate schools and employers of the student's superior performance. Honors Program students may request housing on the honors floors of the Neihardt Residence Center.
- Full-time student: 12 credit hours each semester (fall and spring)
- Cumulative GPA: 3.5
- 24 credit hours in honors courses with a grade of B or better: to include 189H and 395H
- Completion of an honors research or creative project (e.g., thesis). Students admitted to the Program having earned college credits after high school graduation either at the University of Nebraska or another school should discuss modified requirements with the Honors Program director.
First and Second years:
- Complete 15 honors credit hours in the first 64 hours of college work including 189H and file a Statement of Academic Interest.
- Complete at least 6 honors credit hours each year (Fall and/or Spring).
Third and Fourth years:
- Complete 9 honors credit hours in the junior and senior years, including 395H.
- File a Memorandum of Study (research prospectus) prior to completing 100 hours.
- Complete at least 3 honors credit hours each year (Fall or Spring)
189H. University Honors Seminar (3 cr)
Prereq: Good standing in the University Honors Program or by invitation.
A University Honors Seminar 189H is required of all students
in the University Honors Program. Topics vary.
399H. Special Studies: Honors (1-4 cr)
Open to candidates for degrees with distinction, with high distinction, and with highest distinction in the College of Arts and Sciences.
In addition, any political science course can be applied to honors credit pending approval and arrangement by the instructor.
Advising & Contact Information
If you have any questions regarding classes, requirements, internships, or just wish to talk about political science, please feel free to stop by my office.
Department of Political Science
511 Oldfather Hall
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0328
Chair of Undergraduate Studies