B.A. in Political Science

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Politics — sometimes engaging, sometimes exasperating — is the way people come together to govern collectively.

At UMaine’s Department of Political Science, you’ll learn from professors who do cutting-edge research and also care deeply about teaching and advising students. Some faculty focus on fundamental ideas about politics, going back thousands of years to contemporary times. Others examine the operations of politics and government today in the US and around the world.

Our faculty foster an open and stimulating intellectual atmosphere that promotes the free exchange of ideas in the classroom and beyond. Our students and faculty come together to discuss political films, watch candidate debates, and talk about politics.

Our faculty are recognized internationally for their expertise and frequently share their views with the public through Maine, national, and international media.

And whether it’s an internship in Washington, DC, the Maine State Legislature, or involvement in the community through engaged policy research, our students learn outside of the classroom.  Our graduates follow varied career paths, with many practicing law, running non-profit organizations, and serving in and affecting government.

Visit the Department of Political Science website to learn more about this exciting program!


Political Science examines the nature of politics from diverse perspectives. The requirements for majors in the department teach students to think critically about the fundamental theories, principles, institutions, and practices of politics in their social and historical contexts. Course work in the department is required in four main sub-fields of the discipline of political science — American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory — so that students will acquire knowledge and skills for further study in law school or graduate school, or will be prepared for careers in public service or related fields.

Major Requirements

(Detailed course information is available in the University of Maine online catalog)

1. POS 100: American Government

2. A minimum of 36 credit hours in POS courses with grades of ‘C’ (2.0) or better. The 36 hours must be distributed as follows:

  • American Politics (6 credits)
  • International Relations (6 credits)
  • Comparative Politics (6 credits)
  • Political Theory (6 credits)
  • POS Electives (12 credits) (POS 100 may be used as an elective)

Note: At least 21 of the 36 hours must be at the 300, 400 or 500-level. Also, a minimum of 18 of the 36 POS credits required must be completed through the University of Maine.

Additional Degree Requirements

  • Students must have a minimum of 60 credit hours outside their major.
  • Students must complete an academic minor or a second academic major. Minors are fully available online in: Child Development and Family RelationsLabor StudiesMaine Studies, Legal Studies, and Leadership Studies
  • All students must complete the University of Maine general education requirements.
  • In order to complete a degree from the University of Maine, students must earn a minimum of 30 credits originating from the University of Maine with at least 15 of those credits at the 300 level or higher.


UMaine makes it easy to apply — on your terms. Apply online, mail a downloadable application, or use the Common Application.

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Contact Us

Have questions about earning your B.A. in Political Science online with UMaine? Contact Tiffany Peterson, UMaineOnline Advisor, at 207.581.5858 or at umaineonline@maine.edu.

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A good number of political science students enter directly into government careers at the national, state, and local levels. They work in all branches of government as well as for political parties, campaigns, interest groups, and non-profits. Many students continue their studies at graduate and law schools, including Harvard University, University of Maine School of Law, Columbia University and Boston College Law schools, and the University of Toronto, University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut and Boston University doctoral programs. Others find the liberal arts education they received prepares them for a career in business or other pursuits. UMaine political science students graduate with a wide variety of opportunities in front of them.


The Department has a legacy of outstanding teaching, advising, research, and service that continues today. We offer courses in all major subfields of Political Science – American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory.

Visit the Political Science Departmental website to find out more about the outstanding faculty teaching in this program.

UMaine Alumni Association Honors Dr. Richard Powell

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