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Political Studies Major

Are you interested in American politics, international affairs, domestic developments in other parts of the world and political theory? Do you want to study these subjects and pursue a career based on your interests? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you should consider the political studies major at Grand View University.

The political studies major provides the academic background to enter law school or will prepare you for a wide variety of professional positions.

Why Grand View?

  • You will take courses from a variety of subfields of political science that will give you an expansive and well-rounded base of legal knowledge.
  • We heavily focus on interdisciplinary thinking—our courses ask students to use what they have learned in their other social science, humanities, and natural science courses to address real-world policy problems.
  • Grand View's location in Des Moines gives you access to the State Capitol for internships, a front row seat to the Iowa Caucuses and the opportunity to work on Presidential campaigns.
  • Plus, many of our courses can be taken online during the academic year as well as in the summer, giving students more flexibility in class scheduling.
Choose Your Path

Whether it's custom classes, an emphasis, or an option, this degree offers you an even more enhanced and customizable experience in the following areas:

Pre-Law Concentration
While there is not a specific pre-law major, there is a pre-law concentration program at Grand View University. The American Bar Association does not recommend a particular major, nor is there a major that law schools prefer. It is, however, recommended that you choose a major that will help you develop skills that are necessary as a future law student and lawyer such as reading comprehension, research, writing, critical analysis, problem solving, and public speaking.

Public Administration Concentration
The increasing scope and complexity of problems facing American society have placed substantial demands upon public and private sector leaders. Our society is entering an era in which the traditional boundary between public, private and nonprofit sectors is becoming increasingly blurred. Thus, it is even more important that today's public administrator understand and work effectively within the context of these social changes.

Career Options

Start work immediately after graduation or go on to advance your legal career...a bachelor's degree gives you a world of opportunities:

  • Law School
  • Policy Analysis
  • Political Advertising
  • Campaign Management
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Government Agency Work
  • Teaching (with a dual major in education)
  • Criminal Justice (with a dual major in criminal justice)
  • City Planning
  • Business
  • Lobbying
  • Legislative Staff

What Can I Do With This Major?

Course Requirements

Prerequisites (6-9 credits)

These courses will not be counted in computing the GPA for the major.

MATH 095 or
MATH 096 or
MATH 105 with a C- or above
Intermediate Algebra or
Introductory & Intermediate Algebra or
Contemporary Mathematical Literacy
3 credits or
5 credits or
4 credits
POLS 110 National Government 3 credits
SOCS 101 Introduction to Sociology 3 credits

Requirements for the major (41 credits)

POLS 120 State and Local Government 3 credits
POLS 150 Political Studies Seminar 1 credit
STAT 241 or
POLS 239
Principles of Statistics or
Statistics for Social Sciences
4 or
3 credits
POLS 322 Public Policy 3 credits
POLS / SOCS 350 Social Science Research Methods 3 credits
POLS 361 Comparative Politics 3 credits
POLS 370 International Relations 3 credits
POLS 399 Internship 3 credits
POLS 450 Senior Seminar 3 credits

Public Administration Concentration (15 credits)

BSAD 310

Principles of Management 3 credits
BSAD / SOCS 410 Organizational Behavior 3 credits
ECON 101 Principles of Macro Economics 3 credits
POLS 315 Introduction to Public Administration 3 credits
POLS 405 Public Finance 3 credits

Pre-Law Concentration (15 credits)

BSAD 340 Business Law I 3 credits
ENGL 309 Writing for Business 3 credits
POLS 340 American Constitutional Law and Development I 3 credits
POLS 341 American Constitutional Law and Development II 3 credits
SOCS / PSYC 310 Social Psychology 3 credits

Additional Recommended Electives

ACCT 211 Financial Accounting 3 credits
ECON 315 Money, Banking, and Financial Markets 3 credits
ECON 415 International Finance 3 credits
ENGL 345 Writing for the Web 3 credits
HIST 315 The World Since 1945 3 credits
HIST 330 Contemporary U.S. History: 1945-Present 3 credits
HIST 340 Iowa History 3 credits
MATH 121 College Algebra 3 credits
POLS 215 The Presidency 3 credits
PSYC 373 Stress and Anxiety Management 2 credits
SOCS 315 Social Problems 3 credits
SOCS 318 Criminological Theory 3 credits
SOCS 341 Cultural Anthropology 3 credits
Download Degree Checklist

Awards and Accomplishments


Dr. Bryan McQuide • He is the winner of the Grand View 2017 Distinguished Faculty Service Award, has presented papers at several national and regional political science conferences, and has been interviewed by local and national media on political events and elections.


  • One is a federal district judge in Iowa.
  • One is a U.S. district attorney.
  • A number now have successful legal careers.
  • Two recent graduates have won full scholarships to law school.
  • Graduates have gone on to law school at Drake, University of South Dakota, and University of Iowa.

Why Political Studies?

As a political studies major, you will hone the writing, communications, analytical and computer skills that are critical to a liberal arts education. The courses offered at Grand View will prepare you to think critically and independently, with tolerance for others and concern for current affairs.

Political studies training also provides valuable preparation for participating in community organizations, electoral politics, movements on behalf of specific policies, and for seeking elective or administrative positions in government. While many of these are voluntary activities, participation in them develops skills and creates opportunities for career success.

Get Involved on Campus 

Get involved and join the Political Science Club! It is a nonpartisan organization and promotes student awareness of and participation in politics and the political process through various student-sponsored activities.

Explore More Programs Visit Campus

Rasmussen Center

Dedicated in 2008, the 42,851 square-foot $8.5 million building houses the departments of art, education, history, criminal justice, political studies, psychology and sociology, as well as general-purpose classrooms, art studios, computer labs, the ALT Center, faculty offices, and various student amenities.

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