The Bachelor of Science in Political Science offers students the opportunity to study all aspects of politics using cutting-edge technical and theoretical tools. Courses are animated by long-standing problems related to the use of power, its rightful exercise by governments and individual actors, and the institutions that affect how that power is exercised. Reflecting the breadth of the discipline, students can take a range of classes, including courses on elections and electoral politics, international political economy, justice and the state, and comparative analyses of political institutions across states.
A major in political science thus exposes students to the primary themes of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, international politics, political methodology and political theory. A political science major offers students the opportunity to study political life as part of a broad liberal education, and it is a useful step toward law or business school. Other political science students pursue careers or further education in public administration, urban planning, journalism, education and social work or in federal, state or local government.
6 Units Of Transferable College-level Course Work
- At least six units of transferable college-level course work; or
- at least six units of course work taken at CAPS and proof of high school completion, General Educational Development (GED) or High School Equivalency (HSE).
2.7 Minimum GPA
Note: CAPS is designed for students with adult responsibilities who may require part-time and flexible course schedules. Current high school students and recent graduates seeking a traditional WashU college experience should apply through the undergraduate admissions office: admissions.wustl.edu.
Below is a list of requirements for an application to the undergraduate degree in Political Science. Applications will be reviewed once all requirements are received.
Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and typically take four to six weeks. An application is incomplete and will not be reviewed until all of the application requirements have been received or processed. Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials by the following dates:
- Summer 2023: April 30, 2023
- Fall 2023: July 31, 2023
- Spring 2024: Dec. 31, 2023
Completed Application Form
The online application is available on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed and the required documents have been received.
Official (issued directly from the college or WashU) or unofficial (student-issued) copies of transcripts from the three most recent years of college-level work. If you have fewer than six units of transferable credit or CAPS course work, then proof of high school completion, General Educational Development (GED) or High School Equivalency (HSE) must be submitted. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to the WashU School of Continuing & Professional Studies. Electronic transcripts should be forwarded to email@example.com. For transcript questions, please contact our Admissions Coordinator, Patricia Agnew, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-United States course work transcript verification
If the transcript you submit for consideration is from a college or university outside the United States, a course by course transcript evaluation is also required. Evaluations will be accepted from World Education Services (WES), Spantran or another member institution of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). For Spantran evaluations, you must use this form.
Tell us about yourself in a brief essay (about 250 words). Why are you applying to WashU School of Continuing & Professional Studies? What are your goals, both academic and professional? Is there additional information we should know about you when considering your application?
TOEFL/IELTS Scores (if applicable)
All international students are required to submit TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores at the time of application. The TOEFL iBT and IELTS may be waived for applicants who, immediately prior to their application for admission, have done both of the following:
- Lived for three years or longer in the United States or another country where English is the primary language of daily life (e.g. Canada or United Kingdom).
- Completed three or more years of study at a college or university which is located in that country and where the language of instruction is English.
This policy applies to all international students, even those who have earned a degree from a United States college or university.
If an applicant moves away from an English-speaking country after living and studying there for three years or more, TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores are then required for admission.
Changes to the English Language Proficiency Requirements (2022–23)
Effective March 23, 2022, if an applicant is unable to take the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS, they may document their efforts to take the tests, contact the CAPS Admissions, and request the Duolingo, TOEFL ITP Plus for China, or TOEFL iBT Home Edition as exceptions.
Additional TOEFL and IELTS information for international students adversely affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the CAPS International Student Information webpage.
US Citizenship or Eligible Noncitizen
International students interested in undergraduate programs must hold a visa that permits part-time study (including F-2 and J-2 visas). Students holding F-1 visas are not eligible for these programs. Students holding a B-2 visa may be eligible if the coursework is recreational or avocational in nature.
We are here for you every step. Getting started at CAPS is easy.
1. Meet with an Advisor
- Schedule an appointment with an advisor online.
2. Start Your Application
- Applying is easy, and our advisors are here to help you find the path that fits your needs. Apply Today!
3. Plan Ahead
- Explore ways that can help you afford your education such as tuition payment methods, scholarships and financial aid.
Take a course today. Apply later.
At CAPS, students can take courses without applying to a degree program. If you are interested in taking a class to get to know CAPS, to fulfill credits, for professional development, or to follow a passion, the non-degree option is for you. Learn more.
All CAPS undergraduate students must satisfy the same general-education requirements.
REQUIRED COURSES: 30 UNITS
To major in political science, students must complete a minimum of 30 units of political science course work, including at least 6 units of introductory course work and the Introduction to Quantitative Methods (U25 323) course.
Of the remaining 21 units of elective course work in political science, at least 18 units must be at the 300- or 400-level. The 18 advanced units for the major must include at least one 3-unit course from three of the following five fields:
- American politics
- Comparative politics
- International politics
- Political and social theory
- Methods of political research and analysis
The department encourages students to explore a wide variety of courses in political science. Your program should be planned in close consultation with an academic advisor.
Connect with an Advisor
I work full-time, and splitting online and on-campus courses has helped to manage my life from week-to-week. Despite my schedule I still feel like I am a part of the Washington University community.”JOEL PUGH
BS in Political Science, Minor in Global Leadership Management
Our CAPS advisors go the extra mile to help you navigate your path and needs. We will provide you with the tools to make each moment spent on your education as valuable as possible. Students will receive:
- individual appointments with an experienced advisor;
- career planning services to prepare you for opportunities after graduation;
- a partner throughout your journey to ensure success.
Student advising is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.