Program Requirements

Students who complete the requirements for a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in politics and government will be prepared for knowledgeable participation in the civic life of their communities and for jobs that require the ability to use theoretical and practical concepts to explain political behavior.

Major Requirements (BA)

Course descriptions for all POGO courses are available at the bottom of this page.

36 semester hours (sh) of major courses:
  • Required core courses (24 sh) — POGO 1100, 1600, 2200, 2300, 3100, 4100
  • Elective courses (12 sh) — Choose three courses numbered above 2500, including at least one American politics course and one international or comparative politics course.


  • POGO 3410 (American Foreign Policy) is counted as an international politics course.
  • Politics and government Internships do not count toward satisfying major requirements, but may count as general University electives.
  • All politics and government majors must take and pass a comprehensive examination prior to graduation.
  • A minimum of 16 semester hours at the 3000 level or higher in the major must be taken at North Park.
  • Departmental Honors: Students should apply for departmental honors in the spring semester of their third year. If accepted, students must earn 8 semester hours of POGO 4920 in addition to the major requirements.
  • Students who plan to pursue graduate work in international relations should take advanced language courses, and consult with their advisor about additional business and economics and history courses that will support the politics and government major and prepare them for graduate work.

Minor Requirements

20 semester hours (sh):
  • Required courses (8 sh) — POGO 1100, 1600
  • Elective courses (12 sh) — Choose any three courses numbered above POGO 2500

Course Descriptions

Click on the links below for course descriptions of all politics and government courses courses. For a complete list of all North Park's programs and course offerings, review the academic catalog.

POGO 1100 – Introduction to Politics
An examination of the major principles and ideas which have shaped world politics. The perennial questions of justice, equality, freedom, moral relativism, and tyranny as expressed in the great works of representative ancient and modern political thinkers will be critically examined.

POGO 1600 – American Government
An introductory survey of the principles which have shaped the American Republic. The political institutions and processes central to an understanding of American politics and government will be examined including the Constitution, presidency, Congress, Supreme Court, political parties, campaigns, elections, and selected public policy issues.

POGO 2200 – International Politics
An introduction to the theory and practice of the political relations among nations, including a survey of the historical development of the international system, and analysis of the major features of international politics including security, power, diplomacy, and efforts to establish and sustain international society.

POGO 2300 – Comparative Politics
An introductory comparative study of the political institutions of the nations of Europe and selected nations of the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Forms of government, political culture and history, parties and elections, governing institutions and development will be among the topics considered.

POGO 2520 – Criminal Justice
An overview of the criminal justice system in the United States emphasizing key issues in the process of arrest through trial and sentencing and imprisonment; an analysis of the roles of the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and courts; and the various theories of punishment and crime causation. Representative Supreme Court decisions in the law of arrest, right to counsel, capital punishment, search and seizure, and self-incrimination will be analyzed. Prerequisite: POGO 1600. Cross-listed with SOC 2520.

POGO 3100 – Political Philosophy
An examination of the development of the classical and modern traditions of political philosophy analyzing the nature and origin of the state; the individual's relationship to the state; the different types of the state; constitutionalism; the ideas of right, law, freedom, justice, equality; and the struggle to prevent tyranny. Readings will include selections from among the following: Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Smith, Tocqueville, Mill, Marx, Nietzsch, and others. Student must be of third-year standing.

POGO 3210 – International Political Economy
An examination of the economic aspects of international relations in the contemporary world. Attention is given to the following: world trading, monetary and financial systems, the role of international institutions (both governmental and non-governmental) in the world economy, national and regional economic systems, the activities of states to secure advantage in the international economic system, the relation of the state and of international society to economic development and the ongoing globalization of economic activity.

POGO 3230 – Issues in International Relations
Advanced political analysis of the primary issues facing the contemporary international system, including the challenges of economic interdependence and institutionalization, economic development, human rights and democracy, and other transnational concerns. Includes a simulation of an international treaty negotiation. Student must be of third-year standing.

POGO 3310 – Modernizing China and Japan
What does it mean to be modern? This course explores the political and social dynamics of creating a modern state in China and Japan in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Focusing on historic initiatives that led to each society's transformation, we examine the push for industrialization, nationhood, and the ideal citizen. Readings draw on the perspectives of ordinary people responding to state-sponsored social change. Cross-listed with SOC 3300.

POGO 3370 – Politics of the Middle East
An analysis of the modern Middle East from the fall of the Ottoman Empire to the present in terms of the concepts of political development, modernization, and civil society. A broad overview of the region is combined with a country-by-country examination of selected states. Particular attention is paid to ideology, political party structure, and ongoing conflicts in the region.

POGO 3390 – Israel: State and Society
An introduction to modern Israel, its history, politics and social state. Topics include: Zionism and the founding of the state, the social make-up, governing institutions and political life (in particular its parties and electoral system), its place in the international community, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

POGO 3410 – American Foreign Policy
An examination of United States foreign policy in the twentieth century with emphasis on the major features of U.S. engagement, the expansion of American power, and an analysis of the foreign policy decision making process.

POGO 3500 – Constitutional Law
An introduction to the judicial process, an examination of the role of law in the American political system, and an historical and theoretical analysis of the United States Constitution as developed in landmark Supreme Court decisions relating to federalism, commerce, and separation of executive and legislative powers. Topics include individual rights; freedom of speech, press, and religion; abortion; censorship and obscenity; racial and gender discrimination; and affirmative action and reverse discrimination. Student must be of third-year standing.

POGO 3630 – Parties and Elections
Analysis of the organization and evolution of political parties in the American political process. Topics include the role of nominations, campaigns, elections, campaign finance, public opinion, and interest groups in a representative democracy. Discussion of current local, state and national election campaigns is an important focus. Student must be of third-year standing.

POGO 3650 – Congress and the Presidency
An analysis of the creation, the historical development, and the operations of Congress and the presidency with specific emphasis on the political relationships between the two policy making branches of American government. Case studies in congressional and presidential leadership will be examined through biographies of selected twentieth century presidents. Student must be of third-year standing.

POGO 3690 – Religion and Politics
An examination of the historical and ongoing relationship between church and state in American politics. Topics discussed include religion?s impact on voting behavior, interpretations of the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment, and normative questions regarding religion?s role in political life.

POGO 3750 – Chicago Politics
Chicago as a case study of the urban political process as it relates to ward politics, patronage,ethnicity and race, education, housing, poverty, and crime. The rise and the decline of the Chicago Machine from Richard J. Daley to Richard M. Daley and its implications for the future of the city that works will be the central focus of the course.

POGO 3910 – Topics in Political Science
An intensive investigation of a selected topic in politics and government offered from time to time at the discretion of the department.

POGO 4100 – Fourth Year Seminar
An extensive investigation of significant themes through reading, discussion, and research designed to integrate all previous course work in the major. Themes will vary from term to term. Students do a major research project on a topic related to one of the themes of the seminar, assemble their findings in a seminar paper, and present those findings to the seminar. Required of all majors. Student must be of fourth-year standing.

POGO 4910 – Independent Study in Politics and Government
Advanced work in fields of special interest not generally available in traditional courses.

POGO 4920 – Departmental Honors in Politics and Government
An independent, high level examination of a political problem or issue and the writing of an honors thesis. Designed for students seeking to graduate with Departmental Honors in Politics and Government.

POGO 4970 – Internship in Politics and Government
The opportunity to explore a practical employment opportunity in an academic context, including an integration of the practical and the academic elements of the experience. Please refer to Internship section of this catalog for further requirements and guidelines.

Program requirements