This minor may only be completed by students admitted to the Elementary Education or the Elementary Education and Special Education programs. A minor is not required to complete either program.

Minors provide a depth of study in a particular area of interest and also inform classroom instruction. The completion of a minor is required to teach middle school in some states and may benefit students particularly interested in teaching at this level.

The Department of Political Science is housed in the College of Letters & Science. Students may wish to consult with an undergraduate advisor in the department to discuss course selection and other issues related to this field of study.

Upon completion, the subject area of the minor will be posted on the UW–Madison transcript. Students will not receive an additional certification or license in the subject area. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction does not offer content licenses in association with the Elementary Education or Special Education teaching licenses.

How to Get In

This minor may only be declared by students completing the Elementary Education or the Elementary Education and Special Education programs. To declare the minor, contact your academic advisor in Education Student Services any time after program admission.


Complete a minimum of 24 credits. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 is required, based on all political science minor coursework taken on the UW–Madison campus.

Required Courses

Complete any Political Science course numbered 100-199 (one course)3-4
POLI SCI 205 Introduction to State Government3-4
or POLI SCI 405 State Government and Public Policy
Research Methods
Complete one of the following:3-4
Research Methods in Political Science
Understanding Political Numbers
Political Choice and Strategy
Analysis of International Relations
Introduction to Survey Research

Distribution Requirements

Complete at least one course from each of the four political science groups. Courses taken to meet the requirements above may be applied toward the course distribution.

Political Theory

POLI SCI 160 Introduction to Political Theory3-4
POLI SCI 360 History of American Political Thought3-4
POLI SCI 361 Contemporary American Political Thought3-4
POLI SCI/​CLASSICS/​HISTORY  362 Athenian Democracy3
POLI SCI 363 Literature and Politics3-4
POLI SCI 364 Christian Political Thought3-4
POLI SCI/​ILS/​ITALIAN/​LITTRANS  365 Machiavelli and His World3
POLI SCI 460 Topics in Political Philosophy3-4
POLI SCI 463 Deception and Politics4
POLI SCI/​GEN&WS  469 Women and Politics3-4
POLI SCI/​AFROAMER  519 African American Political Theory3-4
POLI SCI 590 Study Abroad Topics in Political Science: Political Theory1-4

American Government

POLI SCI 104 Introduction to American Politics and Government3-4
POLI SCI 184 Introduction to American Politics3
POLI SCI 205 Introduction to State Government3-4
POLI SCI 206 Introduction to Political Psychology3-4
POLI SCI/​LEGAL ST  217 Law, Politics and Society3-4
POLI SCI/​CHICLA  231 Politics in Multi-Cultural Societies3-4
POLI SCI 272 Introduction to Public Policy3-4
POLI SCI/​AFRICAN/​AFROAMER/​HISTORY  297 African and African-American Linkages: An Introduction4
POLI SCI/​CHICLA  302 Mexican-American Politics3-4
POLI SCI 304 The Political Economy of Race in the United States3-4
POLI SCI 305 Elections and Voting Behavior3-4
POLI SCI 306 American Political Parties3-4
POLI SCI 311 United States Congress3-4
POLI SCI 314 Criminal Law and Justice3-4
POLI SCI 315 Legislative Internship3
POLI SCI 402 Wisconsin in Washington Internship Course4
POLI SCI 405 State Government and Public Policy3-4
POLI SCI 408 The American Presidency3-4
POLI SCI 411 The American Constitution : Powers and Structures of Government4
POLI SCI 412 The American Constitution: Rights and Civil Liberties4
POLI SCI 414 The Supreme Court as a Political Institution3
POLI SCI 416 Community Power and Grass Roots Politics3
POLI SCI 417 The American Judicial System3-4
POLI SCI/​PUB AFFR  419 Administrative Law3-4
POLI SCI 470 The First Amendment3-4
POLI SCI 481 Honors Seminar on Race and Politics in the United States3
POLI SCI 490 Study Abroad Topics in Political Science: American Government1-4
POLI SCI 511 Campaign Finance3-4
POLI SCI 515 Public Opinion3-4
POLI SCI/​AFROAMER  519 African American Political Theory3-4
POLI SCI 602 Wisconsin in Washington Advanced Public Policy Course4

Comparative Politics

POLI SCI 120 Introduction to Comparative Politics4
POLI SCI 182 Introduction to Comparative Politics (Honors)3
POLI SCI/​CHICLA  231 Politics in Multi-Cultural Societies3-4
POLI SCI/​ASIAN/​GEOG/​HISTORY/​SOC  244 Introduction to Southeast Asia: Vietnam to the Philippines4
POLI SCI/​GEOG/​HISTORY/​SLAVIC  253 Russia: An Interdisciplinary Survey4
POLI SCI/​GEOG/​HISTORY/​SLAVIC  254 Eastern Europe: An Interdisciplinary Survey4
POLI SCI/​ASIAN/​HISTORY  255 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations3-4
POLI SCI/​AFRICAN/​AFROAMER/​ANTHRO/​GEOG/​HISTORY/​SOC  277 Africa: An Introductory Survey4
POLI SCI/​AFRICAN/​AFROAMER/​HISTORY  297 African and African-American Linkages: An Introduction4
POLI SCI 320 Governments and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa3-4
POLI SCI 322 Politics of Southeast Asia3-4
POLI SCI 324 Chinese Politics3-4
POLI SCI/​INTL ST  325 Social Movements and Revolutions in Latin America3-4
POLI SCI/​INTL ST  327 Indian Politics in Comparative Perspective3
POLI SCI 328 Politics of East and Southeast Asia3-4
POLI SCI 329 African Politics3-4
POLI SCI 330 Political Economy of Development3
POLI SCI 332 German Politics3-4
POLI SCI 334 Russian Politics3-4
POLI SCI 336 Democracy (and Its Uncertain Future)4
POLI SCI 338 The Civil-Military Paradox in U.S. Politics and Society3
POLI SCI 339 Non-Democracies3
POLI SCI/​JEWISH  341 Israeli Politics and Society3-4
POLI SCI 344 The Russian War on Ukraine: Causes and Consequences3
POLI SCI 349 Global Access to Justice3
POLI SCI/​CHICLA/​HISTORY/​LACIS  355 Labor in the Americas: US & Mexico in Comparative & Historical Perspective3
POLI SCI 370 Islam and Politics3-4
POLI SCI 421 The Challenge of Democratization3-4
POLI SCI/​CHICLA/​HISTORY  422 Latino History and Politics3
POLI SCI/​GEN&WS  429 Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective3-4
POLI SCI/​INTL ST  431 Contentious Politics3-4
POLI SCI 432 Comparative Legal Institutions3-4
POLI SCI/​RELIG ST  433 Religion and Politics3-4
POLI SCI/​INTL ST  434 The Politics of Human Rights3-4
POLI SCI/​GEN&WS  435 Politics of Gender and Women's Rights in the Middle East3
POLI SCI 437 Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict3-4
POLI SCI 438 Comparative Political Culture3-4
POLI SCI/​INTL ST  439 The Comparative Study of Genocide3-4
POLI SCI 529 Arab-Israeli Conflict3-4
POLI SCI 534 Socialism and Transitions to the Market3-4
POLI SCI 538 Politics and Policies in the European Union3-4
POLI SCI 635 Comparative Politics of Sport3-4
POLI SCI 690 Study Abroad Topics in Political Science: Comparative Politics1-4

International Relations

POLI SCI 140 Introduction to International Relations3-4
POLI SCI/​CHICLA/​HISTORY/​LACIS  268 The U.S. & Latin America from the Colonial Era to the Present: A Critical Survey3
POLI SCI 340 The European Union: Politics and Political Economy3-4
POLI SCI 343 Theories of International Security3-4
POLI SCI 345 Conflict Resolution3-4
POLI SCI 346 China in World Politics3-4
POLI SCI 347 Terrorism3
POLI SCI 348 Analysis of International Relations3-4
POLI SCI 350 International Political Economy3-4
POLI SCI 354 International Institutions and World Order3-4
POLI SCI 356 Principles of International Law3-4
POLI SCI 359 American Foreign Policy3-4
POLI SCI 377 Nuclear Weapons and World Politics3-4
POLI SCI 390 Study Abroad Topics in Political Science: International Relations1-4
POLI SCI/​ECON/​ENVIR ST/​URB R PL  449 Government and Natural Resources3-4
POLI SCI 455 African International Relations3-4
POLI SCI 652 The Politics of Development3-4


Complete additional coursework, if necessary, to reach the minimum of 24 credits.