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Political Science Undergraduate Program

The student planning to major in political science will find a program offering a large number of courses with relatively few and flexible requirements for majoring in the field. An additional attraction of the undergraduate program lies in the diverse sub-fields and interests reflected in its course offerings, spanning courses in political processes, judicial behavior, political theory, international and comparative politics, as well as public administration and state and local government.

Undergraduate majors in political science are eligible for a group of special options to complement their formal coursework in political science. As this section will note, such options range from individualized courses in independent study and special topical seminars to internship programs offered at the local, state and national levels of government coordinated through the Director of Internships for the Department of Political Science.

A university education truly worth the name must do more than prepare students for a job or a career. It must broaden their understanding of the world, of themselves, of their role in society, and of the ideals and aspirations which have motivated human thought and action throughout the ages. It must help individuals use their acquired knowledge to grow in maturity as they take responsibility for their lives by establishing their own individual goals and developing the habit of lifelong learning.

The broad goals of the University of Kentucky's general education program, called UK Core, recognize that a university education is more than simply learning a set of skills in a specific area in preparation for a job or career. A university education is designed to broaden the students’ understanding of themselves, of the world we live in, of their role in our global society, and of the ideals and aspirations that have motivated human thought and action throughout the ages. It must help individuals effectively put into action their acquired knowledge, to provide the bases for critical thinking and problem solving, and to develop life-long learning habits.

Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in selecting courses that are appropriate for their own needs and aspirations.

Director of Undergraduate Studies

The Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Tiffany Barnes (, is available to answer more specific questions and to handle specific problems that arise. For example, if a student is new to the University of Kentucky but has taken courses at another university, Dr. Barnes evaluates the student's transcript for any transferable Political Science courses. The DUS is also available ( to counsel a student who does not yet have an advisor. You should try to resolve problems with your advisor before turning to the DUS, and official approvals should be obtained from your advisor rather than the DUS. While your advisor and the DUS will be glad to help you and to answer questions, they are not available to prepare your class schedule for you or to assess your transcripts to see if you have met the requirements for graduation. You are responsible for arranging your own class schedules and for meeting requirements for graduation.