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PSPA Undergraduate Programs

Programs of Study

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Political Science Major

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

Political Science, the study of politics, is concerned with understanding political phenomena and developing citizens who are aware of their political rights and responsibilities. The political science major at UNF has three broad objectives. The first is to convey to students knowledge about the subfields within the discipline, with an emphasis on American government and politics, comparative politics, international relations, and public administration. The second is to provide students with the skills needed for active and effective participation in the democratic process. The final objective is to prepare students for careers associated with politics.

The political science major provides an excellent background for admission to law school and is a solid foundation for graduate work in political science, public administration, and urban planning. In addition to preparing students for graduate work, the conceptual and methodological skills developed in the major equip students for employment by local, state, and national organizations, corporations, and nonprofit groups located in the U.S. and foreign countries, international organizations such as the United Nations, the print and electronic media, and secondary education.

After completion of core requirements, students may take their major electives in one of five concentrations:

  • General Political Science
  • American Politics
  • International Relations & Comparative Politics
  • Public Law
  • Public Administration & Public Policy

Getting Started

Students should take:

  • POS 2041 Introduction to American Government
  • One of the introductory political science courses with POS, CPO, or INR prefixes
    • Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • INR 2002 Introduction to International Relations

Major Courses

All Political Science Majors are required to take 6 core classes, beginning with:

  • POT 3003 Political Thought and Action
  • POS 3733: Research Design

Students can also use their 12 hours of electives to concentrate in a particular area. The core requirements and concentrations can be found in the Program of Study section (above right.)

Public Service Leadership Program


Nancy Soderberg headshot

The Public Service Leadership Program was founded in 2006 by Nancy Soderberg, a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of North Florida. As the current Director of the program, Nancy Soderberg has used her extensive contacts in government and the nonprofit world to build a network of opportunities for UNF students to gain first- hand experience in the field, building their resume and contacts -keys to future employment.

This program builds lasting skills for students and transforms the students' vision and career goals. Contact Information: Ambassador Nancy Soderberg.

Internship Opportunities

Public Service Leadership Program has placed nearly 100 students in exceptional positions:

  • Tallahassee
  • Washington, D.C.
  • New York City, as well as internationally.
  • Senators Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio;
  • The Department of Education
  • The Department of Defense
  • The Department of State in Washington, D.C.
  • Embassies abroad: Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Sophia, Bulgaria, Geneva, Quito, & Ankara.
  • NGOs in DC, NY, & beyond.
  • United Nations World Food Program in Bangkok, Thailand, Tanzania, & Rome.

Student Testimonials

UNF students have the opportunity to gain personal experiences in the field of public policy through internships in political arena, government, United Nations, National and International organizations. 


Global Issues in Contemporary Politics | this course promotes the understanding and analysis of significant trends in the emerging new world system and relates those trends and events to domestic politics and society in other nation states. The course also compares and analyzes comparative trends in political institutions, systems and changes in public policies in the world community.

Real Policy World | This course explores selected major political issues of the day.After the end of the Cold War and 9/11, the role of the United States in the world has fundamentally changed. The course also examines how the United States will continue to interact in a new world order. Also, a chance to visit Washington D.C.

During the Fall and Spring semesters, Ambassador Soderberg teaches "Real Policy World". Upon completing this course, students will gain confidence in a leadership role along with the potential to seek a political career.

Stack of books in library

Course will include the opportunity to review their key policies of recommendation with senior U.S. officials such as: The White House Deputy National Security Advisors, Senior State Department officials, Senior Pentagon officials, Capitol Hill, CIA officials, Florida Senator offices, Embassies and much more. Upon return to Jacksonville, students will write an op-ed article on their topic for the local paper, the Florida Times Union.

PSPA Minors and Fast Track Option

Public Administration Minors

The Public Administration Minor gives students a broad understanding of the public and nonprofit sectors, giving them a general understanding of the scope and activity of governance in modern society. The department offers a Public Administration minor with 3 different tracks:

  • General Public Administration
  • Fast Track for the MPA program
  • Public Administration for Political Science majors

Fast Track Master of Public Administration

A Fast Track leading to entry into the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is available to UNF Political Science majors. Students who successfully complete the Fast Track requirements, and who meet the admission requirements for the MPA program, will be able to complete the MPA degree with 33 hours of credit rather than the 42 credit hours otherwise required.

Undergraduate Fast Track requirements are that a student: (1) must be a UNF undergraduate Political Science major; (2) must declare an intent to exercise the Fast Track option prior to their senior year; (3) must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work; (4) must make a grade of at least B or higher in PAD 4003 (taken as part of the Fast Track concentration core requirements; (5) must complete the Political Science Fast Track concentration minor requirements; and (6) must have a B average or above for the five courses required in the Fast Track minor. All sic of these conditions must be met in full.

Political Science Minor

The Political Science Minor gives students a general understanding of political phenomena and their rights and responsibilities as citizens. A minor in Political Science prepares students for employment with local, state, and national organizations, corporations, and nonprofit groups located in the U.S. and foreign countries, international organizations such as the United Nations, the print and electronic media, and secondary education.