Politics & Government

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Type

Major, Minor, Secondary Licensure


Behavioral & Social Sciences (BASS) Department

Whether you want to defend the innocent as an attorney, cover political events as a journalist or become an international policy liaison, you’ll need a deep understanding of the complex mechanics of politics and government.

Program Overview

Gain a multidimensional perspective of how political systems work.

In the Politics & Government program, you’ll be exposed to different and often conflicting points of view on a variety of important political ideas (e.g., democracy, freedom, equality, development and power). You’ll study how different individuals have looked at these ideas, as well as how such ideas have been practiced in real institutions and political controversies. Through hands-on learning in the field–in mock trials and Model UN competitions–you’ll develop the tools necessary for effective citizenship and cultivate critical reasoning. The dynamic experience of the program will make you question your assumptions about the world and your place in it and give you the ability to influence issues that matter to you.

An expanded worldview

Politics and Government students study different political ideas and how they have been practiced in real institutions and political controversies. They cultivate critical reasoning and develop the tools necessary to become global citizens.


At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Code Title Credits Description
POLS 117 Introduction to Political Ideas (GT-SS1) 3 View
POLS 180 Introduction to American Politics (GT-SS1) 3 View
POLS 250 Politics of the Environment 3 View
POLS 255 Introduction to Comparative Politics (GT-SS1) 3 View
POLS 260 Introduction to World Politics (GT-SS1) 3 View
POLS 282 Issues in State and Local Government 3 View
POLS 300 Constitutional Law I 3 View
POLS 301 Constitutional Law II 3 View
POLS 309 Political Theory I- Ancient to Early Modern 3 View
POLS 310 Political Theory II-Modern and Contemporary 3 View
POLS 331 The Politics of the Presidency 3 View
POLS 340 Politics of Social Movements 3 View
POLS 350 Human Rights 3 View
POLS 355 The Global South 3 View
POLS 360 American Foreign Policy 3 View
POLS 370 Political Economy 3 View
POLS 376 American Political Thought 3 View
POLS 380 The United Nations 3 View
POLS 485 Studies in Political Theory: 3 View
POLS 487 Studies in International Relations: 3 View
POLS 499 Internship in Politics and Government 1-12 View


Politics & Government

Hannah White


“Being so involved in so many different things you get to know all kinds of people. You get to make connections with people that just aren’t at Western.”

Politics & Government

Madison Patton


“I knew that I wanted a school that could cater to me and my needs. I knew that I would get that from being here.”

Politics & Government

Max Lindsey


“The biggest lesson I learned [at Western] was learning how to balance a busy life while getting the most out of education, employment and other pursuits.”


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Expand your community and your network.

There are so many ways that you can maximize your educational experience at Western. Take advantage of these opportunities to advance your career.

  • Events: Global Justice Film Series, visiting speakers, political debates and voter registration.
  • Internships: Students intern with political candidates, elected officials, nonprofit organizations and legal professionals.
  • Mock Trial: Introduces students to real criminal or civil cases to prepare for trial after graduation.
  • Model United Nations: Competes in the National Model United Nations event in New York City.
  • Politics Club: A student-led club that tackles political topics, provides professional development opportunities and works to bring dynamic debate to campus.

Award-winning Model UN team

A team of 10 Western students showcased their skills for a Model UN Conference in New York City. The team won two awards: outstanding position paper and overall distinguished delegation.

News & Research

urban living international panel

Western Adjunct to Discuss Urban Living with International Panel

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online courses

Western Colorado University moves summer courses online

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Western Professor Elected National Model UN Faculty Advisor

Western Professor Elected National Model UN Faculty Advisor

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Western takes group of students to Model United Nations

Western takes group of students to Model United Nations

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Western’s Mock Trial Team travels to Colorado Springs for competition

Western’s Mock Trial Team travels to Colorado Springs for competition

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Western’s Politics Club organizes ’speed repping’ event

Western’s Politics Club organizes ’speed repping’ event

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Michael Kodas visits Western to discuss importance of journalism

Michael Kodas visits Western to discuss importance of journalism

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Western to host candidates for state house, senate forum

Western to host candidates for state house, senate forum

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Western’s Model UN travels to NYC, brings home three awards

Western’s Model UN travels to NYC, brings home three awards

Read More

Additional Resources

Politics Resources

Politics Resources Volunteer Opportunities in US and abroad Relief Web Offers info on humanitarian and military emergencies as well as a comprehensive, weekly update on international relief job …

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Department Chairperson

Greg Haase, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology, Department Chair of Behavioral & Social Sciences Department

Contact Information



Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Kelley Hall 240
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231