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Political Science

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UMBC’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science prepares students to become a part of the "business" of the Washington metropolitan area. Students learn about the central problems of politics such as the distribution of power and authority in society and the aggregation of preferences across large populations as well as develop analytical and writing skills. The program offers courses in pre-law, public policy, and international affairs that enable students to focus on their core interests and pursue practical learning opportunities through internships at federal, state, and local agencies, and at international and non-governmental organizations. 

Students enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts program in Political Science at UMBC-Shady Grove will complete approximately two years of full-time study prior to entry and complete the remainder of their upper-level credits with UMBC-Shady Grove. Students may transfer a maximum of 60 credits from a two-year school and 90 credits from a four-year school to UMBC.

Learn More About the Program

Suggested Transfer Pathways

UMBC-Shady Grove has developed Suggested Transfer Pathways for students at Montgomery College (MC) and Frederick Community College (FCC) who may be interested in transferring into any one of our undergraduate programs. We have also developed recommendations for students who are transferring from other schools. These documents provide an academic plan of action for transfer with recommended courses specific to each of our academic programs.

Please note that the Suggested Transfer Pathway is not intended to serve as an official articulation agreement.

Recommended Prerequisites

UMBC-Shady Grove provides upper-level coursework for transfer students who have completed or are near completion of lower-level course requirements.  As such, only upper-level courses are offered at UMBC-Shady Grove specific to each of our undergraduate programs. Most students transferring into UMBC-Shady Grove have completed at least 45-50 credits prior to transfer and many students have earned their associate degree. The Political Science Department strongly encourages you to complete the following courses prior to transfer:

  • American Government
  • Two 200-level Political Science Courses
  • English Composition

In addition to the above courses, the following courses must be completed prior to graduation from UMBC. Ideally, a student will complete as many of the courses below as possible prior to transferring to UMBC-Shady Grove. Given that these courses are lower-level, they must be taken at an institution other than UMBC-Shady Grove:

  • 3 Arts and Humanities courses (from at least two different disciplines)
  • 3 Social Science courses (from at least two different disciplines)
  • College Algebra or Statistics
  • 2 Science courses (at least one must have a lab component)
  • 2 Physical Education courses (consult advisor about exceptions)
  • World Language Intermediate-Level (consult advisor about exceptions)

Questions about the Political Science Program? Please contact Dr. Sunil Dasgupta, Program Director, at sunildasgupta@umbc.edu or 301-738-6313. Watch the short video below to meet Dr. Dasgupta.

Major Requirements

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree must complete university requirements. Progress toward completion of university requirements is evaluated by means of the Transfer Credit Report (TCR) which is available online to students via myUMBC once admitted to the university. Progress toward major completion is evaluated in the academic departments. University requirements include:

General Requirements:

  • Minimum of 120 academic credits
  • Minimum of 2.0 grade point average
  • Two Physical Education courses
  • 45 Upper Level Credits

General Requirements are an important component of study at UMBC.  Please refer to the following worksheets for guidance.

  • For students who entered higher education prior to Summer 2007: GFR Worksheet
  • For students entering higher education Summer  2007 or later: GEP Worksheet

Major Requirements:

Major Requirements Specific to Political Science

Additional Advising Resources

Additional advising resources are available here. For more information on degree requirements, please contact the UMBC-Shady Grove Coordinator of Undergraduate Recruitment and Advising at 301-738-6281.

Minor Requirements

In addition to completing a major, UMBC students also have the option of completing a minor to supplement their coursework. The minors listed below are available to all students at UMBC-Shady Grove. Please note that all social work majors are required to complete a minor of their choosing. 

Please click on the links below for University requirements specific to minors requiring coursework available at UMBC-Shady Grove. Other minor options may be explored as well. You should meet with your academic advisor to discuss how your minor of interest may best fit your degree plan.

Minor Requirements:

Political Science Minor

Faculty

Dr. Sunil Dasgupta

Program Director
Department: Political Science
Phone: 301-738-6313
Email: sunildasgupta@umbc.edu
Office: Bldg III, Room 4151

Dr. Sunil Dasgupta is the Program Director of UMBC’s Political Science program at the Universities at Shady Grove. He teaches international relations, foreign policy, and security studies as well as introductory courses in political science. In his teaching, Dr. Dasgupta has developed innovative pedagogical approaches using online instruction and new technologies.

Dr. Dasgupta’s research focuses on insurgency and civil wars, civil-military relations, defense R&D, and Asian security issues. His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Current History, the Washington Quarterly, and the New York Times, among others. He is co-author, with Stephen P. Cohen, of Arming Without Aiming: India’s Military Modernization (Brookings Press, 2010). His paper, “Regional Politics and the Prospects of Stability in Afghanistan,” was published in April 2013 by the United States Institute of Peace.

Before joining UMBC at USG in 2009, Dr. Dasgupta taught international relations and security studies at the George Washington and Georgetown Universities. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Dasgupta worked as a news reporter covering national security and military affairs and wrote a column on business and economics. He remains a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. Click here to view Dr. Dasgupta's publications on his Brookings page.

Dr. Dasgupta has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Faculty