Political Science

Apply For Program

Program Details

  • Connect with national, state, and local government
  • Prepare for careers in government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and more


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, sources of authority, and the aggregation of preferences in groups. Students also learn technical research skills, how to write effectively, and to pursue innovative career pathways necessary in dynamic social and economic conditions. The program offers courses focused on pre-law, public policy, and international affairs and enables students to seek 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.

B.A. in Political Science Information Request

The below IDs are only relevant in PRODUCTION. If connecting this form to any other environment, you will need to work with a system admin to find the correct IDs for the test environment. 

This is the link to the General RFI form Campaign in Salesforce. If creating a new form, you should create a new Campaign in Salesforce and link up the ID here.

This will be set if using the Digital Inquiry Link from the Salesforce Campaign.


Complete the recommended prerequisites in government, political science, and English
Contact UMBC-Shady Grove for advising requirements, check your transfer credits, and the major requirements
Complete your major requirements, and total 120 credits including 45 upper level credits and graduate

More About the Program

Suggested Transfer Pathways

UMBC-Shady Grove has developed Suggested Transfer Pathways (STPs) for students at Montgomery College (updated version coming soon) and Frederick Community College (updated version coming soon) who may be interested in transferring into any one of our undergraduate programs. In the meantime, please make use of our General Suggested Transfer Pathway. Our STPs provide an academic plan of action for transfer and an outline of the recommended transfer coursework 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)
  • 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
  • 45 Upper Level Credits
Major Requirements:

Major Requirements Specific to Political Science

Additional Advising Resources

View additional Shady Grove Advising Resources. For more information on degree requirements, please contact the UMBC-Shady Grove Coordinator of Undergraduate Recruitment and Advising at 301-738-6281.

Visit USG’s website to learn which classes will be available during the upcoming semester.

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. Visit USG’s website to learn which classes will be available during the upcoming semester.

Minor Requirements:

Political Science Minor


Smiling business manDr. 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. 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.

Additional Faculty