The government major offers two concentration areas: Foreign Affairs and Political Science. This gives students the option of focusing on courses that will benefit them as they make decisions about job opportunities and graduate school with the ultimate goal of preparing students to be full participants in a democratic society and the world at large.

What kinds of careers could I pursue?

The government major provides an understanding of how citizens attempt to deal with power and political decisions in institutions through the study of political organizations such as legislatures, courts and executives. In addition, the focus of study is of national, comparative, and international politics. Our students become aware of the scope of political topics and activities using philosophical, historical, and behavioral methods.

Political science provides a particularly useful background for students planning a career in government or public service, law, non-profit management, teaching, business and other professions that involve an understanding of power and politics.

What courses do I need to take?

The foreign affairs concentration consists of 42 hours of coursework. Students will take courses in the foreign affairs core and choices in the areas of comparative politics and government, political theory, foreign studies, criminal justice, history, religion, economics and history.

The political Science concentration consists of 36 hours of courses with three focus areas in American Government, Political Theory and International Relations.

Learn more about studying government at UVA Wise by consulting the College Catalog.


View course descriptions in the College Catalog.

Minor in Government

A minor in Government consists of: POL 1010, POL 4010, POL 4020, POL 4810, one upper-level American politics course, one upper-level comparative politics/international relations course, and one other upper-level elective course for a total of 21 hours.

Licensure to Teach

All majors in government seeking a license to teach with an endorsement in history and social science must complete 18 semester hours in history, six semester hours in geography, and six semester hours in economics, in addition to the political science courses. For professional studies requirements for secondary grades 6-12 and additional information relative to the Teacher Education Program, contact the Director of Teacher Education.

UVA Wise/Appalachian School of Law Accelerated 3+3 Dual Degree Program

Students who are interested in attending the Appalachian School of Law (ASL) will have an opportunity to earn their Bachelor’s degree from UVA Wise and a Juris Doctor from ASL in only six years. Interested students should contact Heather Evans or Eric Smith upon declaring their major at UVA Wise. Application to the Appalachian School of Law must be received by January 1 of the calendar year in which the student desires to enroll in the law school. Application to the Accelerated Study Program must be submitted to the appropriate faculty (Heather Evans or Eric Smith) within the Department of Social Sciences in the freshman or sophomore years of study