The minor in Political and Civic Leadership offers students an informed appreciation of American democracy, the values and structures on which it is based, its successes and its weaknesses, and the challenges it will face in the 21st century. Because the potential benefits of democratic governance cannot be realized without an abundant supply of capable and committed civic leaders, the minor takes on the mission of generating a stream of highly motivated, exceptionally capable, ethically aware, and broadly-trained individuals who will be prepared to assume leadership positions in civic affairs in both the private and the public domains.

The Political and Civic Leadership minor is designed to appeal to students with interests in American politics, public policy, and civic engagement. The curriculum points students toward coursework inside and outside the Department of Political Science that will provide them with the substantive background and theoretical foundations to understand leadership and policymaking in the U.S. context and to participate as civic leaders.

The minor in Political and Civic Leadership is for students who are not political science majors. Students must be admitted to the minor and meet all of its requirements (17 hours). At least three courses (9 hours) must be at the advanced level.

Requirement Hours

One foundation course, chosen from the following:

      PS 100: Intro to Political Science
      PS 101: Intro to US Government & Politics
      GLBL 100: Intro to Global Studies
      GLBL 220: Governance

An intermediate (200-level) or advanced (300-level) course in public policy from list maintained by the Department 3
A course examining the construction of social identity relating to race, religion, ethnicity, or gender from list maintained by the Department 3
A course exploring different perspectives on a just, ordered, and moral society from list maintained by the Department 3
PS 491 or approved internship course in another department 3
At least two sections of PS 191 designated as pertaining to the Civic Leadership Program 2
Total Hours 17

View the list of approved courses for each requirement here.

Apply for the Political and Civic Leadership Minor

Admission to the Political and Civic Leadership minor is based on academic performance, demonstrated leadership achievement, and the potential for meaningful civic engagement.

To be eligible to apply for the minor, students must have the following requirements:

  • 9 hours of Political and Civic Leadership minor coursework completed or in progress, including 3 hours at the 300-level or above
  • Illinois on-campus GPA of at least 3.0

When applying for the Political and Civic Leadership minor students will be asked to include:

  • An application form
  • A personal statement (1 page detailing leadership and/or civic engagement experience and interest in the program)
  • A resume
  • An official or unofficial transcript
  • A writing sample from a political science, or other social science or CLP course