The Bachelor of Science in Government and Politics provides students with rigorous substantive and methodological training to understand, interpret, and produce empirical political science research. The B.S. option is primarily for students with a strong background and interest in statistics and data science. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in political science (or a related field) or careers that use quantitative research should consider the Bachelor of Science option in Government and Politics.

There are five major components of the GVPT major: Benchmark courses, GVPT Methods Requirement, GVPT Foundational Course Requirement, GVPT Courses of Choice, and the Skills Requirements. All major requirements must be taken under the regular grading method and must be completed with a grade of C- or higher. No course may be used to satisfy more than one major requirement.

Every student must also complete their General Education requirements as well as 120 total credits to graduate with a degree in GVPT. Please reference the following major card:

Students Matriculating to the University of Maryland Fall 2012 or Later: General Education GVPT-BS Major Card

GVPT - Bachelor of Science Benchmark Requirements

Benchmark 1

Students must complete the following four courses within two semesters of entering the major:

  • GVPT170 with a grade of C- or higher
  • GVPT201 with a grade of C- or higher
  • One of STAT100, MATH107, MATH120, MATH135, MATH136, or MATH140 with a grade of C- or higher
  • Academic Writing with a grade of C- or higher

Benchmark 2

Students must complete the following course within one semesters of completing Benchmark 1:

  • GVPT320 with a grade of C- or higher

GVPT Methods Requirements 

GVPT Foundational Course Requirement 
  • Select 1 course from the following list (3 credits total):
    • GVPT200
    • GVPT280
    • GVPT282

GVPT Courses of Choice 
  • 2 any-level (100/200/300/400) GVPT Courses of Choice from any subfield (6 credits total)
  • 3 upper-level (300/400) GVPT Courses of Choice from any subfield (9 credits total)

GVPT Courses of Choice Policies:

  • No more than 6 experiential/non-traditional GVPT credits may apply towards the GVPT major requirements. Experiential/non-traditional courses include approved internship programs (GVPT377 [previously GVPT388W], Federal/Global Fellows Fall seminar courses), GVPT research and independent studies (GVPT388), the GVPT Undergraduate TA program (GVPT386/389), Mock Trial (GVPT217 and 317), and Moot Court (GVPT439L, GVPT439M, and GVPT439N). No course that is taken pass/fail may apply towards the GVPT major requirements.
  • At least 12 upper-level GVPT credits (4 upper-level Courses of Choice) must be completed in-residence at UMD.
  • All GVPT Courses of Choice must be satisfied by 3-credit courses.

GVPT Skills Requirements

The skills category for the Bachelor of Science track has four components:

  1. ECON 200 Microeconomics
  2. Entire level of elementary foreign language
  3. Quantitative skills course 1
  4. Quantitative skills course 2

Students may not apply courses used to fulfill the skills category toward the supporting sequence or the math gateway requirement. 

  1. Microeconomics: All students must complete ECON 200 Microeconomics.
  2. Elementary Foreign Language
    • Students must complete a foreign language through the entire elementary level. The entire elementary level of a language can be 4-12 total credits, depending on the language. If the entire elementary level of the language is comprised of multiple courses (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Russian, etc) students must complete all courses in the elementary sequence to satisfy this requirement, not just the first.
    • Click here for a list of foreign language courses offered at UMD that satisfy the entire elementary level of the language.
    • It is possible for students who have completed level 3 of a language in high school or who are proficient through the elementary level of a language to exempt from this requirement. Please see “Foreign Language Exemption” at the bottom of the page for more information.
  3. Quantitative Skills Requirement
    • Students must choose two quantitative skills courses from the approved list found here.
    • This course cannot be the same course that was used to satisfy the math benchmark requirement.
    • When selecting a course please refer to the course description on the Schedule of Classes to ensure any prerequisites/restrictions have been met and the course is not a duplicate of something previously completed.


Foreign Language Exemption:

Students proficient in a foreign language may exempt from the elementary and/or intermediate foreign language requirement(s) via the options below. Please contact a GVPT Advisor with questions.

a. High School Proficiency - Elementary only

Students who have completed the full level 3 of a foreign language in high school (e.g. Spanish 3, French 3) with a “C-” or higher may be exempted from the Elementary Foreign Language skills requirement. To request this exemption, students should email GVPTAdvising [at] with their name and UID. If UMD does not have a high school transcript on file, students can bring an official sealed copy of their transcript to the GVPT Advising office, or request their high school mail an official copy to: ATTN GVPT Advising, 3140 Tydings Hall, 7343 Preinkert Drive, College Park, MD 20742

*Note: Exemption from the Elementary Foreign Language requirement does not guarantee placement into the intermediate or advanced level of the language. Students who wish to complete a language while at UMD should take the Foreign Language Placement Test through the College of Arts and Humanities and will need to complete whichever course they place into before moving onto more advanced language classes.

b. Completion of an intermediate level course (or higher)

Students who complete or bring in transfer credit for an intermediate language course will be waived from the Elementary Foreign Language requirement. Equivalencies for prior learning credit, such as AP and IB credit, can be reviewed here.

c. Demonstrating Proficiency

Students proficient through the elementary level of a foreign language may seek an exemption from the requirement by identifying a testing center or submitting official documents as evidence. If UMD offers the language, one such option is to take the proctored in-person Foreign Language Placement exam. Students who place into the intermediate level will be waived from the Elementary requirement. 

If UMD does not offer the language, an option for native/heritage speakers to be exempt from the requirement is an oral interview through ACTFL; please see the following document for specific instructions (there is a fee for this service). The other option is to submit a letter or documentation from a non-family member testifying to the student’s language speaking abilities. Letters or documentation can be from religious or cultural leaders, government agents, ambassadors, etc. Such individuals can e-mail GVPT advisors directly or provide the student with a sealed letter to drop off at the GVPT advising office.

For questions, or to discuss other options for demonstrating proficiency, please speak with a GVPT advisor.