Civic Education

The rights to vote and to seek political change are important, but becoming an informed participant in American democracy is just as important. The civic education certificate is designed for students who want to get involved teaching the rights, responsibilities and intellectual foundations that go along with membership in American democracy.


The civic education certificate program helps prepare undergraduate students for careers in primary and secondary education where the teaching of government and civics may be involved. The program is also preparation for careers or participation in politics, public service, civic and social movements and for further education in law, journalism, business, history, sociology, political science, public administration, social work and other fields where an understanding of questions of citizenship, leadership, community, democracy, public responsibility and ethics is crucial.

At a Glance

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Degree Requirements

The certificate does not substitute for degree requirements in any subject, including political science; rather, it is a complement to the student's chosen major. The certificate program is intended to guide students to a variety of courses in which successful completion indicates their special accomplishment in the area of civic education. Students majoring in any subject at the university may be awarded the civic education certificate upon completion of the following 15 credit hours of political science courses:

Required core courses: (9)

POS 210 Political Ideologies, SB (3)
POS 346 Problems of Democracy, HU (3)
POS 442 American Political Thought, HU (3)

Choose one from the courses below:

POS 340 History of Political Philosophy I, HU, H (3)
POS 341 History of Political Philosophy II, HU, H (3)
POS 443 Topics in Contemporary Political Theory, HU (3)

Choose one from the courses below:

POS 300 Contemporary Global Controversies, SB, G (3)
POS 313 The Congress, SB (3)
POS 314 The American Presidency, SB (3)
POS 315 The Supreme Court, SB (3)
POS 332 American Political Parties, SB (3)
POS 333 Interest Groups, SB (3)
POS 370 Law and Society, SB (3)
POS 417 Arizona Politics, SB (3)
POS 435 Women and Politics, SB, C (3)
POS 439 Minority Group Politics in America, SB, C (3)

Certificate students must have a minimum GPA of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale); only courses in which students have a grade of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or higher count toward the certificate. A minimum of six upper-division credit hours must be taken in courses offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Depending upon a student's undergraduate program of study, prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Admission Requirements

Students should contact the School of Politics and Global Studies for more information about completing the civic education certificate.

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.