Study Program

Study Program Liberal Studies,

academic field Political Science

Academic Year – 2023/2024


The BISLA curriculum offers a broad range of courses in social sciences and humanities that prepare students for a broad range of opportunities in pursuing further studies worldwide as well as in their professional careers. BISLA offers a personal approach, interdisciplinarity, and a focus on the skills of academic writing, independent research, and critical thinking.

BISLA’s liberal arts curriculum is designed to foster well-rounded, skills-equipped, independently-minded individuals through a rigorous bachelor-level course of study. All students major in Political Science, and choose one of the following minors: International Relations, Political Thought, or Sociology. With the aid of their academic advisors, students can also build minors in other fields.

BISLA also provides directed studies for students with specific interests and offers a range of extracurricular non-credit courses free of charge (e.g. foreign languages, presentation and argumentation skills, etc.).

All courses are in English and taught by select lecturers who are all experts in their fields.

Degree and Concentrations

A graduate of BISLA receives the title Bachelor of Arts, consisting of 180 (or more) credits within the major of political science.

While at BISLA, students can acquire, in addition to the major in political science, a study minor in the field of philosophy, Central Europe area studies, or international relations.

The study minor (concentration) is a cluster of interdisciplinary courses consisting of at least 30 ECTS credits and writing a bachelor thesis in the selected field. This study minor enables the graduate to apply for further studies at a graduate level in specialized study fields.

Political Science Major

All BISLA students receive their bachelor’s degree in political science. It is the main concentration of the studies, although following the liberal arts tradition, the span of the subjects included within this major is broader than in typical political science departments. Courses within the political science major are compulsory for all BISLA students and represent the bulk of the core curriculum.

This concentration introduces students to the study of political systems, institutions, and cultures. In their first year, students are introduced to the field through the comparison of political systems and the study of basic democratic institutions and processes. The second year focuses on the analysis of historical and current sources of political cultures, ideologies, and modes of conflict and cooperation. Advanced courses are a focused study of a particular geographic region or topic.


Study Minors:

BISLA currently offers different types of minors (certificate of minor has purely informational value for foreign universities). Click the buttons below for more details.


The International Relations concentration is devoted to the study of international politics, international organizations, diplomacy, and the history and theories of international relations and regional studies. Courses in the track of International Relations are sequenced to provide a student with a general introduction to the field and theories of international relations, history of the evolution of the international system, and a basic overview of international mechanisms and organizations. Alumni often successfully continue pursuing international relations as their main field of study after completion of their bachelor studies at BISLA.

The International Relations minor is designed to provide students with at least 30 ECTS credits in the field of international relations over the three years of their undergraduate studies.

Students minoring in international relations are also required to write their bachelor’s thesis in the field of international relations and to pass their state exams in the subfield of international relations.

Upon successful completion of these requirements, students receive a certificate signifying completion of the International Relations Minor in addition to their Bachelor of Arts diploma in Political Science.

Core courses:

  • International Conflict and Cooperation: Narratives of Conflict and Peace, and Justice
  • History of Twentieth Century/Modern European History
  • European Union


  • Geopolitics
  • Diplomacy
  • International Human Rights Mechanisms (Human and Civil Rights) 
  • Theories and Practice of Conflict Resolution 
  • International Development
  • China and Central Europe 
  • Ethnic Conflict and Violence in International Relations

The concentration in Central Europe Area Studies is an interdisciplinary study field that approaches the geographical region of Central Europe from a variety of perspectives. Students engage in research on the political systems of Central Europe, cooperation within the area, their position in the broader European region and international system, the development of political thought in the area of Central Europe, and artistic influences and trends. They consider the spread and role of phenomena such as nationalism and populism and their lasting impact on current societies.

The Central Europe Area Studies minor consists of 30 or more ECTS course credits in this field. Students write their bachelor’s thesis on a topic related to Central Europe, and a portion of the final state exams draws questions from this study field. 

In addition, foreign students also take Slovak or Russian language courses. 

Core courses:

  • Modern European History
  • European Union

Elective courses:

  • Politics of Central Europe
  • China and Central Europe 
  • Art History 
  • Crisis in the European Union 
  • Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Race 
  • Introduction to International Migration 
  • Russian Politics
  • Various other electives on offer
  • Dissertation Unit: Students minoring in Central Europe Area Studies write their bachelor’s thesis in the field of Central Europe.

The Concentration in Political Thought offers students an intensive introduction into the world of political thought and philosophy. In this concentration, BISLA highlights the historical roots of present political thought and analyses of political systems in the history of political thought.

Courses are designed to cultivate skills of independent and creative thinking, analysis, and academic writing.

The Minor in Political Thought consists of a minimum of 30 ECTS credits of coursework, the submission and defense of a bachelor’s thesis within this field, and passing the state exams within this subfield.

Core Courses:

  • History of Political Thought I: Antiquity
  • Introduction to Philosophy 
  • Western Civilization

Elective Courses:

  • Plato: The Republic
  • History of Political Thought II: Early Modern
  • History of Political Thought III: Late Modern and Contemporary
  • Theories of Democracy
  • Ethics
  • Social Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Kierkegaard and the Philosophy of the 19th Century
  • Reading Heidegger
  • Philosophy of culturedness
  • Various other electives on offer

Dissertation Unit: Students minoring in Political Thought write their bachelor’s thesis in this field.

Structure of Studies by Year:


In the first week of the semester, first-year students take part in orientation, which prepares them for academic life at BISLA and gets them acquainted with the faculty and their older colleagues. During this week, students develop creative writing skills. 

Focus on Skills Development
In their first years, students acquire the correct academic habits through writing short essays, learning and practicing how to think critically, and reading original texts. Students  also practice discussion and presentation skills. 

Core Courses
All students participate in common core courses that are of an introductory nature to a variety of disciplines within the social sciences and humanities. 

Academic Writing and English
During the first two semesters, students can significantly improve their English language skills, especially their capabilities to comprehend academic literature, broaden their vocabulary, and gain confidence in writing and presenting in the English language.

J-Term (short, intensive semester)
During five weeks in January and February, first-year students attend intensive seminars on the methodology of social research and take workshops designed to practice the soft skills of independent research, public presentations, problem solving, conflict resolution, and the like.


Declaring a Minor
In their second year, students choose their concentration if they wish to graduate with a certificate of minor in Central European Area Studies, Political Thought, or International Relations. They work with their academic advisors to build their study program accordingly to achieve this goal upon graduation.

All BISLA students are required to undertake internships in public administration or non-governmental institutions in the fields of politics, foreign relations, culture, media, environment, or law. Students are expected to complete at least 60 hours of supervised internships. However, they are encouraged to take on internships for a prolonged period of time—a semester or longer—to get acquainted with the institutions, programs, strategic planning, organization of events, and so on.

Choosing Bachelor’s Thesis Topic and Advisor
In their fourth semester, students choose the topic and the first reader for their bachelor’s theses. By the end of the semester, students submit a brief proposal and design the study plan together with their thesis advisors.

The second year at BISLA is devoted to advancing the academic writing skills of the students, independent research in the social sciences, and public presentation. 

J-Term (short, intensive semester)
Plato’s Republic


Bachelor’s Thesis
The bachelor’s thesis represents the main outcome of academic research and writing at BISLA. Students are free to choose from a broad range of fields and topics from within the BISLA curriculum in cooperation with their thesis advisors. They start preparing for the writing in their second year by selecting a topic, deciding on the thesis advisor, and crafting a study plan. In their fifth semester, students develop a comprehensive bachelor’s thesis proposal, which receives feedback from the advisor and the second reader of the thesis. Bachelor’s theses include original research, a substantial review of literature within the field, and a discussion of findings and their implications. All theses are published on the BISLA website.

Career Counseling
As their transition towards graduate level education or employment and internships after graduation approaches, students are offered career counseling and collaborate with the Undergraduate Studies Coordinator and their academic advisors on preparation for this next phase of life.

At this level of studies, students focus on the advanced level of reading and writing long-form texts, and getting acquainted with advanced social science research methods. Students are encouraged to present at international student conferences and publish in student academic journals.

… A personal approach for global success


We are now accepting applications for the Academic Year 2024/2025

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