Political Science Major Requirements

NOTE: Students may now declare majors using the CLAS Online Program Change website.

All majors are required to meet the department’s distribution requirements which include introductory 1000-level courses in three of the following four subdivisions: Theory and Methodology, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and American Politics, and a minimum of 24 credits in Political Science courses numbered 2000 or above (none on a pass-fail basis). Inter-departmental courses may not be included in the 24 credits. No more than 6 credits of independent study and/or field work can be counted toward the 24 credits. No more than 9 transfer credits of upper level POLS course work may count towards the 24 credits required for the major.

In addition majors are to take at least one course in four of the following disciplinary subdivisions: Theory and Methodology; Comparative Politics; International Relations; American Politics; Public Administration, Policy and Law, Race, Gender, and Ethnic Politics. Language preparation is an essential part of any plan of advanced work in international relations and comparative politics. Training in statistics and quantitative methods is a valuable tool for further work in many fields as well, and for this purpose the department offers courses in quantitative methods, particularly POLS 2072Q (which is open to sophomores).

Detailed Requirements

  1. Students majoring in Political Science must take introductory 1000-level courses in three of the following four subdivisions: Theory and Methodology (1002), Comparative Politics (1202 or 1207), International Relations (1402), and American Politics (1602). It is recommended that these courses be taken during the student’s first two years of study.
  2. All majors in Political Science must pass at least one course must be taken in four of the following six subdivisions (total of 12 credits). A W or Q course may be substituted for the same numbered course. Cross-listed courses may count only once toward this distribution requirement:
    1. Theory and Methodology: 2072Q, 3002, 3012, 3017, 3022W, 3032, 3042, 3062, 3072, 3082, 3672
    2. Comparative Politics: 2222, 3202, 3205, 3206, 3208, 3212, 3214W, 3216, 3228, 3235, 3237, 3239, 3245, 3252, 3255, 3256
    3. International Relations: 3402, 3406, 3410, 3412, 3414, 3418, 3422, 3429, 3432, 3437, 3438W, 3442, 3447, 3457, 3462, 3464, 3472, 3476
    4. American Politics: 2607, 2622, 3602, 3604, 3612, 3613, 3615, 3617, 3622, 3625, 3627, 3632, 3642, 3647, 3652, 3662, 3667, 3850
    5. Public Administration, Policy and Law: 3802, 3807, 3812, 3817, 3822, 3827, 3832, 3834, 3837, 3842, 3847, 3852, 3857
    6. Race, Gender, and Ethnic Politics: 3082, 3210, 3216, 3218, 3252, 3418, 3464, 3632, 3642, 3647, 3652, 3662, 3667, 3672, 3807, 3834, 3837

    POLS 2998 and 3995 may be counted toward this distribution only with consent of advisor. View the POLS 2998 Substitution list for Section B subdivisions on the major plan of study.

    The writing in the major requirement may be satisfied by passing any 2000-level W course. Advanced information literary exit requirements are incorporated into all W courses in the major, and students who successfully complete political science W courses will have met this requirement.

  3. Other 2000 level (or higher) Political Science courses totaling a minimum of 12 credits (four courses)

Related Courses

At least 12 credits in courses related to Political Science courses taken from one or more other departments.  These courses must be numbered 2000 or above and cannot be taken on a pass-fail basis.  All 2000-level courses in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Public Policy and Sociology will meet this requirement.  Certain other courses have been approved as related. Courses not in the departments listed above or included on the pre-approved list may be approved as related courses at the discretion of your adviser.