Member of the Division of Social Studies
Eliza Willis - Senior Faculty Status
Political science courses focus on how societies make decisions affecting the lives of their citizens. Questions raised by political science include: Who has power, how is it acquired, and how is it used? What produces stability and what produces change in societies? What is political leadership, what forces shape the relations between leaders and the led, and how do societies utilize their governments to deal with basic problems? Political science offers students both a grasp of the various answers provided for these questions and a sophisticated sense of how to choose among these answers.
Since a core of central questions is common to virtually all the department’s courses, students of political science are expected to begin with the introductory course, POL 101 , in which these questions are pointedly raised. This course provides the necessary background for further work in various subfields of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, and international relations.
Political science majors should take statistics and other courses from across the curriculum to enhance their understanding of the political world. Appropriate internships, research projects and experiences off campus enrich the major.
Recent graduates in political science have undertaken careers in a number of different fields, including law, journalism, teaching and business. Work in politics and public policy - in government, policy and electoral campaigns, and NGOs - in both domestic and international realms is especially attractive to majors in political science.
Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits
Required are: POL 101 (4 credits) and one course in each of the following areas:
American Politics: 4 credits
Comparative Politics: 4 credits
International Politics: 4 credits
- 8 credits must be taken at the 300-level after having completed the appropriate 200-level prerequisite.
- POL 320 or PST 320 will count toward the 300-level requirement if it is taught by a political scientist and if the formal 200-level prerequisite for the course is met.
- Preferably students will complete all of their 200-level work before undertaking 300-level courses. Third or fourth-year status is a prerequisite for the 300-level courses.
- In addition to the required 32 credits, students are required to take statistics (MAT 115 , SST 115 , or STA 209 )
- With permission, up to eight of the 32 credits may be taken in related studies, at the 200-level or above, outside the department.
Schedule of Prerequisites:
A given 200-level course can be used as a prerequisite for only one of the two 300-level courses required for the major.
- POL 310 - Advanced Seminar in American Politics 4 credits (POL 216 , POL 237 , or POL 239 ).
- POL 319 - Advanced Seminar in Constitutional Law 4 credits (POL 219 ).
- POL 320 - Applied Policy Analysis 4 credits (POL 220 , PST 220 or course-specific 200-level prerequisite.)
- POL 350 - International Politics of Land and Sea Resources 4 credits (POL 250 , POL 251 or POL 259 ).
- POL 352 - Advanced Seminar on the U.S. Foreign Policymaking Process 4 credits (POL 250 , POL 251 or POL 259 ).
- POL 354 - Political Economy of Development 4 credits (POL 250 , POL 251 , POL 257 , POL 258 , POL 259 , POL 261 , POL 262 (offered spring 2013) or POL 273 )
- POL 355 - Courts and Politics in Comparative Perspective 4 credits (POL 216 , POL 219 , POL 239 , POL 255 , POL 258 , POL 261 , POL 262 , or POL 273 ).
- POL 356 - Islam and Politics 4 credits (any comparative politics course).
To be considered for honors in political science, graduating seniors, must achieve a G.P.A. of 3.75 in the major and a G.P.A. of 3.6 overall.
Political Science Courses