Sep 26, 2017
Member of the Division of Social Studies
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, and what forces shape the relations between leaders and the led? 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 the various fields of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, and international politics.
Political science majors should take statistics and other courses from across the curriculum to enhance their understanding of the politicial 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 NGO's - 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 apprpriate 200-level prerequisite.
- Preferably students will complete all of their 200-level work before undertaking 300-level courses. So students should try to reserve 300-level work for third and fourth years.
- In addition to the required 32 credits, students are required to take statistics (MAT 115 , SST 115 , or MAT 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.
* Varying content requires permission from the Department to count this course toward distribution in American Politics. Similarly, content determines whether or not the course will serve as a prerequisite for 300-level courses required for the major.
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 222 , POL 237 , POL 239 , PST 220 *
- POL 319 - Advanced Seminar in Constitutional Law 4 credits (POL 219 ).
- POL 320 - Applied Policy Analysis 4 credits (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 Developing Countries 4 credits (POL 250 , POL 251 , POL 257 , POL 259 , POL 261 , POL 262 , POL 273 )
- POL 355 - Courts and Politics in Comparative Perspective 4 credits (POL 216 , POL 219 , POL 239 , POL 255 , POL 261 , or POL 273 ).
- POL 356 - Islam and Politics 4 credits (any comparative politics course).
To be considered for honors in political science, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must achieve a G.P.A. of 3.75 in the major and a G.P.A. of 3.6 overall.
Political Science Courses
Political Science Course Descriptions