Political Science

Political Science Major

Overall credit hour requirement: A major in Political Science consists of at least 36 credits to a maximum of 45 credits. Not counting practicum or 46.301, at least 15 credits must be taken at the 300 course level.

View the complete course of study (pdf). For additional information visit the Political Science Department or contact us.

Specific course requirements:

  1. 46.101 Intro to American Politics; normally taken fall semester of the freshman year.
  2. 46.201 Intro to Political Analysis; this course examines the scope of the discipline and the methods of political analysis, primarily through a study of current policy issues. These include issues of ethical action and diversity, and this course [along with several other Department courses] meets the general education ethics, diversity and information literacy requirements for Political Science Majors. Normally taken spring semester of the freshman year or early in the sophomore year, transfer students should take it as soon as possible.
  3. 46-301 Research Methods in Political Science. This is a course in designing Quantitative Research and Applying Statistics for Political Scientific Research. (46-201 is prerequisite to 46-301.)
  4. Practicum Requirement; one 3 credit practicum course which will be graded “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory”. Take either 46.496 Practicum Experience, or 46.497 Practicum in the Law. The practicum involves 75-100 hours of practical experience in politics, law, government, etc. Normally no student may take more than one practicum as part if the minimum 120 credits required for graduation.
  5. Seminar Requirement; Typically students should select a "300" or "400" level "Seminar" course from among several designated Departmental offerings that are of interest, all of which require substantial writing. In the alternative (or in appropriate cases, in addition) the student may select 46-401 Research Seminar in Political Science after prior discussion with a professor willing to work with the student. This course, which is particularly appropriate for "honors" students, requires the writing of a substantial research paper. [This requirement also fulfills the general education "capstone" self-direction and collaboration requirement.]

Distribution Requirements

All students must take at least 2 courses at any level in the 3 following areas:

  • American Politics, Government and Policy
  • Law, Theory/Thought, and Methods
  • Comparative and International Politics.

Appropriate courses may be suitable for attribution to more than one area but any particular course may be counted by the student in one area only.

Focus requirement: In conjunction with a faculty advisor, political science majors are encouraged to formulate a program of study in the major that includes three to five courses that focus in a progressively more advanced manner upon one political science sub-area to assure a depth of knowledge. Sub-areas may be defined flexibly.

General Education Departmental Requirements

Ethics Requirement: Political Analysis or any of several additional courses with the ethics designation

Diversity Requirement: Political Analysis or any of several additional courses with the diversity designation

Information Literacy Requirement: Political Analysis and most other department courses

Self-direction and Collaboration Requirement: Seminar Requirement/Practicum

Waiver of any requirement may be granted only by the Department Chair in unusual circumstances and for very good reasons.

The Department recommends that Political Science majors select supporting coursework from history, sociology, and economics, and encourages students to develop minor areas of study or supporting majors in related social science disciplines.

Students transferring to the college and wishing to major in Political Science must make individual arrangements with their faculty advisor or the Department Chairperson regarding satisfaction of major course requirements.