Political Science: B.A. Requirements


NOTE: These rules apply to students who declare a major in political science during or after the 2007-8 academic year.

36 Total Credit Hours Required

Required Courses (9 credits)

[Prospective majors should enroll in 101 & 102 during their first year]

  • 101 Introduction to Political Science (3)
  • 102 Introduction to International Relations (3)
  • 201 American Government (3)

Required Subfield Courses (12 credits)

One course from each of the four subfields of political science (see below).

Elective Courses (15 credits)

To be chosen from departmental offerings, excluding required courses). Up to 3 credits of PSCI 499 (Internship) can count for major elective credit if student receives approval from the department chair.

Writing Intensive Requirement

At least one Writing Intensive course (officially designated as WI) must be among the 36 credits in the major program.

Honors Thesis Registration Requirements

Students interested in writing an honors thesis must fill out an independent study form with the registrar, and specify that the project is for honors (PSCI 491H). The form requires the signature of the professor chairing the thesis and the department chair. To be eligible to take 491H, students must have at least a 3.4 GPA in the major, and a 3.4 GPA overall.


Political Science Subfields

1. American Government

202       American Public Policy

291       Research and Writing in Political Science

304       Contemporary American Politics

311       Congress & Political Process

312       American Presidency

332       Metropolitan Problems

334       Political Parties and Elections

363       Mass Media and Politics

370       Women and Politics

422       American Civil Liberties


2. Comparative Government

301       Comparative Government of Western Europe

302       Politics of Soviet Successor States

323      Latin American Politics

350       Politics of Developing Countries

354       Politics of South Asia

355       Politics of Middle East and North Africa

360       Theory and Practice of Revolution

362       Politics of Central and Eastern Europe

366      Government and Politics of China

444       Latin American Political Movements and Organizations


3. International Relations

321       Theories of International Relations

324       US-Latin American Relations

351        International Political Economy

356       American Foreign Policy

357      Russian Foreign Policy

361       Problems of Communism

367       East Asia in World Affairs

373       Statecraft


4. Political Theory

441       History of Political Thought I

442       History of Political Thought II




The department chair may designate particular special topics courses (PSCI 471) to fulfill particular subfield requirements as appropriate. Notification of special topics courses that will fulfill a particular subfield requirement will be made at the time the course is offered.

Credits for on-line courses. The department chair may designate on-line courses as appropriate for general and subfield credit as appropriate.

Credits for study-abroad courses. The department chair may designate political science courses taken during study-abroad programs to fulfill particular subfield requirements as appropriate.

Special note about credits for on-line and study-abroad cases. The Department strongly encourages students to apply to the department chair for credit for on-line or study abroad courses before they take these courses. This will prevent students from taking such courses only to find out later that they did not count for subfield or general credit. Students may bring the syllabi of these courses to the department chair before taking the courses to determine if they are appropriate for political science credit.

IDIS 350D (European Capitals) will be counted as PSCI elective credit (6 credit hours) but will not count for any of the four subfield requirements.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams will continue to count only as general elective credits, not as PSCI electives or as one of the four subfield requirements.