Political Science Major | Political Science Minor
General Distribution Requirement
All courses in the political science department count toward the general distribution requirement in the social sciences except for the following: topics courses (POLI 194, POLI 294, POLI 394, POLI 494), internships and preceptorships (POLI 624, POLI 634).
General Education Requirements
Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and multiculturalism will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.
Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.
Interested political science juniors with a GPA of 3.5 or better overall and 3.6 or better in political science may participate in the department’s Honors Program. This program is designed to provide majors with an opportunity to pursue in-depth research on a significant political science topic.
The principal elements of the honors program are: (a) filing a declaration of intent to pursue a project; (b) completion of a research proposal submitted to the political science faculty; (c) successful oral defense of the research proposal in front of the political science faculty;(d) participation in the department’s POLI 404 - Honors Colloquium in both semesters of the senior year; (e) enrolling in at least two credits of Honors Independent Study (POLI 644) in both semesters of the senior year; (f)completing a major work of scholarly research and writing;(g)public oral defense of the thesis. Please see our website for a thorough explanation of the honors program including important dates. http://www.macalester.edu/politicalscience/curriculum/honors_program.htm
The political science department supports a number of interdisciplinary programs, including: American Studies, Asian Studies, Media and Cultural Studies, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Legal Studies, Environmental Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Urban Studies. Consult both program and departmental advisors.
POLI 194, POLI 294, POLI 394, POLI 494
Courses numbered 194, 294, 394, and 494 are Topics courses. These courses address current issues in contemporary political life or offer an experimental course which may later become part of the regular curriculum. For a list of offerings in any given year, consult the College website prior to registration. (4 credits)
The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.
Political Science Major
A political science major consists of at least nine courses. The department strongly recommends that political science majors plan their programs so that they take courses above the introductory level in at least two of the four major sub-fields of political science—American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. Not more than two courses taught by faculty outside the political science department will count towards fulfilling the nine-course minimum for the major. Exceptions: the research methods courses, POLI 215, POLI 246, POLI 252, POLI 335 or relevant courses transferred from an accredited college or university. Consult department advisor or chair. The requirements for a political science major include:
- 1 Foundations Course; (POLI 100 - US Politics, POLI 120 - International Politics, or POLI 140 - Comparative Politics)
- 1 Theory Course (POLI 160 - Foundations of Political Theory, POLI 170 - Theories of Rhetoric, POLI 260 - Contemporary Political Theory, POLI 261 - Feminist Political Theory, POLI 262 - American Political Thought, POLI 363 - Paradigms of Global Citizenship);
- 1 Research Methods Course (POLI 269 - Empirical Research Methods; POLI 272 - Researching Political Communication; SOCI 269 - Social Science Inquiry; SOCI 270 - Interpretive Social Research; SOCI 275 - Comparative-Historical Sociology; POLI 335 - Science and Citizenship). In some cases, research methods courses taken in other social science disciplines may be used to fulfill this requirement following approval by the political science department chair. The department urges students to enroll in a research methods course before their junior year.
- 3 Intermediate-level Courses (students may substitute one foundations course and one advanced course for two intermediate courses; approved study away courses will count as intermediate courses);
- 1 Practicum (such as an internship, Chuck Green Fellowship course, service-learning course, action-research project, or similar experiential learning experience). The practicum requirement can be met with a non-credit bearing internship upon approval by department chair. However, a major plan must still list no fewer than nine courses.
- 1 Advanced-level Course (courses at the 300 level); and
- 1 Capstone Experience (POLI 400 - Senior Research Seminar or two semesters of POLI 404 - Honors Colloquium).
Political Science Minor
A political science minor consists of any five political science courses, normally including one foundation, one intermediate and one advanced level course. Four of these courses must be taught by the faculty in the political science department. Consult department advisor and chair.