Major Declaration (Google Form)

Political Science Major | Political Science Minor

General Distribution Requirement

All courses taught by faculty in the political science department count toward the general distribution requirement in the social sciences, except POLI 160 , POLI 267, POLI 268, POLI 274POLI 276POLI 277 and POLI 278 (which count as humanities distribution) and internships and preceptorships (POLI 624, POLI 634). Topics courses that are taught by other faculty but cross-listed by Political Science fulfill the general distribution requirement of the offering department.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S. identities and differences 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.

Honors Program

The Political Science department particpates in the Honors Program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available from either the department office or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Interdisciplinary Programs

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.

Topics Courses

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)

Independent Study

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

Major Requirements

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 and relevant courses transferred from an accredited college or university. Consult department advisor or chair. The requirements for a political science major include:

One (1) Foundations Course:

One (1) Theory Course:

POLI 160 - Foundations of Political Theory may not be counted as both a Foundations and a Theory course. If counted as a Foundations course, an additional Theory course must be taken.

One (1) Research Methods Course:

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.

Three (3) Intermediate-Level Courses:

  • Courses at the 200-level
  • Approved study away courses will count as intermediate courses.

One (1) Practicum:

  1. Enroll in POLI 213 - Politics in Action, a 2-credit course offered each spring and fall semester alongside a 2 to 4 credit internship (POLI 622 or POLI 624) supervised by the instructor of POLI 213. Working with the designated faculty advisor, students can set the direction and goals of their internship. For some, the internship will be about exploring potential careers. For others, it will be an opportunity to test theory in practice or to move from the abstract to the applied. Whatever the goals, we believe that the process of actively thinking about what you are doing, while you are doing it, alongside your peers, will make the experience richer. As the American philosopher, John Dewey, wrote in 1938, "We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience."

    All students enrolled in POLI 216 - Legislative Politics should consider simultaneous enrollment in POLI 213 and POLI 622 for a combined 8 credits. Those in Legislative Politics who do not also enroll in POLI 213 and POLI 622 should plan to meet the practicum requirement as described above or below.


  1. The Chuck Green, experience, POLI 290, which includes a 4-credit course in the Spring with a full-time summer project that fulfills the practicum (with 1 academic credit, see below).


  1. Internships completed while on study away may also fulfill the practicum. Check with your advisor or the department chair.

One (1) Advanced-Level Course:

  • Courses at the 300-level
  • A 300-level course taught by faculty outside the department will count as an intermediate course rather than an advanced course.

One (1) Capstone Experience:


Political Science Minor

Minor Requirements

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.