Political Science Major Requirements (Effective Fall 2018)

Beginning in Fall 2018, a political science major requires 45 hours of coursework. Thirty-three of these hours come from political science classes; these are the core requirements. The remaining 12 hours are called supporting coursework.

All incoming students are admitted to the political science major in the general concentration and then have the option to stay in the general concentration or change to one of six other concentrations. All concentrations require PS 100. This combined curriculum guide can be helpful in comparing the concentrations.

Declaring a Concentration

To elect a particular curriculum in advance of completing a major plan of study, students should see an academic advisor. Students may declare a concentration after they have completed three political science courses:

  • PS 100: Introduction to Political Science
  • a required political science 100 or 200-level course within the sought-for concentration
  • any political science 100 or 200-level course outside the sought-for concentration.

Students may elect the general concentration after completing PS 100 and any two 100 or 200-level courses. 

Concentrations

General Political Science concentration icon  General Political Science

The General Political Science concentration provides students with a broad understanding of government and politics, political behavior, and public policy, both in the US and around the world.

Citizen Politics concentration icon   Citizen Politics

The Citizen Politics concentration focuses on the study of mass behavior and explores questions regarding how and why citizens form political attitudes and beliefs, how they engage with politics and the issues of identity.

Civic Leadership concentration icon   Civic Leadership

The Civic Leadership concentration aims to provide students interested in careers in public life with an informed appreciation for American democracy, the values and structures on which it is based, and the challenges and opportunities it faces in the 21st century.

International Relations concentration icon  International Relations

International Relations is the study of interaction across borders of nation-states. Students explore how global, regional and domestic factors influence relations among states as well as non-state actors in the interstate system.

Law and Power concentration icon   Law and Power

The Law and Power concentration teaches students about how power, law, and ideas about justice shape political life. Courses cover questions concerning the procedures for social and legal change, the status of citizens in social and political institutions in society, and the ways that ideology and identity categories shape the pursuit of equality and justice.

Public Policy and Democratic Institutions concentration icon   Public Policy and Democratic Institutions

This concentration explores political institutions and processes and how and why they work as they do. Students study institutions such as the presidency, Congress, courts, the bureaucracy, and political parties, with a focus on their organizing and important patterns of behavior within them.

World Politics concentration icon   World Politics

The World Politics concentration compares internal political dynamics and patterns of political behavior in the world's more than 200 countries. Major comparative themes include democracy, dictatorship and regime change; political institutions; voting behavior, attitudes, and the creation and dissemination of political information; religious and ethnic identity politics; political economy of development and developing countries; social change and political violence; and the impact of globalization and transnational forces such as migration.