school of natural & social sciences

The Political Science BA Program | Academic Requirements & Concentrations | Student Learning Outcomes | Minor in Political Science | Courses | Faculty | Recent Events & Podcasts

The Political Science BA Program:
Academic Requirements and Concentrations

In addition to meeting general degree requirements, all political science majors must complete a minimum of nine courses with a grade of C or higher, plus a two-semester senior seminar and an 8-credit senior project (40–45 credits total) as follows:

  1. POL 1570/Introduction to U.S. Politics (3 credits; freshman year)
  2. POL 2170/Political Theory I or
    POL 2180/Political Theory II (4 credits; sophomore year)
  3. An economics course (4 credits)*
    *One of the following is strongly recommended:
    – ECO 1500/Macroeconomic Theory I
    – ECO 2280/Environmental Economics
    – ECO 3080/Game Theory
  4. Two courses in U.S. politics and law, 2000-level or above (6–8 credits)
  5. Three courses in comparative politics and international relations, 2000-level or above (9–12 credits)
  6. POL 3880/Junior Seminar in Political Science (4 credits)
  7. POL 4885 and 4890/Political Science Senior Seminar I and II (2 credits)
  8. SPJ 4990/Senior Project I (4 credits)
  9. SPJ 4991/Senior Project II (4 credits)

Refer to The Senior Project for additional information.

Note: In addition, students are expected to take courses appropriate to their specific interests in political science in order to fulfill degree equirements for upper-level coursework.

Optional Concentrations
New and reinstated courses may be added to the lists in the following concentrations. Students should consult their advisor to determine whether a new or reinstated course counts toward a specific concentration.

Concentration 1: Islam and the Middle East (42–47 credits)
Political science majors who declare a concentration in Islam and the Middle East must fulfill requirements 1 through 8 listed above. In meeting requirement 6, students in this concentration select four courses from the following list:

POL 2105/Citizens Living Under Islamic Laws
POL 2115/Islam: Culture and Politics
POL 2350/Free Speech, Heresy, and Gender in Islamic Societies
POL 3240/Gender Politics and Islam (discontinued Spring 2014)
POL 3255/Islamic State, Gender, and Sexuality (reinstated
    Fall 2014)
POL 3430/Politics of South Asia
POL 3740/The Middle East

Concentration 2: Human Rights (42–47 credits)
Political science majors who declare a concentration in human rights must fulfill requirements 1 through 8 listed above. In meeting requirements 5 and 6, students in this concentration select four courses from the following list:

POL 2080/Environmental Justice
POL 3235/Globalization, Development, and Poverty
POL 3245/Gender and Health: International Issues
POL 3307/Politics and Memoir
POL 3315/Constitutions and Rights: U.S. and China
POL 3361/Cuba, Latin America, and the U.S.
POL 3390/Democratization: Latin America
POL 3570/Human Rights
POL 3573/Human Rights and Literature

Updates to the 2013–15 College Catalog:

Effective Fall 2015:

  • POL 3880/Junior Seminar in Political Science replaces the discontinued POL 3500/Research in Political Science.
  • A list of strongly recommended courses that can be used to fulfill the economics course requirement has been added.

Effective Fall 2014:

  • The senior project (formerly POL 4990, two semesters, 8 credits total) is now SPJ 4990/Senior Project I and POL 4991/Senior Project II, 4 credits each.

Updated March 6, 2015

Arrow up icon 

Please direct updates for this page to the managing editor in the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs. For curricular revisions, please refer to the Faculty Handbook.

For current majors:
Graduation Plans

In consultation with your faculty advisor, the eight-semester plans, maintained by the Office of the Registrar, can be used as a guide to assist you in your academic planning and progress toward graduation.