May 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2024-2025 
College Catalog 2024-2025

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: