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    Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

Political Science Major (BA)

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Ten courses are required to complete a Political Science major. Core requirements form a developmental arc and should be taken in order. Great Questions of Modern Politics introduces students to the major. Political Research and Analysis is a prerequisite for the Senior Capstone. Students choose one of three thematic emphasis areas for elective coursework: public service, law and leadership; political change and advocacy; or regional and international security. Alternatively, students may choose a “build your own” approach in consultation with their major advisor and with approval of the department chair.

The following information contains the requirements for the “build your own” emphasis. For information on the other thematic emphasis areas, please use these links:

Optional Interdisciplinary Concentration

Political science majors have the option to complete an interdisciplinary concentration in public policy. Please see below for details.

Political Science Core Requirements

Internship Experience in Political Science:

This requirement can be fulfilled by completing a political science LEAP course, individual internship, or an internship as part of the Senior Practicum. This may also include study abroad if the program includes an internship or volunteer component. Serving as a teaching assistant, research assistant, work study student, or community volunteer may also count for this requirement, if the experience is registered properly for credit and approved by the department chair.

NOTE: Students who use PSCI 5100 to fulfill both the Capstone and Internship requirements must take an additional 3000-level elective to ensure completion of 10 courses for the major.

Thematic Emphasis - “Build Your Own”

Students intending to build their own emphasis must work closely with their advisor to select courses that form a cohesive theme. All students majoring in Political Science must submit a fully completed program sheet, which is signed by the student’s major advisor and department chair.

Interdisciplinary Experience (one course):

Students must complete one course related to politics that is offered by a department outside of Political Science. Students work with their major advisor to select an interdisciplinary course that complements their thematic emphasis.

Emphasis Electives (four courses):

Students must take four Political Science elective courses with at least two at the 3000 ­level or above. Students work with their advisor to select courses that form a cohesive thematic emphasis.

Optional Interdisciplinary Concentration

Students pursuing a political science major may also choose to complete an interdisciplinary concentration in public policy.

Public Policy Concentration

The public policy concentration educates students about public policy and helps them to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create innovative, socially responsible solutions to the most critical issues facing society. The program forms an arc, beginning with an introduction to ethical public policy, building skills with methodology coursework, and culminating with a capstone experience in which students engage directly with a public policy issue in a semester-long applied project or internship. Students will acquire an extensive set of skills in policy evaluation and analysis, equipping them to become agents of change to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, at home and abroad. The public policy concentration is open to students majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice , Economics , Environmental and Climate Studies Legal Studies , Political Science , or Public Health 

One senior capstone chosen from the following:

The capstone should be completed in the student’s major area and should include an applied public policy research project or internship.

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