Students choosing to major in political science gain fundamental understanding of American government, how our governmental system compares with other major political systems, and how the U.S. interrelates with the rest of the world. Majors gain competence in political analysis and research skills as well as an understanding of political power, government institutions, international affairs, and political theory.
Students majoring in political science affiliate with either the Letters or Behavioral Science Collegium, depending on their individual career or research plans. Both collegial tracks require the completion of Introduction to American National Government and Politics, Introduction to Comparative Politics, and Introduction to International Relations. Beyond the three introductory courses, all students must complete six additional non- introductory political science courses including at least one from each field within political science. All political science majors must also complete Political Science Research Methods and the political science Senior Seminar. The typical course sequence for political science majors includes the completion of three introductory courses in their first year, followed by an individually tailored set of upper-division courses.
Students with specific career or research interests not adequately covered by the discipline may substitute one course from another discipline for one upper-level political science course with prior approval of the political science faculty. Students are encouraged to explore their career or research interests through an appropriate internship. With the approval of the political science faculty, one internship may fulfill a political science major requirement. One winter term project may also be accepted toward degree requirements in political science.