Political Science encompasses foundational, focal, and specialized courses as well as a research and capstone seminar covering four subfields: American Government, International Relations, Comparative Politics and Political Theory.



The four foundation courses serve as prerequisites for many upper division courses and the senior seminar. 

The research seminar is the political science equivalent of the college-mandated sophomore seminar that focuses on reasoning, analytic, research, and presentational skills.

The senior seminar is the capstone requirement for the program. It is built around a substantive topic of a specialized nature, but it gives graduating seniors a forum for demonstrating proficiency with the reasoning, analytic, research and presentational skills developed in and after the research seminar.

Students may choose their elective courses from upper division courses from the four major subfields, American Government, International Relations, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, in any combination. There are two categories of upper division courses:

  • Focal courses are upper division courses essential to understanding core material in each subfield.
  • Specialized courses are advanced and narrowly focused topical or thematic courses in each subfield.

Fathe Allen
Senior Administrative Assistant
Department of Political Science
Villanova University