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Major Requirements


To receive a B.A. in Political Science, you are required to complete 33 credit hours or 11 political science courses, as follows:

Four Foundational Courses (12 credits): Four foundational courses corresponding to the four major subfields in political science:

o   American Government (PSC 1100)

o   International Relations (PSC 1200)

o   Comparative Politics (PSC 1300)

o   Political Theory (PSC 1400)

Foundational courses should be taken immediately upon declaring the major.  They serve as prerequisites for many upper division courses and the senior seminar.

Research Seminar PSC 1900 (3 credits): The research seminar is the political science equivalent of the college-mandated sophomore seminar that focuses on reasoning, analytic, research, and presentational skills.  Students should take PSC 1900 in their sophomore year if possible, and no later than the first semester of their junior year. 

Senior Seminar PSC 6900 (3 credits): 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.  Prerequisites are senior standing, the four foundational courses, and the research seminar.

Five PSC Electives (15 credits): Students may choose 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.  Foundational courses within subfields are prerequisites for focal courses. 

Specialized courses are advanced and narrowly focused topical or thematic courses in each subfield.  Specialized courses do not have prerequisites in order to make them available to non-majors, although majors are strongly discouraged from taking specialized courses without first taking the corresponding foundational courses. 

With the exception of internship credit, courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis cannot be used to satisfy requirements for the major.