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Undergraduate Program

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Major in Political Science | Learning Goals | UG Advising for the Political Science Major | UG Advising for the Intl Studies Major | Links for Current Students

Major in Political Science

The programs of the Political Science department are designed to help students attain a deeper understanding of politics in its various dimensions. The department encourages students to become sophisticated theoretically and to study politics in global and comparative perspective. Students can focus on American politics, law and politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Students are encouraged to develop expertise in several of these areas.  The department has a broad and diverse faculty who offer a range of courses about politics and government at local, state, national, and international levels. In addition to taking courses, students are encouraged to pursue independent research under the guidance of individual faculty members. Several exchange programs with universities around the world are also available. The location of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore provides an opportunity to understand today's political and public policy challenges, and the university's location so close to Washington, D.C. offers a wide variety of internship possibilities for interested students. Many students also participate in the Aitchison Public Service Undergraduate Fellowship Program at the Johns Hopkins Washington Center.

Please note that all undergraduate programs in the University are centralized through Academic Advising.


Undergraduate Student Learning Goals in Political Science 

The programs of the Political Science department are designed to help students attain a deeper understanding of politics in its various dimensions. The department encourages students to become sophisticated theoretically and to study politics in global and comparative perspective. Students can focus on American politics, law and politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Students are encouraged to develop expertise in several of these areas.

The Political Science Department has two main sets of learning goals. The first is the acquisition of specialized knowledge in the field of political science. The second is the development of general skills that will serve students regardless of their future course of study or employment.

1. Specialized Knowledge in the Discipline of Political Science 

  • Political Science majors should become acquainted with each of the four major subfields within the discipline (i. American Politics; ii. Comparative Politics; iii. Political Theory; and iv. International Relations)

  • Advanced knowledge in, and understanding of, one of the subfields within the discipline 

  • Familiarity with the place of political science within the broader spectrum of the social sciences and history. 

2. General skills 

  • Ability to understand and use the methods that political scientists use to answer questions about politics.

  • Capacity to use critical thinking and evidence to understand an evaluate rival theories and interpretations.

  • Ability to formulate and express in writing a well-organized argument, supported by evidence

  • Ability to conduct research in political science, using materials such as primary, secondary, and online sources or databases, in support of an original argument. 

3. Student progress is assessed with reference to: 

  • Student papers, ranging from short essays to original research papers and senior theses. 

  • Oral presentations and performance in discussions in classes. 
  • Examinations 

 4. Department performance will be assessed by: 

  • Student course evaluations 

  • Feedback from teaching assistants 
  • Tracking the number of courses that require original research papers, oral presentations, and/or the development of methodological skills 


Undergraduate Advising for the Political Science Major

Coordinator: Wesley O'Dell


Undergraduate Advising for the International Studies Major

Coordinator: Juliana Galan


Links for Current Students

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