The requirements for the political science major listed below apply to those students who entered the University in Fall 2019 and later. Students who entered in earlier years should refer to the archived catalog based on their year of entry into the institution.
All courses applied towards the major must be taken for a letter grade and students must receive a grade of C or higher. A maximum of six courses may come from transfer credit and only one letter-graded independent study of 3 credits may apply towards the major (unless honors thesis). The Department of Political Science does not award credit for the Advanced Placement Exam in government.
- One 100 3-credit course in American Politics (AP)
- One 100 3-credit course in Comparative Politics (CP)
- One 100 3-credit course in International Relations (IR)
- One 100 3-credit course in Political Theory (PT)
- 100 level courses beginning with 191 do not count toward introductory political science subfield courses
Writing Intensive Course
- One 3-credit writing-intensive course in Political Science. This course may overlap with one of the 12 required political science courses and KSAS writing requirement. The course may be at any level.
Political Science Elective Courses
- Three (9 credits) Political Science courses at any level
- Five (15 credits) Political Science courses at the 300- to 400- level
- At least four courses beyond the introductory classes (“100” level) must be taken with tenure-track or tenured professors in the Department of Political Science. These courses are usually denoted with a “190” designation though occasionally there are exceptions. Check with the DUS or Political Science coordinator if you have any questions as to whether a particular class meets this requirement. (For students entering in the 2021 class and beyond.)
- At any level for a total of 12 credits selected from the following areas: history, history of art, history of science & technology, philosophy, anthropology, geography, economics, sociology, psychology, and courses offered by the SNF Agora Institute.
Honors Thesis Program
Seniors may choose to write a senior research thesis. After the student has obtained approval from a faculty sponsor to supervise the project, the student will enroll in a three-credit thesis colloquium course during the fall semester of their senior year. If at the end of the fall semester adequate progress has been made and the project warrants further work, the student must enroll in a three-credit independent study supervised by the faculty sponsor.
Students who complete a distinguished senior thesis and have a final major GPA (including final semester grades) of 3.7 will be awarded departmental honors. All students may choose to write a thesis, regardless of GPA, provided they have a detailed proposal approved by a faculty member at the beginning of the fall semester of their senior year.
All thesis-related courses apply to a total of 12 political science courses required for graduation in the major.