Requirements for Political Science majors are flexible enough to allow students to tailor programs of study to meet their particular interests. Political Science majors must complete a total of 11 courses: Three core courses from PO111, PO141, PO151/IR251, PO171/IR271, or PO191, and eight elective courses (numbered 200-599) with a grade of C or higher.  One of the elective courses must be a seminar (numbered 505-598).

Learning Objectives

Students graduating with a bachelor of arts in political science will be able to:

  • Demonstrate substantive understanding of governmental and political processes in a global context, including mastery of key concepts.
  • Conduct political analysis using a range of qualitative and quantitative tools.
  • Reason analytically to evaluate causal claims in political science.
  • Demonstrate a capacity, in both oral and written communication, to present arguments cogently and ground them in empirical evidence.

Core Courses

These courses serve as introductions to the five subfields of political science: American Politics, Public Policy, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory.

Since the core courses are the foundation on which subsequent courses draw, students should try to complete their sequence of core courses by the end of the sophomore year. Majors must complete three core courses from the following list:

  • PO 111 Introduction to American Politics
  • PO 141 Introduction to Public Policy
  • PO 151/IR 251 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PO 171/IR 271 Introduction to International Relations
  • PO 191 Introduction to Political Theory

Elective Courses

Students may choose their eight elective courses from any of the Political Science courses numbered 200-599 that are offered by the department.  One of these courses must a seminar (numbered 505-598). This course may only be taken on the Charles River Campus.

No more than 8 credits toward the concentration shall be derived from directed study (CAS PO 491 or 492).