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Politics

The major in Politics introduces students to the main themes, issues and questions of the academic study of politics, and rests upon two related bases: first is to provide training in the four sub-fields of politics. Second, to pay attention to the normative and philosophical dimensions of politics and public policy. 

Course Requirements: Students must take a minimum of 10 courses, listed below.

  • PO102 American Government
  • PO104 Comparative Politics
  • PO106 International Relations
  • PO203 Political Science Research Methods
  • One Political Theory course: Either PO208 Elements of Political Theory: Classical or PO209 Elements of Political Theory: Modern
  • PO478 Senior Seminar
  • Four electives taken from any of the other courses offered by the politics department. 

Washington Internship and Study Abroad: Students are strongly encouraged to gain real political experience during their undergraduate years through study abroad, travel and internships.

Senior Comprehensive Examination: All students must take a written and oral comprehensive exam in their senior year.

Course Sequence - Classes of 2015 - 2017


Please refer to the College Catalogue and consult with your academic advisor for recommended course sequencing. Revised graduation requirements for each graduating class can be found in the Guide to the Core Curriculum.

Course Sequence - Class of 2018 and Beyond


Freshman Year
Conversatio I Conversatio II
Freshman English (or Other Core Requirement) Freshman English (or Other Core Requirement)
Language Language
American Politics International Relations

In the sophomore year: Politics majors generally take their comparative politics and political theory requirements. Depending on initial placement, they may also be completing their modern or classical language requirement. The remainder of their schedules can be filled by major (Politics Department) electives, other core requirements, general electives, or courses for a minor or double major.

In the junior year: Politics majors generally take two major electives over the course of the year, and their research methods requirement in the spring semester. Students who study abroad will need to take Research Methods at a different time. The rest of students' schedules can be occupied with core requirements, general electives, or courses for a minor or double major.

In the senior year: Politics majors generally take two major electives over the course of the year, and their senior seminar requirement in the fall semester. The rest of their schedules can be occupied with core requirements, general electives, or courses for a minor or double major.