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Curriculum Tracks


A major in Political Science or International Studies can prepare you for a wide variety of careers and post-graduation opportunities. The following are a sample of career tracks students can pursue. 

Note: These are suggestions – not requirements. All students follow different paths to graduation. The courses listed below are samples/examples of what students may accomplish across four years as a major. The list of suggested classes only reflect permanent catalog courses – they are not offered every year and you may find Special Topics courses more appealing. 

For more information, contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator or your faculty advisor.

POLS Major - Graduate School Track

suggested courses

Freshman

POLS 111: Principles of Political Science

QTM 100: Intro to Statistical Inference

Elective #1 (Ex: POLS 100 or AP credit: National Politics of the U.S.)

Elective #2 (Ex: POLS 110: Intro to International Politics)

Sophomore

POLS 208: Political Science Research Methods

Political Theory (Ex: POLS 201: Classical Political Thought)

Elective #3 (Ex: Any 300+ POLS course)

Elective #4 (Ex: Any 300+ POLS course)

Junior

RSCH course (Ex: POLS 310: Statistical Modeling)

Elective #5 (Ex: POLS 387: CLSS Directed Research – 2 semesters)

Elective #6 (Ex: Any 300+ POLS course)

Senior

Elective #7 (Ex: POLS 495: Honors Tutorial or POLS 497: Directed Study)

Elective #8 (Ex: Any 300+ POLS course)

Elective #9 (Ex: 400+ POLS seminar)

Pre-Graduate School Courses
  • POLS 100: National Politics of the U.S.
  • POLS 110: Intro to International Politics
  • POLS 120: Intro to Comparative Politics
  • POLS 387: Directed Research (CLSS)
  • POLS 399: Directed Research in Political Science
  • POLS 495/499: Honors Tutorial and Research
  • Any 300-level course
  • Any 400-level advanced seminar
  • Any 500-level graduate seminars (by permission of instructor only)

POLS Major - Law Track

suggested courses

Freshman

POLS 111: Principles of Political Science

QTM 100: Intro to Statistical Inference

Elective #1 (Ex: POLS 100 or AP credit: National Politics of the U.S.)

Sophomore

POLS 208: Political Science Research Methods

Political Theory (Ex: POLS 202: Modern Political Thought)

Elective #2 (Ex: POLS 354: Criminal Justice)

Junior

RSCH course (Ex: POLS 394: The American Legal System)

Elective #3 (Ex: POLS 352: Constitutional Law)

Elective #4 (Ex: POLS 353: Civil Liberties)

Senior

POLS 496: Internship (optional)

Elective #5 (Ex: POLS 312: International Law)

Elective #6 (Ex: POLS 351: Supreme Court)

 Law Courses:
  • POLS 100: National Politics of the U.S.
  • POLS 150: Foundations of American Democracy
  • POLS 201: Classical Political Thought
  • POLS 202: Modern Political Thought
  • POLS 312: International Law
  • POLS 317: Global Human Rights
  • POLS 350: American Legal System
  • POLS 351: U.S. Supreme Court
  • POLS 352: Constitutional Law
  • POLS 353: Civil Liberties
  • POLS 354: Criminal Justice
  • POLS 358: Women and the Law
  • POLS 360: Public Policy
  • POLS 486: Washington Semester

POLS Major - Government/Advocacy/Nonprofit Track

suggested courses

Freshman

POLS 111: Principles of Political Science

QTM 100: Intro to Statistical Inference

Elective #1 (Ex: POLS 100 or AP credit: National Politics of the U.S.)

Sophomore

POLS 208: Political Science Research Methods

Political Theory (Ex: POLS 150: Foundations of American Democracy)

Elective #2 (Ex: POLS 368: Urban Public Policy)

Junior

RSCH course (Ex: POLS 494: New Black Political Leadership)

Elective #3 (Ex: POLS 370A: Community Building and Social Change)

Elective #4 (Ex: POLS 370B: Planning Community Initiatives)

Senior

POLS 496: Internship (optional)

Elective #5 (Ex: POLS 360: Public Policy)

Elective #6 (Ex: POLS 343: Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations)

 Government/Advocacy/Nonprofit Courses
  • POLS 100: National Politics of the U.S.
  • POLS 227: Environmental Policy
  • POLS 339: Politics & the Environment
  • POLS 341: The Presidency
  • POLS 342: Congressional Politics
  • POLS 343: Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
  • POLS 345: American Political Parties
  • POLS 346: African American Politics
  • POLS 355: Nonprofits and Politics
  • POLS 357: Gender Politics
  • POLS 360: Public Policy
  • POLS 361: Public Administration
  • POLS 365: State & Local Politics
  • POLS 366: Poverty in America
  • POLS 368: Urban Public Policy
  • POLS 369: Public Policy Analysis
  • POLS 370A: Community Building and Social Change
  • POLS 370B: Planning Community Initiatives
  • POLS 486: Washington Semester

IS Major - Business/Finance/Political Economy Track

suggested courses

Freshman

POLS 110: Intro to International Politics

POLS 111: Principles of Political Science

QTM 100 or ISOM 350 or ECON 220 (intro to statistics)

Foreign Language (Ex: CHN 101 & 102)

Sophomore

POLS 208: Political Science Research Methods

Elective #1 (Ex: POLS 120: Intro to Comparative Politics)

Elective #2 (Ex: ECON 231: Introduction to Global Trade and Finance)

Foreign Language (Ex: CHN 201 & 202)

Junior

RSCH course (Ex: POLS 313: International Organizations)

Elective #3 (Ex: ECON 363: Political Economy of China)

Elective #4 (Ex: POLS 380: Political Economy of Development)

Senior

POLS 496: Internship (optional)

Elective #5 (Ex: ECON 431: International Trade)

Elective #6 (Ex: POLS 321: Comparative Political Economy)

 Business/Finance/Political Economy Courses
  • POLS 120: Intro to Comparative Politics
  • POLS 312: International Law
  • POLS 313: International Organizations
  • POLS 319: International Political Economy
  • POLS 321: Comparative Political Economy
  • POLS 380: Political Economy of Development
  • POLS 382: Dictatorships and Development
  • POLS 487: International Studies at Bard
  • ANT 207: Foundations of Development Studies
  • ECON 231: Introduction to Global Trade and Finance
  • ECON 362: Economic Development
  • ECON 363: Political Economy of China
  • ECON 366: Development Issues for Africa
  • ECON 431: International Trade
  • ECON 432: International Finance

IS Major - Diplomacy/Security/International Organizations Track

suggested courses

Freshman

POLS 110: Intro to International Politics

POLS 111: Principles of Political Science

QTM 100: Intro to Statistical Inference

Foreign Language (Ex: ARAB 101 & 102)

Sophomore

POLS 208: Political Science Research Methods

Elective #1 (Ex: POLS 120: Intro to Comparative Politics)

Elective #2 (Ex: HIST 310: Europe’s Era of Total War)

Foreign Language (Ex: ARAB 201 & 202)

Junior

RSCH course (Ex: POLS 374: War and Politics)

Elective #3 (Ex: POLS 385: Study Abroad Course)

Elective #4 (Ex: POLS 385: Study Abroad Course)

Senior

POLS 496: Internship (optional)

Elective #5 (Ex: POLS 487: International Studies at Bard)

Elective #6 (Ex: POLS 383: The Arab-Israeli Conflict)

Diplomacy/Security/Organizations Courses
  • POLS 311: International Conflict Resolution
  • POLS 312: International Law
  • POLS 313: International Organizations
  • POLS 315: Foreign Policies of Major Powers
  • POLS 320: Political Violence
  • POLS 325: Eastern European Politics
  • POLS 326: Western European Politics
  • POLS 331: Latin American Politics
  • POLS 333: Politics in the European Union
  • POLS 334: Contemporary African Politics
  • POLS 335: Nations and Nationalism
  • POLS 383: The Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • POLS 372: Nuclear Weapons
  • POLS 374: War and Politics
  • POLS 487: International Studies at Bard
  • AAS 410: War Crimes and Genocide
  • CHN 358: War and Chinese Society
  • HIST 310: Europe’s Era of Total War
HIST 311: Europe in Nuclear Age, 1945-Present

MATH-POLS Major

suggested courses

Freshman

POLS 111: Principles of Political Science

QTM 100: Intro to Statistical Inference

MATH 111: Calculus I

MATH 112: Calculus II

Sophomore

POLS 208: Political Science Research Methods 

MATH 211: Multivariable Calculus

MATH 212 or MATH 250: Differential Equations or Foundations of Math

MATH 221: Linear Algebra

Junior

POLS Elective #1 (Ex: POLS 319: International Political Economy)

POLS RSCH course (Ex: POLS 310: Statistical Modeling) 

MATH 361: Probability & Statistics I

MATH 362: Probability & Statistics II

Senior

POLS Elective #2 (Ex: POLS 369: Public Policy Analysis)

POLS Elective #3 (Ex: POLS 399: Directed Research)

POLS Elective #4 (Ex: POLS 513: Intro to Game Theory)

 MATH-POLS Courses
  • For appropriate POLS electives, please check with your faculty advisor or the Undergraduate Coordinator.