Undergraduate Study in Political Science

The Department of Political Science offers major concentrations in both Political Science and International Studies, Political Science & Math Joint major and a minor concentration in Political Science. A double major in Political Science and International Studies is not allowed nor is a major in International Studies with a minor in Political Science.

For both the Political Science and International Studies majors, a minimum of eleven courses and 36 hours must be taken in classroom courses, seven of which must be taken at Emory (or Oxford) College. No course for either major or for the minor may be taken S/U.

Departmental offerings are divided among the four major fields of the discipline:

  • Political Theory
  • American Government and Politics
  • Comparative Government and Politics
  • International Politics

The department offers four introductory level courses: POLS 100 (National Politics in the United States), POLS 102 (Introduction to Political Theory), POLS 110 (Introduction to International Politics), and POLS 120 (Introduction to Comparative Politics). The department also offers POLS 190 Variable Topics Courses (Freshman Seminars). While these courses may or may not be required for a particular major or minor, they are often suggested prerequisites for upper-division courses.

Goals for Student Learning

When students graduate with a BA in either Political Science or International Studies, they will be able to demonstrate:

a) mastery of the political science literature, appropriate to the undergraduate level, in one or more of the sub-fields of the discipline (Political Science: political theory; American politics; comparative politics; international relations; International Studies: comparative politics; international relations)

b) mastery of one or more of the methods of the discipline, including statistics, the collecting and interpretation of data, and/or the interpretation of classic texts in the history of political thought

c) the ability to write a research or analytical paper clearly and correctly

Declaring a Major in Political Science or International Studies

Students are encouraged to declare a major by the end of the second semester of their sophomore year. To declare a major, students must complete the online declaration form found under the students form tab in OPUS, and come to the department office located in Tarbutton Hall, Room 327. Students fill out a Declaration of Major form that will be submitted to the Registrar's Office. In addition, students will be asked to fill out information on the checklist for their major and to sign the Department Advising policy. These items will remain in the student's file in the department office. When students declare their major, they will be assigned a faculty advisor based on the students' interests. Students may request a specific faculty advisor and may change their advisor at any time by coming to the office.

Students are expected to consult with that adviser in designing a plan of study. In addition, students may consult with their advisers about other academic matters. There is a high degree of flexibility within the program and it is hoped that students, with the assistance of their advisers, will be able to design a program of study which will be educationally sound and adapted to their interests.