Major in Political Science (BA)

Political Science majors must complete a minimum of 11 courses and 36 semester hours from departmental offerings or from courses of study approved by the department. 

To declare a major, please come to the department office located in Tarbutton Hall, Room 327.

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Political Science majors must complete at least 11 courses and 36 semester hours from departmental offerings or from courses of study approved by the department. These courses must include the following:

  • QTM 100: Introduction to Statistical Inference*

  • POLS 100: National Politics in the United States (preferably by the end of the fifth semester)

  • POLS 208: Political Science Research Methods (preferably during the freshman or sophomore year)**

  • POLS 110 and 120: Intro to International and Comparative Politics, respectively (preferably by the end of the fifth semester)
  • Completion of a concentration in one of the four major fields: American, International, Comparative or Theory. This includes an intermediate level course (corresponding to concentration), elective in concentration, research course in concentration (RSCH prefix or POLS 394/494) and a political theory course. 

  • At least two elective courses chosen from among departmental offerings.

A minimum of seven courses which must be taken at Emory University or Oxford College. Four courses must be taken at or above the 300 level. Political Science majors may get credit for up to four courses taken outside of Emory (study abroad programs, Bard Globalization and International Affairs & Washington Semester Programs, transfer and transient credits) that have been approved by the department.  (please submit to Genevieve Reavis).

*Appropriate substitutes for QTM 100 include: QTM 220, ECON 220, POLS 310 or BUS 350. 

** One of the following can be used as prerequiste: QTM 100, ECON 220 or POLS 310. If POLS 208 was completed before Fall 2015, you do not have to complete QTM 100. 

Additional Requirements and Procedures

1. Students may not double major in Political Science and International Studies; nor may a student major in International Studies and minor in Political Science.

2. No courses taken pass/fail (S/U) may count toward the major. This means that courses taken abroad in non-Emory approved programs, which as such receive only S/U grades, cannot count toward the major. The only exception is the Washington Semester Program or the Bard International Affairs and Globalization Program. Students may use up to eight hours (or two courses) of Washington Semester credit or Bard credit as elective credit towards the Political Science Major.

3. No more than four 100-level Political Science courses may be used to satisfy the major.

4. Four courses must be taken at or above the 300 level.

5. One elective course can be satisfied by a POLS 496 Internship or a POLS 497 Directed Study. 

6. Any course with a POLS prefix may fulfill a major elective, except the elective in concentration (must correspond to concentration). 

7. Major status does not guarantee enrollment in any particular course. Some classes may require course prerequisites or other requirements for enrollment.

8. Courses cross-listed between Political Science and another department or program will count as Political Science courses. 

Note on the Research Course Requirement

Starting in the Fall of 2016, the Political Science department implemented a new requirement that students complete a research paper as part of their Political Science major.  Classes that contain a paper that meets the research requirement are numbers with either a POLS 394 or POLS 494 designation or contain "RSCH:" in the course title. 
The courses that are designated as research classes are NOT focused exclusively on research.  In most cases the course is quite similar to other Political Science classes, except that it contains a major research paper.  Often courses that are now designated as research classes are organized in the exact same manner as they were before the requirement and designation was implemented. 
The type of paper assignment in a research class could take one of many forms.  It could be  a traditional library research paper, an original research paper involving some form of data collection and analysis (perhaps statistical but not exclusively so), a thought paper, or some form of a policy analysis paper.  Often times the student has the option of choosing among different types of research papers. 
We encourage students to contact the professor to determine the parameters of the major paper in the research class.

Political Science Courses Listed by Area

Please note that the list below represents a history of courses offered over recent years and these courses will not necessarily be offered each semester or each academic year in the future. Some courses, namely those under 385 or 490 headings may not be offered again. 

Courses by Area 

Requirements-Declaration Date After May 20, 2015

Requirements checklist effective May 2015

If you have any questions or concerns about major requirements, please contact Genevieve Reavis. 

Requirements-Declaration Date Prior to May 20, 2015

Requirements checklist effective August 2013-May 2015

If you have any questions or concerns about major requirements, please contact Genevieve Reavis.