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Political Science

Major / Minor Requirements

Carthage’s political science major prepares students for graduate study in political science or, with other social science courses, careers in government service, teaching, journalism and related professions. Many pre-law students choose to major in political science as preparation for law school.

The Political Science Department offers a major and minor in political science.

Current students: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.

Popular Minors:

The Political Science Major

A major in political science consists of 10 courses: 

One course from the area of American Government and Politics
One course from the area of Public Law and Judicial Politics
One course from the area of Comparative Government
One course from the area of International Relations
POL 3100: The Logic of Political Inquiry
POL 4000: Senior Seminar
POL 1070: Introduction to Political Theory and one additional course in the area of Political Thought and Theory

All majors must take at least three courses in one of the five areas of the discipline to define an associated concentration. All political science majors must have a concentration on file with the Registrar’s Office.

Students fulfilling their Political Thought and Theory two-course requirement may take any Political Theory course in addition to Political Science 1070: Introduction to Political Theory. For students who select Political Theory as their area of emphasis, Political Science 1070 and 3250 are both required courses in addition to a third Political Theory course.

The CRJ 3300 Mock Trial course may count as an elective for political science. It can count as part of the Public Law and Judicial Politics concentration (one of the three required courses in this area), but it cannot be used to meet the breadth requirement (one course from the area of Public law and Judicial Politics) on its own, for students pursuing other concentrations.

The Political Science Minor

A minor in political science consists of five courses. These courses must be chosen from at least three of the five areas designated for political science. Those courses under the heading “general courses” do not constitute an area of political science but may be chosen as electives. CRJ 3300 Mock Trial can count as one of the five courses needed to complete a minor in political science.

Recommended Courses

Although not required for the major, it is strongly recommended that students planning to attend graduate and/or professional school take a course in statistics. Possible courses include:

MTH 1050 Elementary Statistics
SOC 3900 Data Analysis
BUS 2340 Applied Statistics for Economics and Management

Recommended supporting areas include courses from other areas in the Division of Natural and Social Sciences (Economics, Geography, Psychological Science, and Sociology) and from the Division of Arts and Humanities (Philosophy, History, and English).

The Political Science Department also offers a number of J-Term courses and study tours that are not listed in the catalog. Please consult a political science faculty member for more information about these options.

Course Categories

American Government and Politics

POL 1040 Introduction to Public Policy (4 cr.)
POL 2400 American Government: National, State, and Local (4 cr.)
POL 3510 Campaigns and Elections (4 cr.)
POL 3520 America at War (4 cr.)
POL 3530 Congress and the Presidency (4 cr.)
POL 3580 American Foreign Policy (4 cr.)
POL 3620 Environmental Politics (4 cr.)

Comparative Politics

POL 1030 Introduction to Comparative Politics (4 cr.)
POL 3030 Women of Africa (4 cr.)
POL 3040 African Transitions (4 cr.) 
POL 3200 Women and Politics (4 cr.)
POL 3360 Latin American Politics (4 cr.)
POL 3370 Russia/East European Politics (4 cr.)
POL 3380 West European Politics (4 cr.)
POL 3390 Politics of Rapid Growth in East Asia (4 cr.)
POL 3400 Chinese Politics (4 cr.)
POL 3450 Global Poverty (4 cr.)

General Courses

POL 200T Topics in Political Science (1-4 cr.)
POL 3100 The Logic of Political Inquiry (4 cr.)
POL 4000 Senior Seminar (4 cr.)
POL 4050 Seminar in International Political Economy (4 cr.)

International Relations 

POL 1050 Introduction to International Relations (4 cr.)
POL 3350 Human Rights (4 cr.)
POL 3600 International Security (4 cr.)
POL 3610 Nuclear Proliferation (4 cr.)
POL 3620 Environmental Politics (4 cr.)

Political Thought and Theory

POL 1070 Introduction to Political Theory (4 cr.)
POL 2050 Philosophical Foundations of Political Economy (4 cr.)
POL 3110 Women’s and Gender Studies Theory (4 cr.)
POL 3240 Contemporary Political Theory (4 cr.)
POL 3250 Classics of Political Thought (4 cr.)
POL 3260 Studies in Political Theory (4 cr.)
POL 3270 Religion and Politics in the United States (4 cr.)

Public Law and Judicial Politics

POL 1900 Constitutional Rights: Freedom of Expression (4 cr.)
POL 1910 Law and Society (4 cr.)
POL 2900 Constitutional Law and the Separation of Powers (4 cr.)
POL 2910 Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (4 cr.)
POL 3900 Comparative Law (4 cr.)
POL 3930 Environmental Law (4 cr.)

Honors in the Major

Honors in the major requires a minimum of 3.5 GPA in political science and achieving an assessment of Honors on your Political Science Senior Thesis.

Current students, remember: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.

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