William & Mary

Completing the Government Major

What requirements can be covered by AP credit?

A score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement test in American Government confers credit for Government 201, satisfying this major requirement. Likewise, a score of 4 or 5 on the AP test for Comparative Government earns credit for Government 203, satisfying this major requirement. Students who receive a 4 or 5 on the American Government AP test or the Comparative Government AP test may not take Government 201 or 203, respectively,  for credit.  They would also still need to fulfill the major computing proficiency requirement in another way. Note: Students who entered the College under the old rule, according to which a 4 did not count for credit, are bound by that earlier rule.

A score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement test in Human Geography confers credit for Government 381 (Note: No more than two of the following courses may count toward a major in Government: Government 381, 382, 384).

How do you satisfy the subfield requirement in political theory?

Students may take either Government 303, Survey of Political Theory/Classical Tradition (Ancient and Medieval Christian thought); Government 304/Survey of Political Theory/Modern Tradition (Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers); Government 305, Contemporary Political Theory (19th century to the present); and Government 392, Topics, in Political Theory (e.g. American Political Thought). None of these courses have prerequisites. Note that each of these courses also fulfills GER 7.

How do you complete the Department's seminar requirement?

All majors are required to take one Government seminar at the 400-level (obviously freshmen seminars do not fulfill this requirement; nor do Government 494, Independent Study, or Government 495-496, Honors; no class transferred in from another university in the US or abroad may fulfill this requirement). Several are listed in the course selections in the catalog. But please bear in mind that any given 400-level seminar is offered at most once a year and the majority are offered less often than that: students are advised to contact the instructor to see when a particular seminar may next be offered. Specific topical seminars listed under Government 405 or 491 may be offered only once. Seminars must be taken in residence at the College and may not be transferred in.

What are Govt. 391 courses and how many may count to the major?

Government 391, Topics in Government, is a general rubric for a variety of different courses designed around specific issues. A student may count more than one 391 courses to his/her major provided the topics of each are different (when in doubt contact [[cdhowa]] with specific questions).

How do you complete the Government major Writing Proficiency requirement?

Since every major is required to take a 400-level seminar and all are writing intensive, which entails a minimum of 25 pages of evaluated writing, all Government majors automatically fulfull the College's Major Writing Proficiency--provided they get a grade of C- or better in that seminar. Students who do not must take another seminar.

How do you complete the Government Computing Proficiency requirement?

Students must satisfy a Major Computer Proficiency Requirement in Government by successfully completing Government 301 [as of Fall, 2008, this requirement can not be met in any other way and there are no exemptions].

How many Geography courses count toward the major?

Students may count no more than two of those Geography courses to the 33 credits in Government required for a major: Government 381, Government 382, Government 384 (students may take more than two, but may count only two toward the major). Geography courses taken at another university or on a study abroad program will receive credit for Government only if they meet the descriptions of these existing Geography courses in the Department's listings.

How many freshman seminars may count toward the major?

No more than one freshman seminar may be counted in the 33 hours of Government required for a Government major (any student who does take a second freshman seminar in Government will receive general elective credit, but it will not count to the major).