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Course Descriptions

Our course offerings are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog. To see which courses are scheduled in upcoming semesters, go to the Dynamic Schedule.

Government courses are small or medium-sized, with a heavy emphasis on interaction, research, and writing. All fall into one of political science's four broad sub-fields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, or Political Theory.

Each year we offer several GOVT 150 Freshman Seminars (satisfying the COLL 150 requirement). These seminars are capped at 15 students each. Some provide a broad introduction to a sub-field, but most help students understand political science by examining a specific topic.

The Department offers four GOVT 200-level introductory courses in politics. They are GOVT 201 Introduction to American Politics, GOVT 202 Introduction to Political Theory, GOVT 203 Introduction to Comparative Politics, and GOVT 204 Introduction to International Politics. These courses do not have prerequisites and are suitable for any student. They fulfill introductory requirements for the Government major.

First Semester Course Guide by Major

Intermediate GOVT 300-level courses cover topics within the subfields, as well as in Political Theory and Research Methods. Most 200- and 300-level courses have 30–35 students; the few courses with more students break into small discussion sections once a week.

All GOVT 400-level seminars have 15 or fewer students, focus on discussion, and require a major research paper.

We also offer topics courses — lectures (GOVT 391) or advanced seminars (GOVT 491) — that allow us to deal with new issues or take advantage of a visiting faculty member's specialization. A one-credit version (GOVT 390) is used for short courses.

Students may enroll for Independent Study (GOVT 494) or write an Honors Thesis (GOVT 495-6) under the direction of a faculty member. With proper approval and supervision, students can earn credit for an academic project based on an internship (GOVT 498).