Political Science Curriculum

Within general guidelines, students have considerable flexibility in planning their studies.



Area of Concentration Requirements

Requirements for graduation with an area of concentration in Political Science:

  • At least one introductory level class.
  • Overall distribution of Political Science classes should contain at least one class in three of the following subfields.
    • a. American Politics
    • b. Comparative Politics
    • c. International Relations
    • d. Political Theory
  • A minimum of two advanced seminars (at least one each in two different subfields).
  • Research Design Workshop (recommended for second- and third-year students).
  • An introductory statistics course (Quantitative Political Analysis I recommended)
  • Senior Thesis or Portfolio Project in Political Science.
  • Baccalaureate Exam and Oral Defense of the Thesis or Portfolio Project.

Total course minimum: Nine Political Science classes or tutorials (not counting thesis tutorials), plus statistics. A single class from the Quantitative Political Analysis sequence can count towards either the statistics requirement or the political science overall class requirement, but not both.

Highly Recommended: The Political Science AOC recommends that students take additional courses that will complement their concentrations in political science. Recommended areas include courses from Economics, History, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, Statistics, and Computer Science.

Requirements for “double” area of concentration:
 Same as for “single” concentrators

Requirements for “slash” with Political Science listed first: Same as for “single” concentrator.

Requirements for “slash” with Political Science listed second: A minimum of six courses covering at least three of the subfields listed above and including one introductory course and one advanced seminar.

NOTE: Political Science considers a secondary “slash” to be the equivalent of a minor.

Students are encouraged to obtain field experience through internships or other work experience with agencies of government, political parties, interest groups, etc. In recent years, students have interned with U.S. congressmen, the governor of Florida, the American Civil Liberties Union, and county planning agencies. They have helped in political campaigns, handled publicity for the Sarasota Peace and Justice Center, challenged decisions of the local Airport Authority, and become radio news announcers. Occasionally, students with highly specialized interests, such as Urban Studies, plan to spend a semester at another college or university; this is encouraged when appropriate. Those with interests in comparative politics and international relations are encouraged to spend a semester abroad.


New College students must satisfy both the requirements of the Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC), New College’s general education program, and the specific requirements for the Area of Concentration (AOC). With so many opportunities each term, the pathway below is provided as an example of how a student could complete the requirements for graduation. We’ve put some checkpoints in place so that you make the most of your time at New College. Each term you’ll meet with a faculty advisor to discuss courses, tutorials, internships, or other academic experiences. Schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor to discuss which courses satisfy the LAC and which satisfy the AOC. Each student completes a Provisional AOC Plan in the fifth contract to select an AOC, and each student submits a Thesis Prospectus/AOC Form in the sixth contract.

A Sample Four-Year Pathway for Political Science

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 1AOC Introductory CourseISP 1AOC Introductory/Intermediate Course
Additonal Course/ActivityAdditonal Course/Activity
Year 2AOC Intermediate/Introductory CourseISP 2AOC Intermediate Course
Intro Statistics/Quantitative AnalysisLAC 6
LAC 5Course in allied field (recommended)
Additonal Course/ActivityAdditonal Course/Activity
Year 3AOC Intermediate CourseISP 3Research Design Workshop
AOC Advanced SeminarAOC Advanced Seminar
Course in allied field (recommended)Additonal Course/Activity
Year 4ThesisThesis
Additional AOC coursework (recommended)Additional AOC coursework (recommended)
Course in allied field (recommended)Course in allied field (recommended)
Additonal Course/ActivityAdditonal Course/Activity

A Sample Two-Year Pathway for Political Science

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 3AOC Introductory CourseISP 1AOC Introductory/Intermediate Course
AOC Introductory/Intermediate CourseAOC Introductory/Intermediate Course
AOC Introductory/Intermediate CourseResearch Design
Intro Statistics/Quantitative AnalysisCourse in allied field (recommended)
Year 4AOC Advanced SeminarISP 2AOC Advanced Seminar
Additional AOC coursework (recommended)Additional AOC coursework (recommended)
Course in allied field (recommended)Course in allied field (recommended)