Political Science Curriculum

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

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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.