Major and Minor
The Department of Political Science has faculty teaching courses in four substantive subfields: political theory, international relations, comparative politics, and American politics. There are also special courses on political methodology. Students do not usually specialize in any of these subfields. They take a variety of courses, traversing freely across subfields, making intellectual links between them, and meeting many faculty members. Students who wish to concentrate in a particular subfield should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Our department also offers professional linkage seminars, opportunities to undertake independent research projects, and the possibility of integrating advanced foreign language study into the major. Our undergraduate majors often participate in study abroad programs, internships (including the Chicago Field Studies), and interdisciplinary programs (for example, International Studies, Gender Studies, Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, and more). Required coursework for the major includes some introductory work in more than one political science subfield, a political research methods course, a political research seminar, several upper-division courses in political science, and several related courses in other disciplines.
The minor offers a student the opportunity to complete an abbreviated yet coherent plan of study in political science. It is also designed to enable a student to enrich his or her studies in various ways, especially by (1) complementing a major in another field (for example, philosophy, economics, history, sociology, math, art, or language) by adding a political science perspective on key subjects, and (2) preparing for certain careers (for example, law, public service, business, or teaching) by taking courses in political science that address relevant topics. The minor is structured to permit students to explore a variety of courses across subfields in political science or to concentrate their studies in one of them. Prospective minors are encouraged to consult with an undergraduate advisor to develop a program of study tailored to their needs.