The political science curriculum consists of the systematic study of the theory and practice of politics and government at various levels both domestic and international. Depending on the area studied, particular emphasis may be given to questions of a philosophical nature, to the role and performance of institutions and political systems, or to the political behavior of individuals and groups.
Courses in political science are structured on four levels:
- introductory (numbered below 200)
- lower-level intermediate (200-299)
- upper-level intermediate (300-399)
- and advanced (400-499).
Unless otherwise specified, courses above 400 can be counted toward the department's seminar requirements.
There are six introductory courses (encompassing four fields) which assume no prior background in the discipline: PLSC 111 (American Politics), PLSC 112 (Cultural Forces in World Politics), PLSC 113 (Comparative Politics), PLSC115 (Political Theory), PLSC 117 (International Politics), and PLSC 210 (American Pluralism). These serve as prerequisites for other courses but may be skipped by students who have equivalent prior coursework in political science or related disciplines including advanced placement credit in American government or comparative politics.