Beginning Fall 2016, 40 credits will be required to complete the major, including not more than three introductory courses (PLSC 111, 113, 115, 117), not more than two independent study courses, and at least two 400-level seminars to be taken in residence at Binghamton University.
In selecting their courses, students must take at least one four-credit course in three of four subfields: American politics, political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. Courses acceptable in meeting these distribution requirements are identified as American (A), theory (T), comparative (C), and international (I) in the course descriptions that follow. With the approval of the undergraduate director, appropriate alternative courses may be used to satisfy the distribution requirements.
The Political Science Department views the grade of D as passing but unsatisfactory. Courses passed with a grade of D do not fulfill requirements for the major or the related field requirement. Courses taken Pass/Fail do not count toward the major or in fulfillment of the related field requirement.
Four courses complementing political science and in at least three other social science departments are also required. These should be selected in conjunction with the student's particular interests in political science. Transfer students must take at least six political science courses in residence at Binghamton. Transfer course grades must be C- or better to count toward the major. No transfer course counting toward the major may be taken pass/fail.
Upper-class students with appropriate political science background are allowed to take graduate-level courses with the instructor's permission. Successful completion of such a course will be counted toward the seminar requirement of the political science requirement.
The department urges students who intend to do graduate work in the discipline to consider taking at least one of the following courses: PLSC 361, 362, or 470. Majors are also strongly encouraged to complete at least one substantial paper, based on their own investigation of a problem in an area of the political science discipline, either as part of a regular course, through independent study, or as an honors research project thesis (PLSC 498 and 499).
Prior to pre-registration each semester, students who major in political science should review their programs of study with their advisors. If for any reason, students are unable to do so, they should be in touch with the department's undergraduate program director.