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Political Science

Undergraduate Requirements

Regulations for all Political Science Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors

Planning Forms

Major Planning forms are available on the department website: http://polisci.columbia.edu/academic-programs/undergraduate-programs/planning-forms

Courses

Courses in Barnard College or other divisions of the university not listed on the department website course listing cannot be used to meet the requirement of a major or concentration in political science without the approval of an undergraduate adviser, which should be secured in advance of registration.

Transfer credits

Political science courses taken at other institutions cannot be credited toward the major without the written approval of an undergraduate adviser or the director of undergraduate studies. Students planning to transfer credits should meet with an undergraduate adviser during advising hours or the director of undergraduate studies during office hours as soon as they start taking courses toward the major, since the number of credits transferred (if any) are critical for subsequent planning. Students need the syllabi and transcript for courses submitted for transfer credit. No more than 12 transfer credits may normally be counted toward the major.

Grading

A grade of Pass is acceptable only for the first course taken toward the major or concentration. Courses with a grade of D may not be applied toward the major or concentration.

For a Major in Political Science

Please read Regulations for all Political Science Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors above.

The major in political science requires a total of 29 points, 21 of which are distributed as follows and also must include at least two of the four introductory courses (POLS V1013, W1201, POLS V1501, POLS V1601). The remaining 8 points are taken as seminars (see below for more information).

  1. 9 points in courses in one of the four subfields:
    • American politics
    • Comparative politics
    • Political theory
    • International relations
  2. 6 points in another subfield
  3. 6 additional points in political science, including 3 points in research methods. (Note that the research methods requirement applies only to students who declared their major in or after February 2012. Students who declared their major prior to February 2012 are not required to take a course in research methods.)

 

Courses that satisfy the methods requirement include: POLS W3220, W3704, W3708, W3720 W4209, W4210, W4291, W4292, W4365, W4368, W4910, W4911, W4912.

Seminars

Students are expected to take two 4-point seminars: one in their junior year and another in their senior year (with exceptions made for students on leave or studying abroad). They may choose from among the seminars offered, though at least one of the seminars taken must be in the student’s major subfield (that in which at least 9 other points have been completed). Entry into seminars requires instructor permission. Please see http://www.columbia.edu/cu/polisci/undergrad/main/SeminarGuidelines/index.html for detailed seminar registration guidelines. Seminars cannot be taken for R credit or Pass/D/Fail.

Barnard colloquia are open to students with the permission of the instructor. However, Barnard colloquia can only count for seminar credit at the discretion of the director of undergraduate studies. Note that admission to Barnard colloquia is by application to the Barnard Political Science Department only. Please consult with the Barnard Political Science Department for more information.

Recommended Courses

In addition to political science courses, students are strongly advised, but not required, to take six points in a related social science field.

For A Major in Political Science

The requirements listed below are special to this department and must be read in conjunction with the general requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Program of study
To be planned with the department as soon as the student starts to register for courses toward the major. Students should not wait until they formally declare the major before meeting with an undergraduate adviser during the registration period to plan their programs for the major.

Major requirements
At least 31 credits in political science, to be distributed as follows:

  1. 13 credits including a 4-credit seminar in one subfield (the 9 credits in course work to be taken prior to and in preparation for the seminar)
  2. 6 credits in another subfield
  3. 12 credits selected from any of the subfields, including an additional 4-credit seminar and 3 credits in research methods (note that the additional seminar requirement and research methods requirement applies only to those students who declared their major after January 2012. Students who declared their major prior to January 2012 are required to take only one seminar, and are not required to take a course in research methods. These students may fulfill these 12 credits with any political science courses.)

The 31 credits must include three introductory courses:

  1. An introductory course in political theory, to be chosen from the following:
    COCI F1101 & F1102 Contemporary civilization (or C1101 & C1102); note that both semesters must be taken to satisfy the introductory course requirement. Though this sequence equals 8 points, only 3 points may be applied toward the concentration.
    POLS W4133 Political thought: classical & medieval
    POLS W4134 Modern political thought
    - Other 3000-level political theory courses may fulfill this requirement at the discretion of the director of undergraduate studies
  2. Any two of the other three introductory courses:
    — American politics (POLS W1201)
    — comparative politics (POLS V1501)
    — international politics (POLS V1601)

Courses that satisfy the methods requirement include: POLS W3220, W3704, W3720 W4209, W4210, W4291, W4292, W4365, W4368, W4910, W4911, W4912.

The Barnard colloquia listed in this bulletin are open to students only with the permission of the instructor, and these courses cannot be used to meet the seminar requirement for the major in political science, unless approved by the director of undergraduate studies. Courses in Barnard College or other divisions of the university not listed on the department website course listing cannot be used to meet the requirements of a major or concentration in political science without the approval of an undergraduate adviser, and this must be secured in advance of registration for the course.

Recommended courses
In addition to political science courses, students are strongly advised, but not required, to take 6 points in a related social science field.

For a Major in Economics–Political Science

Please read Regulations for all Economics Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors in the Economics section of this bulletin.

Political economy is an interdisciplinary major that introduces students to the methodologies of economics and political science and stresses areas of particular concern to both. This program is particularly beneficial to students planning to do graduate work in schools of public policy and international affairs.

Two advisers are assigned for the interdepartmental major, one in the Department of Economics and one in the Department of Political Science. Please note that the economics adviser can only advise on the economics requirements and the political science adviser can only advise on the political science requirements.

Students who declared prior to Spring 2014:

The economics-political science major requires a total of 54 points: 19 points in economics, 15 points in political science, 6 points in mathematics, 6 points in statistical methods, 4 points in a political science seminar, and 4 points in the interdisciplinary seminar as follows. The political science courses are grouped into three areas: (1) American politics, (2) comparative politics, and (3) international relations. For the political science part of the major, students are required to select one area as a major field and one as a minor field. The corresponding introductory courses in both fields must be taken, plus two electives in the major, and one in the minor field.

  1. Economics core courses (13 points)
  2. Mathematics sequence (6 points)
  3. Statistical methods (6 points)
    • One of the following:
      • ECON W3412 Introduction to econometrics and one of the statistics courses listed under Regulations for all Economics Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors.
      • POLS W4911 Analysis of political data and one of the statistics course listed under Regulations for all Economics Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors or POLS W4910 Principles of quantitative political research.
  4. Economics electives (6 points)
    • Two electives at the 3000-level or above
  5. Political science courses (15 points)
    • Major subfield - 9 points, including the introductory course, all in one of the three subfields of American politics, comparative politics, or international relations, coordinated with the economics electives and approved in advance by the adviser
    • Minor subfield - 6 points of courses, including the introductory course in another subfield, coordinated with the economics electives and approved by the adviser
  6. Seminars (8 points)
    • A Political Science Department seminar, to be approved in advance by the adviser, in the major subfield.
    • ECPS W4921 Seminar in political economy.

Students who fulfill their statistical methods requirement with POLS W4910 cannot take ECON W3412.

Students who declare in Spring 2014 and beyond:

In addition to the above requirements, students are required to take STAT W1211 to satisfy the statistics requirement. POLS W4910 will no longer be an accepted alternative course for the statistics requirement. Students will still have the option to take ECON W3412 or POLS W4911 to complete the statistical methods requirement.

For a Major in Political Science–Statistics

Please read Regulations for all Political Science Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors above.

The interdepartmental major of political science–statistics is designed for students who desire an understanding of political science to pursue advanced study in this field and who also wish to have at their command a broad range of sophisticated statistical tools to analyze data related to social science and public policy research.

Students should be aware of the rules regarding the use of the Pass/D/Fail option. Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward the major requirements.

Political science–statistics students are eligible for all prizes reserved for political science majors.

Students take courses in mathematics and 31 or 34 points in political science, statistics and computer science.

  1. Political Science (9 points):
    • An introductory course in one of the major subfields: one of
    • Six points in the same sub-field as the introductory course
    • A four point seminar in the same sub-field
    • POLS W4910 and W4911
  2. Statistics (12 points):
  3. Computer Science (3 points):

Students may substitute STAT W4105 for W3105, W4107 for W3107, and W4315 for W3315. Students preparing for advanced study in statistics should take the STAT W3105, W3107, W3315 sequence and should consider substituting MATH V1101, 1102, and W2010 for STAT W3103; students preparing to apply statistical methods should take the STAT W2024, W2025, W2026, W3026 sequence. Students may replace the POLS V1013, W4133, or W4134 requirement with COCI C1101 and C1102 (CC students) or COCI F1101 and F1102 (GS students)

For a Concentration in Political Science

Please read Regulations for all Political Science Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors above.

A total of 21 points of political science courses, distributed as follows:

  1. 6 credits in one subfield
  2. 6 credits in another subfield
  3. 3 credits in research methods

The 21 points must include any two of the four introductory courses:

  1. Political theory (POLS V1013)
  2. American politics (POLS W1201)
  3. Comparative politics (POLS V1501)
  4. International politics (POLS V1601)

Courses that satisfy the methods requirement include: POLS W3220, W3704, W3708, W3720 W4209, W4210, W4291, W4292, W4365, W4368, W4910, W4911, W4912.

In addition to courses in political science, students are strongly advised, but not required, to take six credits in a related social science field.

School of General Studies: Concentration in Political Science

The requirements listed below are special to this department and must be read in conjunction with the general requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Program of study
To be planned with the department as soon as the student starts to register for courses toward the concentration. Students should not wait until they formally declare the concentration before meeting with an undergraduate adviser during the registration period to plan their programs for the concentration.

Concentration requirements
At least 21 credits in political science, distributed as follows:

  1. 6 credits in one subfield
  2. 6 credits in another subfield
  3. 3 credits in research methods
  4. 6 credits selected from any of the subfields.

The 21 credits must include three introductory courses:

  1. an introductory course in political theory, to be chosen from the following:
    • COCI F1101-F1102 Contemporary civilization (or C1101-C1102); note that both semesters must be taken to satisfy the introductory course requirement. Though this sequence equals 8 points, only 3 points may be applied toward the concentration.
    • POLS W4133 Political thought: classical & medieval
    • POLS W4134 Modern political thought
    • Other 3000-level political theory courses may fulfill this requirement at the discretion of the director of undergraduate studies
  2. any two of the other three introductory courses:

Courses that satisfy the methods requirement include: POLS W3220, W3704, W3720 W4209, W4210, W4291, W4292, W4365, W4368, W4910, W4911, W4912.

Recommended courses
In addition to courses in political science, students are strongly advised, but not required, to take 6 credits in a related social science field.