Majors, Related Majors, & Requirements

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Political science is the systematic and critical study of political life, from fundamental questions of justice, liberty, citizenship, power, and democracy to the constitutions, institutions, politics, and policies of government.

The Political Science curriculum at Rhodes addresses these questions through a wide variety of courses in American national government and politics, political philosophy, legal studies, public policy, and urban politics. The curriculum is designed to enhance the student′s analytical and research skills, and it stresses the development of written and oral expression.

All political science majors must take 151. Political Science 151 provides students with an overview of the principles, institutions, and processes of American government and is a prerequisite for most upper level offerings. Advanced Placement credit in Political Science will count as four credits toward the major but will not substitute for 151. Most 200-level courses are appropriate for non-majors, and 211, 212, 214, and 218 may also serve as first courses in the discipline. 300-level courses and 400-level seminars are primarily intended for majors.

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

A total of forty-eight (48) credits as follows:
  1. Political Science 151: U.S. Politics
  2. Political Science 270: Research Methods
  3. Political Science 485: Senior Seminar
  4. One course of the following courses in political thought and philosophy: 212, 214, 216, 218, 230, 311, 314, Humanities 201 (Politics Track).
  5. International Studies 100 or International Studies 200
  6. Seven additional courses (28 credits) in Political Science, two of which must be at the 300 level. Political Science 460, Public Affairs Internship, does count as an elective, but it does not count as a 300 level course.

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MINOR IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

A total of five courses or twenty (20) credits as follows:
  1. Political Science 151: U.S. Politics
  2. Two courses at the 200-level. Humanities 201 (Politics Track) may count for a 200 leve course.
  3. Two courses at the 300-level or above.

HONORS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Honors work in Political Science affords an opportunity for Political Science majors to investigate topics of their own choosing. In the process, they will be expanding and honing their research and writing skills, which is excellent preparation for graduate and professional degree work. Majors pursuing honors will devote a substantial portion of their last two semesters at Rhodes to their projects (honors work earns eight-twelve credits across two semesters). To be eligible, a student must have completed 28 credits of course work in the major and have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in the college and in Political Science courses. Honors guidelines are available from the chairperson of the department.

THE WASHINGTON SEMESTER AND THE CAPITOL SEMESTER

Political Science students may participate in two different semester long programs in Washington, D.C., each involving courses, an internship, and a research project. Since special financial arrangements are required for these programs, students need to meet with the Director of the Buckman Center. These programs can be done in the Fall or the Spring semester. Two of the four courses transferred from the Washington Semester may satisfy requirements for a Political Science major, and all four of the courses transferred from the Capitol Semester may satisfy requirements for a Political Science major. Students receiving credit from either of these programs cannot count Political Science 460 toward the Political Science major.

Related Coursework

Students interested in Political Science may want to augment their major curriculum with courses in Economics 101-102, Urban Studies and additional courses in History. Prospective political science majors are strongly advised to enroll in the Search course.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIVIDUALIZED STUDY

HONORS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Honors work in Political Science affords an opportunity for Political Science majors to investigate topics of their own choosing. In the process, they will be expanding and honing their research and writing skills, which is excellent preparation for graduate and professional degree work. Majors pursuing honors will devote a substantial portion of their last two semesters at Rhodes to their projects (honors work normally earns twelve credits across two semesters). To be eligible, a student must have completed 28 credits of course work in the major and have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in the college and in Political Science courses. All honors proposals must be approved by the department.

INTERDISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS
Interdisciplinary programs exist to provide an appropriate structure within which to offer study opportunities that do not fit within the bounds of existing departments, to bring together faculty and students from several disciplines to study areas of interest that cross traditional departmental lines and require an interdisciplinary approach, and to inform the campus community at large of the nature and importance of these areas.

INTERDISCIPLINARY MAJORS
Students interested in interdisciplinary study are encouraged to consider interdisciplinary majors. The following interdisciplinary majors have been approved by the Faculty, and the required courses have been defined as listed below. Students who wish to declare any of these established interdisciplinary majors may do so by filing the normal Declaration of Major form with the Office of the Registrar. Any deviation from the program of study outlined in the description must be approved by the chairpersons of the departments involved.

REQUIREMENTS FOR A MAJOR IN POLITICAL ECONOMY

A total of 12 courses (48 credits) as follows:

  1. Economics 100, 305 and 323; either Economics 201 or 202.
  2. International Studies 311.
  3. Political Science 110, 218, 314.
  4. Political Economy 486.
  5. Tracks (choose one)
    Global Track
    Three electives (two of which must be outside of Economics) from Economics 310, 312; International Studies 264, 282, 310, 331, 332, 451.
    Historical Track
    Three electives from Economics 339; History 255, 256, 351, 352, 426.
    Philosophical Track
    Philosophy 301 and two electives (one of which must be outside of Political Science) from English 265 (Literature and Economics); Philosophy 255, 303, 355; Political Science 212, 214, 230, 411.
    Policy Track
    Either Economics 290 or Political Science 270.
    Two electives from Anthropology/Sociology 241; Economics 420; Political Science 205, 280, 284, 316; Psychology 309.

    POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

    A total of 12 courses (48 credits) as follows:

    1. International Studies: Two of the following: 100, 190, 200; both of the following: 300 and one two-course sequence.
    2. Political Science: 151, 340, 360; one of the following: 212, 214, 218, 314; and one additional course
    3. Economics 100
    4. International Studies 485 or Political Science 485
    5. An appropriate foreign language through the completion of the second year (202).