The Department of Politics at Cornell is comprised of three subfields: American Politics, Political Thought, and International Relations and Comparative Government. Minors may be earned in each subfield and combine conveniently with a variety of majors, including interdisciplinary programs in Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, International Relations, Latin American Studies, and Women’s Studies.
Politics majors are required to achieve greater breadth of preparation, and are exposed to a variety of theoretical points of view. Many students develop a special interest in one of the subfields, and a student-mentor relationship with a particular faculty member in the department is often the result.
In the Classroom
Throughout the curriculum we encourage rigorous research, critical reading, analytical thinking, articulate speech, and cogent writing. Cornell's One Course At A Time schedule gives us extended time for developing these skills and learning in ways that wouldn't otherwise be possible. Each member of the faculty requires substantial amounts of writing in the form of essay exams and papers. Many courses feature oral presentations of student research or assigned readings, and we make frequent use of role-playing scenarios, computer-based simulations, field trips, and other opportunities.
Internships and Off-campus Study
To increase the students' knowledge of the political world around them, the Politics Department encourages off-campus study and internships. Professor Allin’s Wilderness Politics course travels to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Professor Thomas is making plans for a course in India. And our students frequently pursue credit-earning internships in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere for a block or longer.