Politics Degree Requirements
Major: A minimum of 11 courses distributed as follows:
- One course in statistics: STA 201 (Statistical Methods I) or STA 348 (Mathematical Statistics II);
- At least 10 courses in Politics, including:
- At least one course in Political Thought;
- At least three courses in International Relations and Comparative Government;
- At least three courses in American Politics and Public Policy;
- At least six courses at the 300 or 400 level (including no more than two POL 380 courses and including the capstone);
- As the capstone for the major, POL 483 or, for qualified students, course credit for an independent project directed toward pursuit of departmental honors.
- The Department strongly encourages students to participate in an internship or comparable off-campus program while at Cornell.
Teaching Major: A minimum of nine course credits in Politics, to include POL 222, 242, 243, 262, 348, and 364; and three course credits selected from POL 325, 361, 363, 365-368, 371, or 372. Teaching majors are also urged to take courses in the related fields of economics, history, psychology, and sociology. In addition to the foregoing requirements, prospective teachers must also apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program (preferably at the start of their sophomore year) and complete coursework leading to secondary certification described under Education. Prospective teachers should request a current list of the specific course requirements from the Education Office.
Second Teaching Area in American Government: The following program in conjunction with a teaching major in Anthropology (individualized major), Economics and Business, History, Psychology, or Sociology will enable the student to apply for certification to teach both the major subject and American Government: POL 262, 364, and two course credits selected from POL 222 or 325, 348, 363, 361 or 365 or 366, and 367 or 368.
Note: Majors who intend to pursue graduate study in political science or public policy should take STA 201 (Statistical Methods I) and POL 382. Majors who have a special interest in legislative and electoral politics should take POL 262, 280/380, 325, 363, and 364. Politics courses of particular value to pre-law students include POL 222, 250, 262, 325, 361, 364, 365, and 366. Law schools will accept majors in any academic discipline.
Minors: Three minors are available corresponding to the three subfields in the Department. No course may be counted toward more than one minor under the supervision of the Department of Politics.
Political Thought: A minimum of five course credits in Political Thought or constitutional law (POL 361, 365, 366), at least three of which must be 300-level Politics Department courses. As many as two Philosophy Department courses in political philosophy (PHI 307, 353, 354) may be counted toward the minor in Political Thought.
International Relations and Comparative Government: A minimum of five course credits in International Relations and Comparative Government, at least three of which must be at the 300 level. An appropriate internship may be substituted for one of the five courses. Not available to students with an International Relations major.
American Politics and Public Policy: A minimum of five course credits in American Politics and Public Policy, at least three of which must be at the 300 level. An appropriate internship may be substituted for one of the five courses.