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    Political Science Major

    Applicable for the 2019-2020 academic year.


    Basic Requirement: Must complete 10 units in the Department of Political Science 

    I. Introductory

    The department offers courses in four sub-fields: United States Politics and Government, Political Theory, Comparative Politics, and International Relations. The Catalog of Courses indicates the departmental offerings by sub-field, and a current list is included below.

    Students must take:

    1) In the United States politics and Government subfield:
    PS 200 - United States Politics and Government
    2) In the international relations subfield:
    PS 209 - Introduction to International Relations or
    PS 225 - Conduct of American Foreign Policy
    3) In the comparative subfield:
    PS 236 - Introduction to Comparative Politics
    4) In the political theory subfield:
    PS 205 - Foundations of Political Economy or
    PS 270 - Liberty and Equality or
    PS 292 - American Political Thought or
    PS 298 – What is Political Philosophy?

    Students are strongly advised to take the prescribed courses at the 200 level before taking courses at the 300 level. Either 209 or 225 can be counted towards the major, but not both.

    II. Sub-field Distribution

    A minimum of 10 units in the Department of Political Science is required, to include the following:

    1) Two units in each of four subfields. In each subfield, students must take A) the prescribed course or one of the prescribed courses, and B) one additional course in that subfield.

    2) A tutorial in one subfield selected for emphasis. Students who are admitted to write theses are exempt from the tutorial requirement.

    3) One additional course to reach the 10-unit minimum. The elective may not be the internship courses, 231 or 233. In addition to the regular courses offered by the department, students may count as their elective one of the following courses: a Topics in Politics course (203), an independent study (402), or one course taken at another institution, in the United States or abroad.

    III. Study Abroad

    Students earning political science credit in off-campus programs or study at other institutions may qualify for relief from the 10-unit rule. However, the department believes a degree in political science from Colorado College means that majors did most of their work here. The department will normally count one unit of political science in an off-campus program toward the basic ten units. Any use of non-CC credit toward the major must have the approval of the student's departmental advisor or the department chair.

    IV. Recommended Courses Outside of the Department:

    A. The department strongly urges all its majors to achieve at least intermediate-level competency in a foreign language.

    B. The department also advises all majors to take Principles of Economics and at least two courses in history.

    V. Distinction

    Distinction in political science will be awarded based on a graduating senior’s cumulative GPA in courses within the major.

    VI. Thesis

    Proposals to write a senior thesis must normally be submitted by the beginning of the final block of the student’s junior year, but a student studying off campus at the end of the junior year may submit a proposal in the first week of Block 1 of the senior year.

    VII. Transfer Students

    The department chair will consider granting credit toward the major for courses taken at another institution prior to admission to Colorado College at the time the student declares the major. Advanced Placement courses in high school may count toward total units for graduation and should be taken into consideration when selecting courses for the major. They do not, however, qualify for relief from the 10-unit rule.


    A minor in political science enables students to complete a course of study within one of the subfields in the major. Completion of a minor in political science requires five courses, distributed as follows and chosen in consultation with an adviser in the department:

    1) One of the following: 200 in the United States politics and government subfield; 209 or 225 in the international relations subfield; 236 in comparative politics; 205 or 270 or 292 or 298 in the political theory subfield. Either 209 or 225 can be counted toward the minor, but not both.

    2)  Three upper-division courses in the minor subfield, including at least one 300-level course for which the student has completed the prerequisite. A course in another subfield can be substituted for one of these three courses upon consultation with the minor advisor.

    3) A tutorial in the minor subfield.