Political Science-Statistics Interdepartmental Major

Applies to all Columbia College students and to all General Studies students.

The interdisciplinary major of political science-statistics is designed for Columbia College or General Studies 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.

The major in political science/statistics requires a minimum of 15 courses in political science, statistics, mathematics, and computer science, to be distributed as follows:



Students must choose a Primary Subfield to study. The subfields are as follows:

  • American Politics (AP)
  • Comparative Politics (CP)
  • International Relations (IR)
  • Political Theory (PT)


Course Requirements

Primary Subfield
Minimum three courses, one of which must be the subfield’s introductory course.

Research Methods
Students must take the following two methods courses:

  • POLS GU4710 Principles of Quantitative Political Research
    • Students may substitute POLS UN3704 Data Analysis & Statistics for Political Science Research in place of POLS GU4710.
  • POLS GU4712 Analysis of Political Data

One 4-point Political Science Seminar in the student's Primary Subfield.

  • Usually taken in the junior or senior year.
  • Entry into seminars requires instructor permission.
  • Seminars must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Barnard colloquia can count for seminar credit only with the written permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.



Statistics Sequence
Students must take one of the following sequences:

Sequence A
recommended for students preparing for graduate study in statistics

  1. MATH UN1101 Calculus I
  2. MATH UN1102 Calculus II
  3. MATH UN2010 Linear Algebra
  4. STAT UN1201 Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics
  5. STAT GU4203 Probability Theory
  6. STAT GU4204 Statistical Inference
  7. STAT GU4205 Linear Regression Models
  8. STAT GU4206 Statistical Computing and Introduction to Data Science


Sequence B
recommended for students preparing to apply statistical methods to other fields

  1. STAT GU1101 Introduction to Statistics
  2. STAT GU2102 Applied Statistical Computing
  3. STAT GU2103 Applied Linear Regression Analysis
  4. STAT GU2104 Applied Categorical Data Analysis
  5. STAT GU3105 Applied Statistical Methods
  6. STAT GU3106 Applied Data Mining

Statistics Elective
Students must take one statistics elective or quantitatively oriented course in a social science field.


NOTE: Students must consult with an adviser in the Department of Statistics regarding any of the above requirements.


Policy on Double-Counting Courses

  • No course may double-count for two separate majors/concentrations or programs.

Policy on Counting Credits outside the Department of Political Science

  • Courses taken at other institutions or other Columbia departments may not be used to meet the requirement of a major or concentration in political science without the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the department’s undergraduate adviser. Students should secure such approval in advance of registration.

Pass/D/Fail and Grading Policy

  • A grade of “Pass” is acceptable only for the first course taken toward the major.
  • Students must receive a grade of at least C- in order for a course to count towards the major.

AP Credit Policy

  • Students who receive transfer credit for one or more AP exams in political science may count a maximum of one AP course toward the major, contingent upon completing an upper-level (3000 or higher) course with a grade of C or higher in the subfield in which the AP exam was taken.

Transfer Credit Policy

  • A maximum of two 3-point or 4-point courses in Political Science may be transferred from other institutions. This includes study abroad and AP credit. All transfer credits must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the undergraduate adviser. 
  • Students who wish to apply transfer credits to the major requirements should provide their Transfer Credit Report and the syllabi from the courses taken, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies or undergraduate adviser for review as soon as they begin taking courses toward the major, since the number of credits transferred (if any) will affect subsequent course planning.

Independent Study Policy

  • Independent Study (POLS UN3901x or UN3902y) taken in fulfillment of course requirements for the major must be taken for at least 3 points of credit.