Undergraduate Program Requirements

The department offers a major, a concentration, and interdisciplinary majors with the Department of Economics and the Department of Statistics.

Subfields

Students choose a primary subfield and a secondary subfield from among:

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

Course requirements

Nine courses in political science, including:

Two introductory courses:
  • POLS UN1201 Introduction to American Politics
  • POLS UN1501 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS UN1601 International Politics
  • POLS UN1101 Political Theory I

Usually, students take the introductory courses in their chosen primary and secondary subfields. Other Introductory courses may be counted as electives.

Three courses in the primary subfield

One of the three courses in the primary subfield can be the field's introductory course.

Two courses in the secondary subfield

One of the two courses in the secondary subfield can be the introductory course. 

Two seminars, including one in the primary subfield:
  • POLS UN3911x and UN3912y, Seminar in Political Theory
  • POLS UN3921x and UN3922y, Seminar in American Politics
  • POLS UN3951x and UN3952y, Seminar in Comparative Politics
  • POLS UN3961x and UN3962y, Seminar in International Relations

Other seminars, including Barnard colloquia may count for seminar credit only with the written permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

One political science elective in any subfield
One research methods course:

POLS UN3220 Logic of Collective Choice
POLS UN3704 Data Analysis and Statistics for Political Research
POLS UN3706 Political Science Research Methods (offered at Barnard)
POLS UN3720 Scope and Methods
POLS GU4710 Quantitative Political Research
POLS GU4712 Analysis of Political Data
POLS GU4714 Multivariate Political Analysis
POLS GU4730 Game Theory and Political Theory
POLS GU4732 Research Topics in Game Theory
POLS GU4764 Design and Analysis of Sample Surveys
POLS GU4768 Experimental Research
POLS GU4790 Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research
POLS GU4792 Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research: Models for Panel and Time Series-Series Cross-Section Data

POLS GU4700, Mathematical Methods for Political Science, does not fulfill the methods requirement. The course provides students a basic set of mathematical tools needed to read, evaluate, and contribute in research areas that rely on mathematical techniques; it does not provide instruction in the execution of quantitative political research. However, undergraduates may take the course and count it toward the major as an elective.

Other methods courses do not fulfill the methods requirement because instruction does not include the necessary combination of mathematical and political science techniques.

Requests to fulfill the methods requirement with a course not listed above must be approved in writing in advance by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the department’s undergraduate advisers. 

If a course outside the Department of Political Science is used to satisfy the research methods requirement, this same course cannot be used toward other majors/concentrations or programs.

Subfields

Students choose a Primary Subfield and a Secondary Subfield:

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

Course requirements

Seven courses in political science, including:

Two introductory courses:
  • POLS UN1201 Introduction to American Politics
  • POLS UN1501 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS UN1601 International Politics
  • POLS UN1101 Political Theory I

Usually, students take the introductory courses in their chosen primary and secondary subfields. Other Introductory courses may be counted as electives.

Two courses in the primary subfield

One of the three courses in the primary subfield can be the field's introductory course.

Two courses in the secondary subfield

One of the two courses in the secondary subfield can be the introductory course. 

Two political science electives in any subfield
One research methods course:

POLS UN3220 Logic of Collective Choice
POLS UN3704 Data Analysis and Statistics for Political Research
POLS UN3706 Political Science Research Methods (offered at Barnard)
POLS UN3720 Scope and Methods
POLS GU4710 Quantitative Political Research
POLS GU4712 Analysis of Political Data
POLS GU4714 Multivariate Political Analysis
POLS GU4730 Game Theory and Political Theory
POLS GU4732 Research Topics in Game Theory
POLS GU4764 Design and Analysis of Sample Surveys
POLS GU4768 Experimental Research
POLS GU4790 Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research
POLS GU4792 Advanced Topics in Quantitative Research: Models for Panel and Time Series-Series Cross-Section Data

POLS GU4700, Mathematical Methods for Political Science, does not fulfill the methods requirement. The course provides students a basic set of mathematical tools needed to read, evaluate, and contribute in research areas that rely on mathematical techniques; it does not provide instruction in the execution of quantitative political research. However, undergraduates may take the course and count it toward the major as an elective.

Other methods courses do not fulfill the methods requirement because instruction does not include the necessary combination of mathematical and political science techniques.

Requests to fulfill the methods requirement with a course not listed above must be approved in writing in advance by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the department’s undergraduate advisers. 

If a course outside the Department of Political Science is used to satisfy the research methods requirement, this same course cannot be used toward other majors/concentrations or programs.

Economics-Political Science introduces students to the methods of economics and political science and stresses areas of particular concern to both. The program is especially beneficial for students planning to do graduate work in public policy and international affairs.

Two advisers are assigned for the major, one in the Department of Economics and one in the Department of Political Science. Note that the economics adviser can advise only on the economics requirements and the political science adviser can advise only on the political science requirements.

The major in economics-political science requires a minimum of 17 courses in economics, mathematics, statistics, and political science, to be distributed as follows:

Economics requirements

Core requirements in economics

Students must take all of the following core economics courses:

  • ECON UN1105 Principles of Economics
  • ECON UN3211 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON UN3213 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON UN3412 Econometrics
  • ECON GU4370 Political Economy

Core requirements in math and statistics

Students must take all of the following core mathematics and statistics courses:

  • MATH UN1101 Calculus I

  • MATH UN1201 Calculus III
  • STAT UN1201 Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics (or a higher level statistics course such as SIEO 4150)

NOTE: ​POLS UN4710 Principles of Quantitative Political Research is not an accepted alternative for the statistics requirement.

Economics electives

Students must take two electives at the 3000 level or higher in the Department of Economics.

Students must consult with an adviser in the Department of Economics regarding any of the above requirements. See here for information about Economics advising.

Political science requirements

Subfields

Students choose a primary subfield and a secondary subfield:

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

Course requirements

Two introductory courses:

  • POLS UN1201 Introduction to American Politics
  • POLS UN1501 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS UN1601 International Politics
  • POLS UN1101 Political Theory I

Introductory courses outside the primary or secondary subfield can be counted as political science electives.

Three courses in the primary subfield, including the subfield’s introductory course.

Two courses in the secondary subfield including the subfield’s introductory course.

Two seminars:

Seminars must be taken for a letter grade. Barnard colloquia may count for seminar credit only with the written permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The political science-statistics major is designed for students who seek an understanding of political science to pursue advanced study in this field and who also seek to master 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:

Political science requirements

Subfields

Students choose a primary subfield:

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

Course requirements

Three courses in the primary subfield, including the subfield’s introductory course:

  • POLS UN1201 Introduction to American Politics
  • POLS UN1501 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS UN1601 International Politics
  • POLS UN1101 Political Theory I

Two required research methods courses

  • POLS GU4710 Principles of Quantitative Political Research, or, instead, POLS UN3704 Data Analysis & Statistics for Political Science Research 
  • POLS GU4712 Analysis of Political Data

One 4-point political science seminar in the student's primary subfield

Subfield seminars:
  • POLS UN3911x and UN3912y, Seminar in Political Theory
  • POLS UN3921x and UN3922y, Seminar in American Politics
  • POLS UN3951x and UN3952y, Seminar in Comparative Politics
  • POLS UN3961x and UN3962y, Seminar in International Relations

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 requirements

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

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

or

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

One statistics elective or quantitatively oriented course in a social science field

Policies about double-counting courses to fulfill requirements in more than one major may be found here:

Courses in the Core Curriculum do not fulfill requirements for the Political Science major.

The department grants credit toward the major or concentration for work completed under the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). Students receive 4 points of academic credit and exemption from POLS UN1201 or POLS UN1501 for scores of 5 on the United States and Comparative Government and Politics CEEB Advanced Placement examinations.

For the political science major, a maximum of three courses in political science may be transferred from other institutions, including study abroad and AP credit. For the political science concentration as well as the economics-political science and political science-statistics interdisciplinary majors, a maximum of two courses in political science may be transferred from other institutions.

All transfer credits must be approved in writing by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or one of the Undergraduate Advisers.

To obtain transfer credit for prior coursework, students should present the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Undergraduate Advisers their transfer credit report, the syllabi of the courses they want to count toward departmental requirements, and an explanation of which requirement(s) they wish to fulfill with transfer credit.

Only the first Political Science course taken for a grade of "Pass" may be applied to the major or concentration, with the following exception:

  • The course used to fulfill the research methods requirement cannot be taken Pass/D/Fail.

Students must receive a grade of at least C- in order for a course to count towards the major.