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Changes to political science major

Beginning with the class of 2024, the Political Science major requirements are being changed. The most notable changes are the combination of the old two tracks, Political Science and Political Science/International Relations, into one “Political Science & International Relations” Major. 

The old major, requiring only 66 credits, now requires 75, including an additional mandatory three-credit methods course and an extra six-credit elective.

Professor Tun Myint, head of the political science department, believes that “the new major requirements give students a lot more flexibility and also allows independent and exploratory approach to methodology of political science as a discipline because students can now take a 3-credit method sequence course with a professor they like to work with for their comps or independent research based on individual-preferred methodological orientation.”

The composition of the new major will require 18 credits from Core Courses, 15 credits for the methods sequence, 36 elective credits, and six integrative exercise credits that students will attain during their senior year when they work on their final comps project. 

The major offers four interest tracks: “Leadership, Peace and Security,” “Globalization, Development and Sustainability,” “Democracy, Society, and the State” and “Philosophical and Legal Inquiries.” Although these interest tracks are the same as the old subfields, students will no longer have to declare a subfield. These interest tracks will rather serve as suggestions that students can pick and choose from. 

“I personally don’t mind the change,” said Aleia Johnson ’24, who recently declared this new major. “I like how the major is a lot more straightforward now and how we can comps out of any 300-level course. The one thing that may be a bit challenging is the additional three-credit Methods course. For most political science majors, this [likely] means overloading during one trimester. This may be challenging, but as I have not taken the 3-credit course yet, I cannot really speculate.” 

“I’m happy about the changes to the major,” said prospective political science major Max Serota ’25.“Previously, it was hard to understand exactly what courses you needed to take, and choosing a concentration seemed like it prevented you from fully exploring the diverse field of political science.”

The current junior and senior classes will not be affected by this change and will continue to complete the requirements of the old major. 

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