Politics - Course of Study

See Politics course descriptions from our catalog for more information

View Course Requirements

All Politics Majors are required to take the following courses:

  • PO 11: Introduction to American Politics
  • PO 12: Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • PO 14: Introduction to Political Theory

Following the required courses, majors complete seven upper-division courses in each of the following areas: political theory, comparative politics, international relations, and American politics.

Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics is the comparative study of political systems and individual nations around the globe.  The field includes scholars with expertise in area studies (considerable knowledge of specific geographic locales) and scholars who emphasize cross-national comparisons.


  • PO 139: European Politics
  • PO 140: Islam and Muslim Politics
  • PO 141: African Politics
  • PO 142: Latin American Politics
  • PO 143: Caribbean Politics
  • PO 144: Middle East Politics
  • PO 145: Asian Politics
  • PO 147: Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace
  • PO 148: Political Violence
  • PO 149: Third World: Common Fate? Common Bond?
  • PO 249: Seminar on Russia
  • PO 344: Seminar on Middle East Politics
International Relations

International relations (IR) is the subfield of political science that seeks to explain patterns of conflict and cooperation between and across political systems. IR studies issues such as war, peace, trade and economic cooperation, terrorism, international organizations, international law, humanitarian intervention, environmental cooperation and many other issues using multiple theories and methods. 


  • PO 127: United Nations Security Council Crisis Simulation
  • PO 129: Politics of Humanitarian Action
  • PO 130/IL 51: International Relations: Theories and Challenges
  • PO 131: International Environmental Policy
  • PO 132: Climate Change: Politics and Policy
  • PO 133: United States Foreign Policy
  • PO 134: Globalization: Who Rules the World?
  • PO 135: Global Governance: International Law and Organizations
  • PO 136/IL 151: Gender, War and Peace
  • PO 137: Threats to Global Security in the 21st Century
  • PO 138: Border Politics
American Politics

American Politics is the study of political institutions, electoral behavior, political culture, and policy change in the United States. It also studies the changing role of the United States in an increasingly global world. Faculty research in American Politics includes diverse areas such as: Law and Politics, Party Polarization and Policy Change, Politics of Family, Urban Politics, Interest Groups, and Media and Politics.


  • PO 115: Introduction to the Study of Peace and Justice
  • PO 150: Urban Politics
  • PO 155: Public Administration
  • PO 161: The American Presidency
  • PO 162: United States Congress
  • PO 163: Supreme Court I
  • PO 165: Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Public Opinion
  • PO 166: American Public Policy
  • PO 167: Media and Politics
  • PO 169: US Environmental Politics and Policy
  • PO 170: Battle over Family Values in American Politics
Political Theory

Power.  Justice.  Freedom.  Citizenship.  Political theory courses invite students into the adventure of learning more about these ideas and many others by critically engaging with the work of thinkers such as Plato, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, and Carole Pateman in order to better understand the political world in which we live today.


  • PO 112: 21st Century Power Politics
  • PO 116: Utopian Politics
  • PO 118: American Political Thought
  • PO 119: Sex, Sexuality and Gender
  • PO 123: Modern Political Ideologies
  • PO 153: The Politics of Race, Class, and Gender
  • PO 220: Seminar on Feminist Theory
Internships & Special Topics

Internships, Independent Study, Special Topics 

  • PO 190: Special Topics in Politics
  • PO 296: State Legislature Internship
  • PO 297: Washington Semester Internship
  • PO 298: Politics Internship
  • PO 398: Independent Study/Research

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