SMU Department of Political Science

Major in Political Science

The Political Science curriculum addresses political ideas, institutions, and processes in such regional settings as Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States, and in such problem settings as international relations, economic and social policies, and constitutional and public law.  The Department offers undergraduate courses in four subfields:  American Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and International Relations.  The last two digits of the course number indicate its subfield.

                20-39     American Government and Politics
                40-59     Comparative Politics
                60-79     Political Theory
                80-99     International Relations

  • You must take introductory courses – at the 1000 level – in two of these subfields.  You must also take nine advanced courses (27 hours) – at the 3000 or 4000 level. These must include at least two upper-level courses in each of two subfields and one more in a third subfield. 4000-level subfield courses are more specific in their subject matter, but are not inherently more difficult than the 3000-level courses.

  • You may also take one or more special studies courses – Internship, Directed Readings, and Distinction Thesis – at the discretion of individual instructors.

  • The total requirement for the major is thirty-three (33) semester hours.  No course in which the grade is lower than C-minus may not be counted toward the major, nor may pass/fail grades be accepted.

  • In each of our courses, we assign a significant amount of writing, and we give you prompt feedback on that work.

Each student majoring in Political Science is assigned a faculty advisor who must approve course registrations and withdrawals.  Thus, you must visit with your advisor at least once a semester.  We encourage you to seek both curricular and postgraduate/career advice from your advisor and, when appropriate, from other faculty in the Department.