Basic Structure of the Department
- The Government Department offers one major and one minor. Requirements for both can be accessed through the department's website.
- Most courses offered by the department fall into one of four subfields:
- American Politics (30s): his sub field focuses on the study of U.S. political institutions, processes, and behavior. People who study American politics study elections, Supreme Court decisions, social movements, Congressional politics, interest groups, political parties, federalism, state and local politics, public policy, and so on. GOVT 3 is the introduction to the subfield.
- Comparative Politics (20s and 40s): This sub field focuses on the study of politics and policy in other countries, often comparing the politics of one nation to that of another nation. In other words, Comparativists do for other countries what Americanists do for the United States. Comparativists also study democratization and dictatorship, revolution, political parties, economic development, nationalism, and so on. GOVT 4 is the introduction to the subfield.
- International Relations (50s): This sub field focuses on the study of interactions among sovereign states and other actors in the international arena. People who study IR study diplomacy, trade, war, international law and international organizations (e.g. the UN), and so on. GOVT 5 is the introduction to the subfield.
- Political Theory and Public Law (60s): This sub field focuses on the theoretical and philosophical questions raised by the ways human beings wield power and seek justice. GOVT 6 is the introduction to the subfield.
- Many courses, and the interests of most faculty members, span sub field divisions. Students are urged to identify a topic or puzzle of interest to them, then chase that topic or puzzle across the sub fields (and indeed, across academic departments and programs).
- The Government department sponsors two off-campus programs, one to London, and one domestic program to Washington, DC. Prerequisites for the London program are GOVT 4 or 5 (or equivalent courses or course work). Prerequisites for the DC program are GOVT 3 or other course work in American Politics. Most students who participate in the Government FSP have been Government majors.
Information for the First-Year Student Who Plans on Pursuing Studies in Government
- Each of the four introductory courses (3, 4, 5, and 6) is associated with one of the sub fields described above. These courses are appropriate for first-year students, and are offered frequently. Majors are required to take at least two of the four introductory courses, and the sooner they are taken, the better.
- Prerequisite for the major is GOVT 10 (offered fall, winter and spring terms), ECOM 10, or MATH 10, with a grade no lower than C. Another course in statistics and the methods of social science may be substituted for GOVT 10, with permission of the department chair. AP credit for MATH 10 does not count as the prerequisite for the Major unless a student takes a GOVT 10 equivalency test.
Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives
The Government home page