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 146 Three Giants in Asia
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 390 Politics Seminar
PO 398 Independent Study/Research