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2018-2019 Academic Catalog | Political Science (B.A.) – CAS

Political Science (B.A.)




The political science program emphasizes both the study of political science as a discipline and the active, practical participation of students in the political process. In addition to course work, students participate in a wide variety of internships and fieldwork classes in Washington, D.C., to learn politics through direct observation and involvement.

The major in political science is designed to help students effectively fulfill their expanding roles in public life. Knowledge of governmental affairs in combination with communication and research skills can open a wide vista of challenging opportunities. Trinity looks to its political science majors to provide the much-needed dedication and leadership qualities aimed at achieving an enriched and more just society.

Political science provides students with grounding in several fields including American government, comparative political systems, international relations, political theory, and field experience afforded by Trinity's location in the nation's capital. This resource serves students in two ways: first, through utilization of the city's political and governmental institutions as learning laboratories and second, by providing students with professional contacts and networking opportunities well before they graduate. In addition, political science majors can combine a thorough grounding in political science theory and methodology with a self-directed focus on selected public policy topics and/or with multidisciplinary course selections through the general education curriculum and complementary courses in other disciplines.

An analysis of the many aspects of leadership as well as the concept itself is woven into every political science course. The political science program is also sensitive to the needs of women not only through gender-specific courses but also through many other courses that address issues and processes of special significance to women. The comparative politics sequence and international relations courses in particular provide an essential resource for the development of multicultural awareness.

The political science program supports a major and minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Courses in the political science program fall into the following categories: American government and law; international relations and comparative politics; political values; applied skills; elective; and advanced seminar. Each course taken may be counted to fulfill only one distribution requirement for the major, even if the course falls into two categories.

Major Requirements

The major requires 32-33 credits of coursework.

ONE introductory course chosen from:

  • POLS 101
  • POLS 103
  • POLS 199H
    • POLS 199H is for Honors students and other students who receive permission to enroll from the instructor

TWO courses in American government & law chosen from:

  • POLS 211
  • POLS 213
  • POLS 272
  • POLS 277
  • POLS 301
  • POLS 305
  • POLS 311

TWO courses in international relations and comparative politics chosen from:

  • POLS 231
  • POLS 241
  • POLS 341
  • POLS 343
  • POLS 363

ONE course in political values chosen from:

  • POLS 201
  • POLS 275
  • POLS 299
  • POLS 313
  • POLS 471

TWO applied skills courses chosen from:

  • POLS 365
  • POLS 367
  • POLS 369
  • POLS 491

TWO electives chosen from any political science courses not already satisfying another major requirement

ONE advanced seminar chosen from:

  • POLS 403
  • POLS 405
  • POLS 431
  • POLS 443

Majors must also pass a senior comprehensive exam.

Minor Requirements

Students pursuing the minor must complete 18 credits of political science courses. Internships cannot be counted toward the minor.

Program Policies

Advanced Placement:
Advanced Placement credit will be accepted by the political science program in American government and comparative politics at the 4 or 5 level.

CLEP Policy:
Students wishing to receive credit for CLEP examinations should consult the program chair.

Grades in Major Courses:
Students are required to earn a grade of “C-” (1.7) or better in all courses counted to fulfill requirements for the major.

Pass/No Pass:
Courses fulfilling the major requirement may not be taken pass/no pass, except for POLS 491 Internship.

Senior Assessment:
Students must achieve a passing grade on the senior comprehensive examination in order to graduate with a major in political science.

TELL Policy:
Students may receive no more than 12 political science elective credits through the TELL Program.

Transfer Credits:
No more than 15 credits in courses equivalent to those required for the major may be accepted toward the major in political science. No more than nine credits may be accepted toward the minor in political science.

Course Descriptions

POLS 101
POLS 103
POLS 201
POLS 211
POLS 213
POLS 231
POLS 241
POLS 243
POLS 250
POLS 272
POLS 274
POLS 275
POLS 277
POLS 299
POLS 301
POLS 302
POLS 303
POLS 305
POLS 311
POLS 313
POLS 322
POLS 330
POLS 337
POLS 341
POLS 342
POLS 343
POLS 351
POLS 353
POLS 363
POLS 365
POLS 367
POLS 369
POLS 403
POLS 405
POLS 431
POLS 443
POLS 471
POLS 491
POLS 498

Trinity reserves the right to change, without prior notice, any policy or procedure, tuition or fee, curricular requirements, or any other information found on this web site or in its printed materials.

Questions may be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs at



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