The Major in Political Science

This page provides a summary of requirements for the Political Science major. Students planning a major should consult the current Catalog for precise details on the major.

The Political Science major is organized around four subfields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Majors are required to take a core course in each of the four. These core courses are the foundation for all advanced study in the discipline, and students should complete them by the end of the sophomore year.  Special permission is required to take them later. The four required core courses are:

POLS 140 American Politics
POLS 170 International Politics
POLS 205 Comparative Politics
POLS 210 Political Theory

All Political Science majors in the class of 2021 or later must take one course in Political Science research methods prior to the senior year.  Majors can choose a course in either Quantitative Methods (POLS 296) or Qualitative Methods (POLS 297).

The major also requires a minimum of three Political Science elective courses (200 level or higher) and one 300-level seminar taken in the senior year.  Among the three electives and the one seminar, students must take courses from at least two of the four subfields.

Thus, the minimum Political Science major requires nine courses:

4 core courses
1 Political Science research methods course (class of 2021 or later)
3 electives in Political Science
1 300-level Political Science seminar

Students may elect additional Political Science courses beyond these nine, but students can take no more than twelve courses in the major, by college rules.

The Political Science department strongly encourages off-campus study, and up to two courses earned off campus from non-Bucknell staff may count as Political Science electives toward the major with department approval.  Students wishing to transfer such credits toward the Political Science major should consult the department chair and the dean's office prior to the off-campus semester.

Online courses cannot be counted toward the Political Science major.  By faculty action, Foundation Seminars cannot be counted toward any major.

The Department strongly encourages its majors to acquire such auxiliary skills in areas such as foreign language and statistical analysis.

Declaring the Political Science Major

Minors in Political Science

Honors in Political Science

Political Science Learning Outcomes