Political Science

Political science concentration offers opportunities for learning in a number of different areas. Students completing the program of study will be prepared for jobs in government, private corporations, and nonprofit organizations as well as for more advanced study in law, business, or graduate school.

The undergraduate concentration is organized around three broad tracks, or programs of study: American politics, international and comparative politics, and political theory.


Students interested in graduating with a degree in political science need to complete the following requirements:

1. Twelve courses overall: Ten within the Department of Political Science and two from areas outside the department related to your chosen track. Thirteen courses are required if the methods requirement is fulfilled with a course outside the department.

2. For the American politics and political theory tracks; two introductory courses from the following group: POLS 0010, 0110, 0200 or 0400. One of which must be the introductory course associated with chosen track.

For the international and comparative politics track; two introductory courses are required: POLS 0200 and 0400.

3. One course in each of the American politics and political theory subfields. Two courses in the international and comparative politics subfield.

4. Three upper-level courses, beyond the introductory course, in the chosen subfield.

5. One methods course from Political Science POLS 0500 or 1600. A comparable course from an outside department (ECON 1620, 1630 APMA 0650, EDUC 1110, or SOC 1100 may also be used). If the methods requirement is fulfilled by an outside department course, it will not count as one of the 12 required courses.

6. One research seminar from the POLS 1820, 1821, 1822 or 1823 offerings that is track related.

7. Two upper-level courses from outside the department related to the specialized track, chosen with the approval of the concentration advisor. Appropriate 1000-level courses offered in (but not limited to) Africana Studies, American Civilization, Anthropology, Classics, Economics, History, International Relations, Philosophy, Public Policy, Religious Studies, Sociology or Urban Studies may apply. The concentration advisor may approve a course from another department if it clearly meets the intent of the outside course requirement.

To obtain an advisor, contact the concentration coordinator, Patti Gardner.


Students wishing to undertake the honors program need to complete the same requirements as shown for the concentration. Completion of the methods requirement is required prior to applying to the Honors program. Students must also complete an honors research project and take POLS 1910 and 1920 during the senior year. POLS 1910 and 1920 do not count towards the 10 required Political Science courses for the concentration.

Page last updated in February, 2012.

Back to Brown University Registrar's Home Page