Requirements for the Political Science and International Relations major

75 credits, including:

1.  Core Courses (18 credits):

Majors must complete three of the following core courses preferably prior to their senior year. These courses cannot be substituted with any other courses at Carleton or elsewhere:

  • POSC 120: Democracy and Dictatorship
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
  • POSC 160: Political Philosophy
  • POSC 170: International Relations and World Politics

2. Methods Sequence (15 credits):

One course (6 credits) of introductory statistics or equivalent preparation, including:      

  • STAT 120 Introduction to Statistics·
  • STAT 230 Applied Regression Analysis·  
  • STAT 250 Introduction to Statistical Inference·  
  • PSYC 200/201 Measurement and Data Analysis
  • SOAN 239 Social Statistics·  
  • Or AP Statistics score of 4 or 5 (see below)

The introductory statistics course (or equivalent) may be taken on an S/CR/NC basis. Other courses may be accepted for this requirement with the approval of the chair. Students who use AP Statistics score of 4 or 5 for the placement must take an additional elective in the department (i.e., 42 elective credits, not 36) to meet the required 75 credits for the major. It is recommended, but not required, to replace that 6 credits with POSC 232 when available. Otherwise, choose one 6 credit elective course from the list of approved elective courses.

POSC 230 Methods of Political Research (6 credits). This course should be taken as soon as possible after declaring a major, but not simultaneously with the stats class listed above. This course cannot be substituted with any other method course at Carleton or elsewhere. 

POSC 232 Methods (3 credits) from a list of courses offered in the department. Methods courses of 3 credits or more in other departments may be substituted with prior approval from the chair.

  • POSC 222: Political Science Lab: Interviewing Techniques · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 223: PS Lab: Content Analysis · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 232: PS Lab: Agent-Based Models
  • POSC 232: PS Lab: Focus Group Analysis
  • POSC 232: PS Lab: Interview Techniques
  • POSC 232: PS Lab: Political Philosophy and the Art of Reading
  • POSC 232: PS Lab: Public Policy Analysis

3. Elective Courses (36 credits):

  • At least two courses (12 credits) must be at the 300-level. The department recommends that majors take at least one seminar course during the junior year.  
  • Students may count the fourth 100-level core course (6 credits) as one of their electives.
  • A maximum of 12 credits earned outside of the department may be applied towards the total number of electives. These non-department credits may consist of: (a) approved courses in other Carleton departments; (b) from non-Carleton OCS programs; or (c) from non-Carleton post-matriculation courses. Non-departmental courses may not be used to replace 300-level seminars, and should be distinct and independent from courses offered by the department. Application of non-Carleton OCS courses and other post-matriculation courses require approval from the chair. The chair may require a copy of the course syllabus for off-campus and other post-matriculation courses.
  • Students may count up to six credits of POSC 300 Collaborative Research course as elective credit. Those credits must be taken on a graded basis. Students may take additional POSC 300 credits without those credits counting as electives in the major. This POSC 300 course is not a regular course and offered by individual faculty members at their discretion.  

Elective Courses:

  • HIST 269: Religion, Race & Caste in Modern India · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
  • POSC 190: In the News: US, China, and World Politics · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 201: Statecraft and the Tools of National Power · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 202: Tools of National Power: Statecraft and Diplomatic Power · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 204: How American Campaigns and Elections Work (and Don’t Work) · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 205: News Media and Democratic Electoral Processes · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 206: Judges and Courts
  • POSC 209: Money and Politics · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 210: Misinformation, Political Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories
  • POSC 211: Media, Politics, and Difference: How Film Teaches Us Who We Are(n’t)
  • POSC 212: Environmental Justice · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 214: Visual Representations of Political Thought and Action · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 215: Comparative Political Communication: News Coverage of Elections · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 216: Politics in the Post-Truth Society · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 217: Monuments, Museums & Meaning: How Politics Shapes Memory in Artifacts · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 218: Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 220: Politics and Political History in Film · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 221: Latin American Politics · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 222: Political Science Lab: Interviewing Techniques · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 223: PS Lab: Content Analysis · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 225: Prisons and Punishment
  • POSC 227: Contemporary Capitalisms · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 229: The U.S. Congress: Coordination and Conflict · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 231: American Foreign Policy · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 235: The Endless War on Terror · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 238: Sport and Globalization in London and Seville Program: Globalization and Development: Lessons from Int’l Football
  • POSC 240: At the Corner of Broadway and Main Street: The Contrasting Politics of Northfield and the Twin Cities · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 241: Ethnic Conflict
  • POSC 242: Middle East Politics
  • POSC 244: The Politics of Eurovision · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 247: Comparative Nationalism · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 249: From the International to the Global: Critical Theories of World Politics · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 250: Kings, Tyrants, Philosophers: Plato’s Republic
  • POSC 251: Modern Political Philosophy: Liberalism and Its Critics · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 252: Free Expression: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 253: Welfare Capitalisms in Post-War Europe · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 254: Freedom, Excellence, Happiness: Aristotle’s Ethics
  • POSC 255: Post-Modern Political Thought · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 256: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 257: Marx for the 21st Century: Ecology, Technology, Dispossession
  • POSC 258: Politics and Ambition · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 261: The Global Crisis of Democracy · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 262: Displaced Lives: Freedom and Meaning · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 264: Politics of Contemporary China
  • POSC 265: Public Policy and Global Capitalism
  • POSC 266: Urban Political Economy · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 268: Global Environmental Politics and Policy
  • POSC 269: I Did My Own Research: Information and Political Division in America · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 271: Constitutional Law I
  • POSC 272: Constitutional Law II
  • POSC 273: Race and Politics in the U.S.
  • POSC 274: Covid-19 and Globalization
  • POSC 275: Black Political Thought
  • POSC 276: Imagination in Politics: Resisting Totalitarianism · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 278: Memory and Politics · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 279: The Promise of Civil Society: A Global Perspective · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 280: Feminist Security Studies
  • POSC 281: U.S-China Rivalry: The New Cold War?
  • POSC 282: Terrorism and Counterterrorism · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 283: Separatist Movements · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 284: War and Peace in Northern Ireland · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 285: The U.S. Intelligence Community · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 288: Politics and Public Policy in Washington, D.C., Program: Global Politics & Pub Policy in Washington DC
  • POSC 294: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Perceptions of Otherness in Modern Eastern and Central Europe · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 295: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Nation-Building in Central and Eastern Europe between Politics and Art · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 296: Central and Eastern European Politics Program: Challenges to the Nation-State in Eastern and Central Europe: Immigrants and Minorities · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 302: Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations
  • POSC 305: News Media and Democratic Electoral Processes* · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 306: Identity Politics and Group Behavior in America · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 307: Go Our Own Way: Autonomy in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 308: Global Gender Politics
  • POSC 313: Legal Issues in Higher Education
  • POSC 315: Polarization and Democratic Decline in the United States
  • POSC 323: Revolutionary Latin America · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 324: Rebels and Risk Takers: Women and War in the Middle East · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 328: Foreign Policy Analysis · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 329: Reinventing Humanism: A Dialogue with Tzvetan Todorov · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 330: The Complexity of Politics · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 333: Global Social Changes and Sustainability · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 336: Global Populist Politics
  • POSC 339: LGBTQ Politics in America · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 345: Politics of Dictatorship
  • POSC 348: Strangers, Foreigners and Exiles · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 352: Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville
  • POSC 354: Freedom, Excellence, Happiness: Aristotle’s Ethics · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 355: Identity, Culture and Rights · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 358: Comparative Social Movements · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 359: Cosmopolitanism · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 361: Approaches to Development
  • POSC 366: Urban Political Economy · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 367: Social Welfare in a Time of Crisis · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 372: Mansions and Shantytowns: Politics of the Spaces We Live In · not offered in 2023-24
  • RELG 212: Black Religious Thought
  • RELG 236: Black Love: Religious, Political, and Cultural Discussions
  • AMST 396: Commodifying and Policing: Globalization of the American Suburb and City · not offered in 2023-24
  • ARBC 144: Arabic Literature at War · not offered in 2023-24
  • ECON 240: Microeconomics of Development
  • ECON 241: Growth and Development
  • ECON 257: Economics of Gender
  • ECON 264: Health Care Economics · not offered in 2023-24
  • ECON 268: Economics of Cost Benefit Analysis · not offered in 2023-24
  • ECON 270: Economics of the Public Sector
  • ECON 271: Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • ECON 274: Labor Economics
  • ECON 275: Law and Economics · not offered in 2023-24
  • ECON 277: History and Theory of Financial Crises
  • ECON 280: International Trade · not offered in 2023-24
  • ECON 281: International Finance · not offered in 2023-24
  • ENTS 210: Environmental Justice
  • ENTS 310: Topics in Environmental Law and Policy · not offered in 2023-24
  • EUST 100: America Inside Out
  • EUST 110: The Power of Place: Memory and Counter-Memory in the European City · not offered in 2023-24
  • EUST 159: “The Age of Isms” – Ideals, Ideas and Ideologies in Modern Europe · not offered in 2023-24
  • EUST 249: The European Union: Constitution, Crisis and Conflict
  • HIST 123: U.S. Women’s History Since 1877
  • HIST 139: Foundations of Modern Europe
  • HIST 141: Europe in the Twentieth Century · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 150: Politics of Art in Early Imperial China · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 151: History of Modern Japan · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 152: History of Late Imperial China
  • HIST 153: History of Modern China · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 156: History of Modern Korea · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 161: From Mughals to Mahatma Gandhi: An Introduction to Modern Indian History · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 165: A Cultural History of the Modern Middle East
  • HIST 170: Modern Latin America 1810-Present · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 181: West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 183: History of Early West Africa · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 184: Colonial West Africa · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 205: American Environmental History
  • HIST 212: The Era of the American Revolution · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 226: U.S. Consumer Culture
  • HIST 235: Making and Breaking Institutions: Structure, Culture, Corruption, and Reform in the Middle Ages
  • HIST 240: Tsars and Serfs, Cossacks and Revolutionaries: The Empire that was Russia
  • HIST 241: Russia through Wars and Revolutions · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 242: Communism, Cold War, Collapse: Russia Since Stalin
  • HIST 243: The Peasants are Revolting! Society and Politics in the Making of Modern France
  • HIST 244: The Enlightenment and Its Legacies · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 245: Ireland: Land, Conflict and Memory · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 250: Modern Germany · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 257: Chinese Capitalism: From Local to Global · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 260: The Making of the Modern Middle East
  • HIST 263: Plagues of Empire · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 265: Central Asia in the Modern Age · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 266: History of Islam in South Asia · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 270: Nuclear Nations: India and Pakistan as Rival Siblings · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 279: Central American Revolutions · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 281: War in Modern Africa · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 341: The Russian Revolution and its Global Legacies · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 346: The Holocaust · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 347: The Global Cold War · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 360: Muslims and Modernity · not offered in 2023-24
  • HIST 383: Africa’s Colonial Legacies · not offered in 2023-24
  • LTAM 300: Issues in Latin American Studies · not offered in 2023-24
  • PHIL 113: The Individual and the Political Community · not offered in 2023-24
  • POSC 227: Contemporary Capitalisms · not offered in 2023-24
  • RELG 152: Religions in Japanese Culture
  • RELG 222: Trauma, Loss, Memory: Holocaust and Genocide
  • RELG 237: Yoga: Religion, History, Practice
  • SOAN 225: Social Movements
  • SOAN 256: Africa: Representation and Conflict · not offered in 2023-24
  • SOAN 257: Culture and Politics in India · not offered in 2023-24
  • SOAN 288: Diversity, Democracy, Inequality in America · not offered in 2023-24
  • SOAN 323: Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment · not offered in 2023-24
  • SOAN 353: Ethnography of Latin America · not offered in 2023-24

4. POSC 400 – Integrative Exercise (6 credits):

During their senior year, students will revise substantially the final paper from an advanced seminar in Political Science.

5. Study Abroad

A maximum of 12 credits earned on a non-Carleton and non-departmental within Carleton off campus studies program may be granted toward the electives requirement. These credits may not be used to replace a core course and should be distinct and independent from electives offered at Carleton. The chair may require a copy of the off-campus course syllabus.