Gateway Courses by Major/Minor

Political Science

Gateway/Entry-Point Courses into Political Science Major/Minor

There are four introductory-level courses in the discipline of political science. The four courses correspond to the four subfields of the discipline. Prospective majors may take any of these courses in whatever order they choose. Ultimately, all four must be completed to fulfill the major requirements. The four courses are described below:

POLS 021 American Political System

An introduction to the study of the institutions, processes and problems of American government. Institutions studied include the Executive Branch, Congress, and the Judiciary. Offered spring and fall.

POLS 041 Introduction to Political Theory

An examination of the basic problems in political philosophy, through consideration of classical and contemporary sources. An emphasis upon the normative questions of politics, including: freedom, equality, political obligation and dissent, justice, the relation between morality and law. Offered spring and fall.

POLS 051 Introduction to International Relations

An examination of the basic theoretical concepts in international relations. Introduces the student to systemic, domestic and individual levels of analysis for assessing foreign policy decisions. Questions of international conflict and cooperation. Offered spring and fall..

POLS 071 Comparative Political Systems

The examination of political behavior, political structures, and political processes from a cross-national perspective. Different types of political systems from around the world are studied. Offered spring and fall.

Contact Information

Patrick Neal, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Political Science
Phone: (802) 656-3050
Department Website: