Political Science Major Requirements

(See also Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree.)

All courses applied towards the major must be taken for a letter grade and students must receive a grade of C or higher. Six of the 12 political science courses required for the major must be taken at JHU.  Only one letter-graded independent study of 3 credits may apply towards the major (unless honors thesis). The Department of Political Science does not award credit for the Advanced Placement Exam in government.

Subfield Courses 1
One 100- level 3-credit course in American Politics (AP)3
One 100- level 3-credit course in Comparative Politics (CP)3
One 100- level 3-credit course in International Relations (IR)3
One 100- level 3-credit course in Political Theory (PT)3
Writing Intensive Course
One 3-credit writing intensive course in political science. This course may overlap with one of the 12 required political science courses and KSAS writing requirement. The course may be at any level.
Political Science Elective Courses
Three (9 credits) political science courses at any level9
Five (15 credits) political science courses at the 300 or 400 level15
Cognate Courses
At any level for a total of 12 credits selected from the following areas: history, history of art, history of science & technology, philosophy, anthropology, geography, economics, sociology, or psychology12
Total Credits48

Sample Program of Study

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
100 Level American Politics Course3100 Level Comparative Politics Course3
Cognate #13Cognate #23
 6 6
Second Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
100 Level International Relations Course3100 Level Political Theory Course3
Cognate #33Cognate #43
 6 6
Third Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Political Science Course at any level #13Political Science Course at any level #23
Upper Level Political Science Course #13Upper Level Political Science Course #23
 6 6
Fourth Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Political Science Course at any level #33Upper Level Political Science Course #43
Upper Level Political Science Course #33Upper Level Political Science Course #53
Writing Intensive Political Science Course (if needed, could overlap with other required course) 
 6 6
Total Credits 48

World Politics and Global Governance Double Major

The World Politics and Global Governance (WPGG) program offers an intellectually rigorous path for students who want to understand world politics from a broad interdisciplinary perspective. Completing this course of study satisfies the requirements for a double major in political science and international studies. Students take courses from one of five different thematic foci: Global governance and law; Political economy; International security; Borders and identities; Environmental politics. The WPGG program enables students to develop their analytical skills and their critical judgment as citizens of the world. The program provides excellent preparation for professional careers as well as for graduate studies in political science, public affairs, law, business, and beyond. http://politicalscience.jhu.edu/undergraduate/world-politics-and-global-governance-double-major/

Honors Thesis Program

Seniors may choose to write a senior research thesis. After the student has obtained approval from a faculty sponsor to supervise the project, the student will enroll in three-credit thesis colloquium course during the fall semester of their senior year. If at the end of the fall semester adequate progress has been made and the project warrants further work, the student must enroll in a three-credit independent study supervised by the faculty sponsor.

Students who complete a distinguished senior thesis and have a final major GPA (including final semester grades) of 3.7 will be awarded departmental honors. All students may choose to write a thesis, regardless of GPA, provided they have a detailed proposal approved by a faculty member at the beginning of the fall semester of their senior year.

All thesis-related courses apply to the total of 12 political science courses required for graduation in the major.