Requirements for the Major and Minor in Political Science (POL)

Requirements for the Major in Political Science (POL)

The major in Political Science leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. All political science courses numbered 200 or higher offered for the major must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.

Completion of the major requires 42 credits.

A. Study Within the Area of the Major

  • Required courses: (9 credits)
    • POL 101 World Politics
    • POL 102 American Governmentor 105 Honors American Government
    • POL 103 Comparative Politics
      Note: Above courses must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a grade of C or higher in order to be counted toward completion of the major requirements.
  • Political Science electives: (24 credits)
    • All must be selected from courses numbered 200 or above (excluding POL 201), and at least 12 credits must be from courses numbered 300 or above. At least 12 of these 24 credits must be selected from courses in one of the programs of study listed below. No more than six credits from courses with Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading may be applied.
    • At least twelve credits must be taken in courses offered by the Political Science Department at Stony Brook or cross-listed by the Department. Only transfer courses with a grade of C or higher may be accepted toward the major.

B. Study in Related Areas (6 credits)

Two courses numbered 300 or higher, offered by another department (and not crosslisted with a political science course or included as a philosophy course in the political theory/philosophy program of study) in subjects directly related to the chosen program of study. Courses taken at another institution may be used to satisfy this requirement if they were passed with a grade of C or higher.

C. Methodology Requirement

Majors must demonstrate competence in appropriate social science methodology by passing with a grade of C or higher any one of the following ­courses: AMS 102, BUS 215, ECO 320, POL 201, PSY 201, or SOC 202. The Department suggests that students fulfill this requirement no later than the beginning of their junior year. A course taken to fulfill the methodology requirement may not count toward fulfilling any other major requirement.

D. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

Political Science majors are expected to fulfill the upper-division writing requirement by the end of their junior year. The requirement may be met in either of two ways:
Method I: Students may submit to the Department's director of undergraduate studies a portfolio of papers on subjects relevant to political science. These papers may include term papers or shorter pieces written for political science courses at Stony Brook or elsewhere. There is no requirement concerning the number of papers submitted, but the portfolio must consist of at least 20 pages of material.

Method II: Students may seek to have their writing evaluated by the instructor of any upper-division political science course in which there is an assigned research paper. Writing evaluation forms are available in the Department office for students to give to their instructors along with their papers. Students should check with the undergraduate office if they have any questions about whether they have fulfilled the writing requirement.

Students whose writing is not judged adequate should consult with the director of undergraduate studies on further steps to fulfill the writing requirement.

Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with university graduation requirements for General Education.  Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) learning objective to graduate.  The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

Note:
Students must take four 300-level courses in one of the following programs of study within the major:
1. Comparative Politics and International Relations;
2. American Government, Law, and Public Policy;
3. Political Behavior and Political Psychology;
4. Political Theory/Philosophy.

Programs of Study

Comparative Politics and International Relations
POL 214, 216, 302, 305, 307, 309, 310, 311, 313, 336, 337, 345, 350, 357, 372, 382, 405, 411, 412, 413. Also 287, 401, 402, 403, 404,  447, 487, and 495 when the topic is appropriate.

American Government, Law, and Public Policy
POL 302, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 336, 343, 344, 347, 350, 351, 359, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 406, 434. Also 287, 401, 402, 403, 404, 447, 487, and 495 when the topic is applicable.

Political Behavior and Political Psychology
POL 302, 316, 317, 318, 323, 343, 344, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 364, 367, 368, 377, 434. Also 287, 401, 402, 403, 404, 406, 447, 487, and 495 when the topic is applicable.

Political Theory/Philosophy<
Students may choose from the following courses in political science and philosophy to complete this program of study:PHI 249 Marxism, PHI 277 Political Philosophy, PHI 363 Philosophy of the Social Sciences, PHI 366 Philosophy and the Environment, PHI 367 Philosophy of War and Peace, PHI 372 Ethical Inquiry, PHI 375 Philosophy of Law, PHI 377 Contemporary Political Philosophy, PHI 379 Philosophy of Race, PHI 384 Advanced Topics in Feminist Theory, POL 321, POL 325, POL 344, POL 350. Also POL 402, POL 403, POL 404, and POL 405 when the topic is applicable.

Honors Program

Departmental majors with a 3.50 g.p.a. in political science courses and a 3.00 cumulative g.p.a. may enroll in the Political Science honors program at the end of their junior year. The student, after asking a faculty member to be a sponsor, must submit a proposal to the Depart­ment describing the research project that is to be the subject of the honors thesis. The supervising faculty member must also submit a statement supporting the student's proposal. If the project is approved by the Department, the student may enroll in POL 495-496 Senior Honors Project in Political Science in the fall and spring semesters of the senior year. The honors paper resulting from the student's research is read by two Political Science faculty members and a faculty member from another department, as arranged by the director of undergraduate studies. If the paper is judged to be of extraordinary merit and the student's record warrants such a determination, honors are conferred.

Requirements for the Minor in Political Science (POL)

The minor in Political Science is organized around one of the four programs of study listed for the major and must be approved by the Department's director of undergraduate studies.

Completion of the minor requires 24 credits distributed as follows:
1. Two 100-level POL courses selected from 101, 102 (or 105), and 103
2. Six POL courses numbered 200 or higher (excluding POL 201), of which at least three must be at the upper-division level. At least four of the courses must be in one of the programs of study listed above.
No more than six credits of courses with Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading may be applied to the minor. All courses except POL 287, 488, and 489 must be taken for a letter grade. No grade less than C in courses numbered 200 and above may be used to fulfill minor requirements. At least nine credits must be taken in courses offered by the Political Science Department at Stony Brook or cross-listed by the Department. Only transfer courses with a grade of C or higher may be accepted toward the minor.

B.A./M.A. Accelerated Degree Program in Political Science

Undergraduate Stony Brook students currently enrolled with a major in Political Science are eligible for the five-year accelerated B.A./M.A. in Political Science/ Public Policy Program, in which up to six graduate credits are earned during the senior year, while also fulfilling the B.A. requirements. Upon admission to the program, the student takes the following two courses (or others approved by the Graduate Program Director) in the senior year:
POL 535 Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation
POL 536 Public Management and Organizational Behavior

These six credits will also be applied to the 24-credit, upper-level undergraduate elective requirement for political science majors. The student then completes the remaining graduate requirements during the fifth year of full-time study.