For More Information
Refer to the Bulletin's "politics" section for the most up-to-date information on requirements for the major, minor and for course descriptions. Visit the Course Schedule for the politics department's latest course offerings.
Download a fact sheet (.pdf) about the politics major.
Politics courses are designed to develop an understanding of the various ways societies organize themselves to manage conflict and cooperation, and to make and implement public policy.
Philosophical perspectives are provided primarily in the political theory courses; the U.S. system is studied primarily in the American politics courses; the politics of foreign countries are studied primarily in the comparative politics courses; and the relations among states are studied primarily in the international politics courses.
All politics majors must complete at least one course in each of the four subfields of political science: political theory, American politics, comparative politics, and international relations. For more information on courses in each of these subfields, see course groupings for undergraduates.
To complete a major in Politics, you must take a total of nine courses. Within those nine courses, you must take six classes taught by Politics faculty (this includes courses taught within the department by visiting professors, adjunct faculty members, or graduate students). You must take one course in each of the four subfields (American, Comparative, International Relations, and Theory). And finally, you must take one seminar, which is a course that requires extensive student participation in the discussion of readings and course material, as well as analysis of that material through some form of writing, research, or oral presentation.
How to Become a Major
Declaration of the major normally is completed during the second semester of the second year, in consultation with the departmental undergraduate advising head. Students are strongly encouraged to take at least two or three politics courses during their first two years at Brandeis.
These courses, which will count toward the nine-course major requirement, are normally selected from among the introductory courses, but may include more advanced courses or seminars, after consultation with the departmental undergraduate advising head.