Apr 21, 2018  

Political Science

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Professors: Ahrensdorf, Alexander, Menkhaus, Ortmayer, Rigger (On leave, Fall; Chair, Spring), Sellers, Shaw (Chair, Fall)
Visiting Professors: Gurian (Batten Professor)
Associate Professors: Crandall, Roberts
Assistant Professors: Bullock, O’Geen
Visiting Assistant Professors: Putnam, Milligan

Cultural Diversity Requirement

Political Science 233, 240, 241, 332, 333, 337, 360, 471, 475, 479, and 482 are options for fulfilling the cultural diversity requirement.

Major Requirements

Ten courses in political science, as follows:

  1. Students must take at least one course in each of the following sub-fields. Seminars do not count toward sub-field requirements. If a course is listed in more than one sub-field, a student may choose which one to use for the major.  The same course cannot count for two sub-fields.
    1. Political Theory–Political Science 102, 205, 208, 209, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306;
    2. American Politics–Political Science 111, 210, 224, 311, 312, 314, 315, 316, 318, 319, 323, 325, 338;  
    3. Comparative Politics–Political Science 130, 230, 233, 240, 241, 325, 331, 332, 333, 336, 337, 350, 360;
    4. International Politics–Political Science 141, 233, 240, 241, 337, 338, 340, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 380-382.
    5. Methodology–Political Science 221.
  2. A seminar numbered 450 to 489. Seminars may have specific prerequisites and usually require prior course work in that sub-field.
  3. A major paper. This paper will be written under the supervision of a Davidson College Political Science faculty member. An oral defense may be expected. This requirement can be met by the completion of an honors thesis or by the writing of a paper (at least 20 pages) done in the context of a seminar or an independent study. Not all seminars offer this option; check with the faculty member offering the course. A grade of C- or better must be earned on the paper to satisfy this requirement.

Note that Political Science 221 and a seminar must be taken at Davidson.

Honors Requirements

Juniors or seniors who meet the general college honors requirements, who have made a 3.5 G.P.A. on at least four political science courses, and who can furnish convincing evidence of a special interest in and capacity for research may be admitted to the departmental honors program. Each successful applicant will develop an individualized plan of work in consultation with a professor in the department. This plan must include, in addition to the normal major requirements, the preparation of an honors thesis (Political Science 498). Those who maintain a 3.5 G.P.A. in all political science courses through the senior year and who produce a thesis that is judged of high quality by the department will be awarded “Honors in Political Science.’’

Rationale for Course Numbering

Courses at the 100 level provide a general introduction to one area of the discipline of Political Science.  These courses are limited to first year students and sophomores. 

Courses at the 200 or 300 level may be appropriate for any student.  Usually there will be more writing and more abstract concepts presented at the 300 level.  Especially given the split into separate subfields, there is no standard progression from one level to the next. 

Courses at the 400 level are seminars, all of which require instructor permission.  Students wishing to take any of those courses should consult the professor directly as to suitability, given the student’s prior background. 

All courses are open to non-majors. 

Political Science Courses

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