Jun 09, 2023  
2022-2023 Scripps Catalog 
2022-2023 Scripps Catalog

Politics Major

Requirements for the Major

A major in Politics requires a minimum of 11 courses including senior thesis.

Students are strongly encouraged to satisfy their mathematics requirements with a course in statistics or logic.

Breadth of study (three courses):

Students must take three of the following six survey courses:

Students should take the above courses as early as possible in their academic program. Introductory survey courses may be taken off-campus with approval of your major adviser.

Subfield concentrations (four courses):

Students must pursue a concentration in any two of the following six subfields:

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Economy
  • Political Theory
  • Public Policy
  • American Politics

A minimum of two courses (besides the associated survey course) must be taken from each of the two subfields, for a total of four courses.

To fulfill the subfield requirement the course MUST be a course in political science. This includes Government at CMC, Political Studies at Pitzer, and Politics at Pomona. Students will consult with their major adviser to determine whether or not a course qualifies for a subfield requirement.

Some courses can count towards more than one subfield. Consult with your major adviser.

Focus (four courses):

In consultation with their major adviser, students will select four additional courses that build a specific competence (or focus) in depth. Depending on the nature of the focus, and with the adviser’s permission, some of the courses selected for the focus may be outside of the discipline of political science.


Students may double-count courses to satisfy the subfield concentration and focus requirements.

Research Design/Research Paper (one course):

Before their senior year, students are required to take POLI180 SC Research Design in the Social Sciences  or equivalent. With the permission of their adviser, students declaring a primary interest in political theory may fulfill this requirement by completing a theory-based research paper of significant length within the parameters of an existing political theory course.

Senior Thesis (one course):

Honors Requirements:

The Department of Politics awards honors within the major to students who meet the following requirements:

1. A grade point average in the major of at least 3.67.
2. A grade of A- or better on the senior thesis.
3. A successful oral defense of the senior thesis.