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IV. Special Major

All special majors must have a designated faculty adviser and have approval of the Chair for the proposed program. Within that approved program, at least 5.5 credits must be taken in the Department, including one introductory course (POLS 002, POLS 003, POLS 004) and students need at least a course in each of the four sub-fields (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, and Political Theory) of the discipline (see Section I). ** The Political Theory distribution requirement for special majors can only be met by completing one of the following: POLS 011, POLS 012, POLS 100 or POLS 101. All special course majors are required to participate in the Department's Senior Comprehensive Exercise for 0.5 credit (see Section I).

  1. All applicants must have completed one introductory course (see Section I) and one other course in the Department before applying for the Special Major.
  2. None of the credits needed to complete the major may be taken CR/NC; shadow grades for introductory courses taken CR/NC freshman year will be used for GPA purposes.*
  3. For acceptance as a special major, the Department expects performance at the 3.00 level in all College courses and at the 3.33 level in courses in Political Science (including courses graded Credit/No Credit).
  4. Majors and minors may take one directed reading within the Department for credit with the approval from the faculty directing the read and the Department Chair.
  5. Please read the requirements for Special Major and Individualized Special Major, including honors, on the Registrar's webpage

*Given the College's CR/NC policy for Spring 2020 grades, the Department will count POLS courses taken in Spring 2020 towards its major requirements (i.e. it will waive its requirement of no CR/NC for Spring 2020 as a one-time exception). The Department, nonetheless, retains the right to seek the shadow grade for Spring 2020 for consideration of acceptance into the Honors program or for other major/minor acceptance purposes (the student will be notified in case the shadow grade is being sought).

**Beginning with the Class of 2023, majors must take one course in each of the four subfields: American, Comparative, International and Theory.