Requirements for the Major and Minor 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 Government or POL 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 POL 201 Introduction to Statistical Methods in Political Science with a grade of C or higher or another statistics course approved by the Department. 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 must enroll in the 0-credit POL 459 course to meet the Stony Brook Curriculum’s WRTD learning objective. They may choose to have their writing evaluated in one of two methods:
Method I: Students may submit to the department’s director of undergraduate studies a portfolio of papers written for upper-division courses in political science or related disciplines at Stony Brook, totaling 15 pages. The copies of the papers should be those that include the grade and summary comments by the instructor. Submit the portfolio along with the form available at the main office and filled out by the student. The director of undergraduate studies will evaluate the portfolio and inform the student of the evaluation. If the writing quality is judged unsatisfactory, the student should consult with the director of undergraduate studies about further steps.
Method II: Students may ask the instructor of an upper-division political science course at Stony Brook to evaluate papers written for that course, totaling 15 pages. To do so, students must give the course instructor the form available at the main office and filled out by the student. The instructor will inform the student of the evaluation and submit the form with the evaluation to the director of undergraduate studies. If the evaluation is unsatisfactory, the student should either consult with the instructor or the director of undergraduate studies about further steps.
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.
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, 305, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 313, 334, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, 350, 357, 371, 372, 374, 411, 412. Also 287, 390, 391, 401, 402, 403, 404, 447, 487, and 495 when the topic is appropriate.
American Government, Law, and Public Policy
POL 317, 318, 319, 320, 322, 323, 324, 325, 327, 328, 330, 332, 333, 336, 344, 347, 350, 351, 352, 353, 359, 365, 366, 367, 368, 371, 434. Also 287, 390, 391, 401, 402, 403, 404, 447, 487, and 495 when the topic is applicable.
Political Behavior and Political Psychology
POL 317, 318, 323, 344, 346, 347, 348, 350, 351, 352, 353, 367, 368, 370, 371, 373, 375, 434. Also 287, 390, 391, 401, 402, 403, 404, 447, 487, and 495 when the topic is applicable.
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 325, POL 344, POL 350, POL 377. Also POL 402, POL 403, and POL 404 when the topic is applicable.
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.
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:
- Two 100-level POL courses selected from 101, 102 (or 105), and 103
- 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.
In the accelerated B.A./M.A. in Public Policy, students complete the B.A. in Political Science and the M.A. in Public Policy in five years. To apply, students must be majors in political science at Stony Brook who have completed 60 credits toward their degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
In the program, students take up to two master’s courses during their senior year which also count as electives toward the bachelor’s in political science. Generally, students should begin with fundamental courses such as policy analysis (POL 500) but with approval they can choose any master’s courses in public policy (POL 500 – POL 559). Students then complete the remaining master’s courses during the fifth year.