For information about Web accessibility, please contact the Webmaster at

Haverford College
Department of Political Science
header imageheader imageheader imageheader imageheader imageheader imageheader imageheader image

Major Requirements

Courses fall into five subfields of the discipline of political science: American politics (A); comparative politics (C); international politics (I); global governance (G); and political theory (T). The following is required of all majors:

  • Two of the following 100-level courses to enter the major: 121, 123, 131, 151, 161, and 171. These courses must represent two different subfields.
  • Six elective courses taken above the 100 level.
  • A 300-level research seminar, taken in the department during the fall semester of the senior year. (This is in addition to the six elective courses described above.)
  • A combination of introductory and elective courses that includes representation of three of the five subfields, with work at the intermediate or advanced level in at least two subfields.
    • Students may count some courses in either of the two subfields but not in both.
    • With the consent of a member of the department, students may substitute two or three intermediate- or advanced-level courses from another department for the third subfield, where this serves to complement and strengthen the student’s work within the department. For example, a student concentrating in international politics might offer international economics courses as a subfield; a student in comparative politics might offer courses in an area study; a student in political theory might offer social and political philosophy courses; or a student in American politics might offer social policy courses. Students can count such substitutions towards fulfilling the subfield requirement only. They could not count these towards political science course credit and cannot use them to fulfill the introductory, elective, and seminar requirements outlined above.
  • All senior majors write a thesis and complete an oral defense of the thesis through enrollment in 400.
  • Related Studies: Four courses outside political science at Haverford or Bryn Mawr College that relate to the major. Examples of possible interests around which courses could cluster are: American or other area studies; political and social theory; international affairs; environmental policies; urban affairs; intermediate and advanced foreign language work related to work in the major; or courses from one or more of the other social sciences.