Completing the Major
A political science major requires successful completion of 24 credits in political science courses. You must take at least one course in each of the four core fields described above. In each of these basic fields, we offer one introductory (100-level) course. If you take the introductory course in a field, you may use that to satisfy the requirement for that field. For example, POLSC 110 "American Government: A Historical Introduction" is an American politics course; if you take POLSC 110, you do not need to take another American politics course to complete the major, though you may choose to do so. To help guide you, courses are identified by field in the Hunter College catalogue. You should try to fulfill the four-field requirement as soon as possible after you declare the major. By taking a course in each area, you will get a better sense of the discipline as a whole and, just as important, you may discover new areas of interest beyond those you had when you began to study political science. You may satisfy the requirement with a course at any level.
We recommend that students begin with one or two introductory courses, then proceed to intermediate and advanced courses. You do not have to take all four introductory courses. Remember that graduate and law schools and employers will often take note of the difficulty of a student's program of study, and the find advanced courses more impressive than introductory ones. While only one 300-level course is required, we strongly recommend that you do more work at that level after you have sampled lower-level courses. The writing assignments in 300-level courses are most challenging and useful in developing your analytical skills. For students who wish to pursue particular topics in depth or who seek to graduate with departmental honors, the department offers independent study and honors courses. Since an instructor's approval is required for these courses, you should discuss independent study and honors work with a full-time faculty member with whom you have already taken a course.
If you declare the major early enough (before you reach sixty credits), you will not need to "overload" your program with political science courses. Unless absolutely necessary, you should never take more than two courses in the major in one semester. A balanced schedule can include courses for the distribution or general education requirements, the major, and the minor, plus electives of interest.
The Minor (for Political Science Majors at Hunter College):
Hunter College requires that students complete a minor of twelve (12) credits. By college rules, the minor must be approved by the major. The Political Science Department takes a flexible view of the minor: political science majors may choose to minor in any other department (or occasionally two other departments), although the department recommends that students select a minor that is related intellectually to political science.
Political science majors may apply any 12 credits (usually four courses) in the minor department toward completion of the minor, subject to college rules. The college allows credits used to fulfill the General Education Requirement (GER) Core Requirement and the Pluralism and Diversity Requirement to be applied toward the minor. However, credits used to fulfill the Foreign Language Requirement may not be applied toward the minor. Transfer students should note that they may apply up to 6 transfer credits to fulfill their minor.
Political science majors with a second major are not required by the Political Science Department to have a minor, but should check with their other major department to confirm whether it, too, waives the minor. Students majoring in another department with a minor in political science should consult with their major department for its requirements for the minor. There is no standard or prescribed political science minor.