The Department of Political Science is considered among the most challenging departments at Vassar, and the political science major is one of the most popular majors on campus. The rigor of the courses, the quality of the teaching, the large degree of freedom the department allows majors, and the variety of educational opportunities the department offers both inside and outside the classroom appeal to students.
Although the subject matters vary greatly, each course requires that students read carefully, think independently, and express themselves clearly in both speech and writing. The department’s professors take time to ensure that students master these skills. Individual courses are demanding, but the major has only a few requirements. It is, therefore, possible for majors to create their own programs of study that may focus on any aspect of the political science curriculum.
Majors may choose to concentrate in one of the four basic sub fields of political science (American politics, comparative politics, international politics, or political theory), or they may develop a program of study that draws more heavily on multiple subfields. Although specialization is permitted, it is not required and is never formally declared.
A major in political science not only serves the purposes of a liberal arts education but is especially relevant to careers in law, business, finance, governmental service at all levels, politics, teaching, and political journalism.