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.
Courses and Requirements
Academic requirements and courses are available in the Vassar College Catalogue.
Correlate Sequences in Political Science
Four correlate sequences are available in political science: one each in American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, and Political Theory. 6 political science units are required to complete each sequence. With the approval of the sequence adviser, up to 2 units of political science credit transferred from outside Vassar may count toward the completion of the sequence. With the approval of the sequence adviser, a maximum of 1 unit of fieldwork may count toward completion of the sequence. Up to 1 unit of work elected NRO, taken before declaring a correlate sequence, may count toward completion of the sequence. After declaring a correlate sequence, no course elected NRO may count toward completion of the sequence.