Oct 22, 2020  
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018 
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science - BA

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30 cr for students declaring after September 1, 2009
Majors are required to take at least one course in each of the four following subfields of the discipline:

  1. American Government
  2. Political Theory
  3. Comparative Politics
  4. International Relations

Students may distribute their remaining courses in the major as they see fit. However, students contemplating graduate work are encouraged to specialize appropriately in consultation with the department’s faculty members.

No more than two introductory (100-level) courses can be applied toward the major. Majors are strongly encouraged to take the introductory courses to the subfields (POLSC 20000  —political theory, POLSC 25000  —comparative politics, and POLSC 27000 —international relations) as they are required prerequisites for some 300-level courses. Majors must complete at least three 300-level courses (from any subfields). 

No more than 6 credits in internship, independent study, and/or experiential courses (such as Model United Nations) may be used to satisfy the 30 credits in the major. Also, such credits may not be used to satisfy the distribution requirements in the four fields. Courses taken for Credit/No Credit may not be applied toward the major.

Hunter Core Requirement

Several courses leading to or in this major fulfill parts of the Hunter Core Requirement (CUNY Common Core, Hunter Focus, Concurrent Requirements).  When selecting courses, it may be to a student’s advantage to choose courses that count toward the Hunter Core Requirement and also advance the student on the path of the major. Details of the Hunter Core Requirement can be found here: Hunter Core Requirement .

In the case of political science, the courses that meet CCC are:

                                                        US Experience in its Diversity  
POLSC 10000                                                        World Culture/Global Issues  
POLSC 25000                                                        World Culture/Global Issues  
POLSC 20000                                                        Individual and Society  
POLSC 27000                                                        World Culture/Global Issues  

Please note that no more than two courses from any one department will count for the CUNY Common Core.

Minor in Political Science

Students minoring in political science must complete 12 credits in political science. No more than three credits can be at the 100-level. No more than three credits in independent study can be used to satisfy the minor. Internship credits may not be applied toward the minor. 

The minor in Political Science is designed to provide students with solid grounding in political science and to encourage them to develop depth in the discipline in an area that will complement their major or develop expertise in an area of particular interest to them. To complete a minor in Political Science, students must complete 12 credits in Political Science with no more than 3 credits at the 100 level. Students may apply up to 3 credits of independent study in Political Science POLSC 29001-29003 ); however, internship credit may not be applied to the minor. 

The minor in Political Science offers students considerable flexibility in designing a minor that will best serve their academic goals. Students may, for instance, wish to focus on courses dealing with European politics and foreign policy to complement a major in a European language and culture. Other students may wish to emphasize courses in international and public law in preparation for law school. Students may concentrate their courses in one field of political science, or spread them across several fields. Students may consult an advisor in the Department of Political Science about their goals as they choose courses to satisfy the minor. 

Interdepartmental Fields

Political Science department faculty are actively involved in many interdisciplinary programs at Hunter College. Students who want to do work in political science as part of the following  interdepartmental programs should refer to the appropriate programs in this catalog.


To complete the requirements for departmental honors in Political Science at graduation, students must have at least 30 credits in Political Science and be eligible for graduation in the semester that they formally complete department honors. At least 21 of these credits (or in exceptional cases, 18) must be taken in the Political Science Department at Hunter College. In the case of transfer students, the student’s faculty supervisor must recommend an exception to this policy; however, in no case should a student who has taken fewer than 15 credits in academic coursework (excluding internships or other experiential education courses) in political science at Hunter College be recommended for departmental honors. 

In addition, students must 1) have a GPA in the major of not less than 3.5; 2) complete two supervision-based courses (POLSC 49100  and POLSC 49200 ), which focus on the inception and completion of the honors thesis, respectively; and 3) complete POLSC 49300 .

The thesis should be a major paper of approximately 25 pages in length that reflects serious scholarship in an honors course. Students should enroll in POLSC 49200  under the supervision of a faculty member with whom the student has done prior coursework and who has agreed to supervise the student’s honors project. Students seeking to graduate with departmental honors should begin to plan the sequence of honors work at least two semesters in advance of their expected graduation date.

Approval for Honors will come from the Supervisor. Once students have received the approval of the Sponsor, the thesis can be submitted for departmental honors. Successful completion of departmental honors includes a formal presentation of the thesis to the Honors Committee. Final papers must be deposited in the department office. 

Pi Sigma Alpha

Students interested in joining this honor society should consult with Professor Leonard Feldman, 1702 Hunter West, (212)396-6246, lfeldman@hunter.cuny.edu.

Writing Corequisite and Prerequisites

Introductory, intermediate and advanced political science courses require significant expository writing and ENGL 12000  as a co- or prerequisite. To assure that students are ready for these courses, they should be enrolled in ENGL 12000 (or its equivalent) or have successfully completed the course. For all 100-level courses, ENGL 12000 (or its equivalent) is a prerequisite or co-requisite; for all 200-level, 300-level and 400-level courses, ENGL 12000 (or its equivalent) is a prerequisite.

Seminar/Internship Program in New York Government

This university-wide program is designed to bridge the gap between academic study and the practical world of government. Each year approximately 300 students are selected as CUNY interns. Hunter College students participate by enrolling in POLSC 22200/22300 . Interns spend eight to ten hours a week in agencies, political offices or community groups working on administrative or research assignments related to urban affairs and services.

They attend a weekly classroom seminar at Hunter and monthly meetings of the entire program at the CUNY Graduate School. Prominent government officials, political leaders, community representatives and academic experts participate in both the weekly and monthly meetings. Students are advised to have taken prior coursework in American politics and to have at least a 3.0 GPA prior to being admitted to this program. For further information, consult the Department of Political Science.

Other Internships

Students may wish to consider internships in any field of political science, and receive credit through POLSC 29801-29806  .  The department does not offer internship credits to students in their first semester at Hunter College or to students who have never taken a political science course at Hunter.  Up to 6 credits in intern­ship work (POLSC 29801-29806 ) may be used to satisfy requirements for the major. As a general rule, a student who takes POLSC 29801-29806 must be supervised by a full-time faculty member with whom the student has done prior coursework and who has agreed to supervise the student’s intern­ship. Additional internship credits may be used as electives toward graduation.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Many political science majors go on to graduate study. Students considering graduate work should consult members of the political science faculty.

Awards and Prizes

The Political Science Department confers recog­nition on its outstanding graduates through prizes and awards. The Katherine Duffy Prize and the David Haight Memorial Prize are presented annually to gradu­ating political science majors.


The Political Science Department may award the Joan Pincus Scholarship to students majoring in political science who have achieved at least sophomore status, have an excellent academic record and have demonstrated financial need. For additional information, see the department chair or a departmental adviser.

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