Mar 05, 2021  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 - Phase II 
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 - Phase II

Political Science - BA

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Political Science examines political, social, economic, and cultural arrangements through which people govern their lives. Students in political science study the ideas of great thinkers from Plato to the present, democratic and authoritarian political systems, war and peace, international political economy, human rights, gender politics, political parties and elections, social movements, constitutional and international law, and the policies and systems of local and national governments in the United States and in countries around the world. Political science majors go on to variety of careers including in the government, nonprofit organizations, teaching, business, finance, and journalism. Still others pursue law school – more political science majors attend law school than majors from any other department at the college – or some other kind of graduate training.

Hunter Core Requirement

Several courses within this major fulfill parts of the Hunter Core Requirement (CUNY Common Core, 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: General Education - Effective Fall 2019 . In the case of political science, the courses that meet CCC are:

Courses Required for the Major (30 credits)

Majors are required to take 30 credits in Political Science, 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

POLSC 29400 courses may not be used to satisfy the 4-subfield requirements.

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.

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,

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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