Political Science Requirements
Required for the Major in Political Science: A major must take ten regular political science courses. One of these ten must be an introductory course in the political theory subfield (PSCI 0101 or PSCI 0107). Two additional courses must be introductory courses in two of the three other subfields: American politics (PSCI 0102 or PSCI 0104); comparative politics (PSCI 0103); and international relations (PSCI 0109). These three required introductory courses should normally be completed before the end of the sophomore year. Among the ten total courses required for the major, the student must also fulfill the field distribution requirement, and complete the 0400-level seminar. At least seven of these ten courses, including the 0400-level seminar, must be taken at Middlebury College in Vermont. Students may count a maximum of one political science winter term course as one of the ten required courses for the major. Winter term courses may be used to fulfill the field distribution requirement.
The Field Distribution Requirement: All regular fall and spring term political science courses are classified in one of the following four fields: Political Theory, American Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations and Foreign Policy. Students must take at least two courses in any three of these fields and one course in the fourth field.
Senior Program: The senior program consists of a seminar of the major's choice. Each seminar includes advanced work appropriate to the field in which the seminar is offered. The seminars are the 0400-level courses offered by the department. Seminars are open to juniors and seniors. Normally, the senior program requirement must be completed by taking a seminar offered by a member of the Middlebury faculty. Work done in programs abroad, at other North American colleges and universities, or in the Washington Semester program will not count as the equivalent of a Middlebury seminar. IGST seminars co-taught by PSCI faculty cannot substitute for 0400-level PSCI seminars but will count as an elective towards the 10 required courses in PSCI.
Departmental Honors: Students who elect to seek departmental honors write a thesis in the senior year. All students who plan to write a thesis are strongly encouraged to enroll in PSCI 0368 or PSCI 0347 before their senior year (and students writing a political theory thesis are encouraged to take a 0300-level theory course). Honors candidates should initiate the process by contacting their prospective faculty advisor during their junior year (including students who are abroad during their junior year). Candidates must submit an honors thesis proposal to their advisor prior to the term(s) in which the thesis is to be written. If the proposal is approved, the student may register for PSCI 0700 winter term thesis and PSCI 0700 for the spring term. After an oral examination of the completed thesis, honors are conferred or denied on the basis of (1) the level of the grade achieved on the thesis; and (2) the level of the average grade received in other fall and spring courses taken at Middlebury. Courses taken abroad do not count toward the grade point determination. Honors theses candidates will have a political science course average of at least 3.33 and a thesis grade of B+ or higher to attain honors; a political science course average of at least 3.50 and a thesis grade of A- or higher to attain high honors; and a political science course average of at least 3.67 and a thesis grade of A to attain highest honors. (For a full description of regulations, pick up a copy of Honors Theses Procedures and Regulations in Munroe 213 or check the PSCI web page at www.middlebury.edu/academics/ps/requirements/thesesproceduresandschedule.
Independent Study: Students with demonstrated preparation and proficiency in the field may elect independent study projects (PSCI 0500). These projects are prepared under the supervision of a member or members of the department. The PSCI 0500 projects may not be substituted for the seminar requirement. The PSCI 0500 projects are reading and research courses; the department will not award PSCI 0500 credit for political experience such as congressional internships.
Joint Majors: Students wishing to do a joint major in political science and another department or program of studies must take eight regular political science courses. One of these eight must be an introductory course in the political theory subfield (PSCI 0101 or PSCI 0107). Two additional courses must be introductory courses in two of the three other subfields: American politics (PSCI 0102 or PSCI 0104); comparative politics (PSCI 0103); and international relations (PSCI 0109). These three required introductory courses should normally be completed before the end of the sophomore year. Among the eight total courses required for the major, the student must also take at least two courses in any two of the four fields of political science and one course in the third and fourth fields and complete a 0400-level seminar. Students must also give evidence of having used the training in both majors, usually in a seminar paper, but sometimes in an independent project or thesis. At least five courses including the 0400-level seminar must be taken at Middlebury College in Vermont. Students may count a maximum of one political science winter term course as one of the eight required courses for the joint major. Winter term courses may be used to fulfill the field distribution requirement. Joint majors do not qualify for honors in political science. (Double majors are eligible.)
International Politics and Economics Major: The IPE major allows students to combine the study of politics, economics, and languages, linking these disciplines with an appropriate experience abroad. Students wishing to pursue this major should refer to International Politics and Economics in both the General Catalog and the on-line catalog.
International and Global Studies Major: To specialize in political science within the IGST major, students must take: PSCI 0103 or PSCI 0109; one course from PSCI 0101, PSCI 0102, PSCI 0104, PSCI 0107; four other courses from either the comparative politics or international relations and foreign policy categories, including one 0400-level seminar taken at Middlebury College in Vermont. IGST seminars co-taught by PSCI faculty cannot substitute for 0400-level PSCI seminars, but will count towards the six required courses in political science. In addition, it is highly recommended that IGST thesis candidates enroll in PSCI 0368 or PSCI 0347 before their senior year.
Minors in Political Science: The minor in political science will consist of five regular fall or spring term courses taken at Middlebury College, which must come from at least two of the four fields in the department. At least one of the courses must be at the 0300-level or above. The five course requirement will not be reduced by AP credits.
Advanced Placement: A score of 4 or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in American politics will entitle the student to exemption from PSCI 0104; such a score may satisfy the requirement of one course in the American politics field. A score of 4 to 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in comparative politics will entitle the student to exemption from PSCI 0103; such a score may satisfy the requirement of one course in the comparative politics field. While supplying two college credits, advanced placement in both American politics and comparative politics will only count as one of the ten courses required for the political science major. Students will also receive only one distribution credit for AP courses, and notwithstanding the distribution credit, all students must take at least one course in each subfield.