Courses in Political Science

PSCI 0103, PSCI 0109, PSCI/IPEC 0304 and three electives in comparative politics or international relations. At least one elective should be a 0400-level senior seminar in comparative politics or international relations. See eligible electives. PSCI/IPEC 0304 must be taken at Middlebury College. Majors are encouraged to take IPEC 0240 prior to PSCI/IPEC 0304.

Courses in Economics

ECON 0150 or ECON 0250 (only one will count towards this requirement), ECON 0155 or ECON 0255 (only one will count towards this requirement), ECON 0111, IPEC0240 (formerly ECON 0240) and two electives with an international orientation. One elective should be a 0400-level senior seminar. See eligible electives. Majors must take a minimum of five courses in economics, regardless of credits earned at the secondary level (see the Advanced Placement policy for detailed information); at least four economics courses meeting the major requirements must be taken at Middlebury College, including the 0400-level seminar. Majors should take IPEC 0240 prior to PSCI/IPEC 0304. Majors are strongly encouraged to take ECON 0111 prior to any 400-level seminars.

Language Study

Majors must achieve the language department’s standard of linguistic competence before going abroad or must demonstrate equivalent competence in a language taught at Middlebury College through a language placement exam. Foreign language study while at Middlebury College is strongly encouraged.

Term or Year Abroad

Students are required to study abroad at least one semester (Fall or Spring). Under normal circumstances, this will be completed at one of the Middlebury schools abroad. Majors should complete PSCI 0103, PSCI 0109, ECON 0150 or ECON 0250, ECON 0155 or ECON 0255, and ECON 0111 before studying abroad. Majors are encouraged, but not required, to take IPEC 0240 and PSCI/IPEC 0304 before studying abroad.

Advanced Placement

See the Advanced Placement policy for detailed information. Regardless of any AP credit, student must take a minimum of 5 courses in each discipline.

Winter Term Courses

Winter Term courses count towards the major only if they are listed on the IP&E Courses prior to winter term registration. No more than one Winter Term elective in economics and no more than one Winter Term elective in political science may count toward the major.

Double Majors and Minors

Because of the complex and interdisciplinary nature of the International Politics and Economics major, IP&E students are strongly advised not to pursue an additional major or minor, with the exception of a major or minor in their language of focus for IP&E. In addition, IP&E majors may not minor in either economics or political science.

Declaring a Major

To declare a major, students need to fill out both a major declaration form and an advising wizard form. Discuss your plan for completing the major (outlined on the advising wizard form) with your advisor who can be from either the political science or economics department. Have both your advisor and the Director of International Politics and Economics sign the major declaration form and turn in to the program coordinator and Registrar’s Office.

First Semester Senior Year

Early in the first semester of your senior year, complete the IP&E advising wizard form and email to the IP&E Director and Coordinator. When doing this, verify all information using the degree progress worksheet in BannerWeb, including the study abroad requirement, study abroad transfer credits and any AP/IB credits.


In addition to their 12 required courses, qualifying students can choose to write a senior thesis. To launch a thesis project, students must obtain a thesis advisor in both political science and economics, and submit to their advisors a thesis prospectus for formal approval. To identify suitable thesis topics, it is highly recommended that IP&E thesis candidates begin consulting with potential advisors during their junior year. For details, deadlines, and a timetable, see the Honors Thesis page.

Honors Thesis Requirements

The determination of honors, high honors, and highest honors is based on the following:

  • The level of the grade achieved on the thesis.
  • The level of the average grade received in all Middlebury College courses that count toward the IP&E major.

Honors candidates must have the following:

  • An IP&E course average of 3.3 and a thesis grade of B+ to attain honors.
  • An IP&E course average of at least 3.5 and a thesis grade of A- to attain high honors.
  • An IP&E course average of at least 3.7 and a thesis grade of A to attain highest honors.

Note: Thesis grades do not count in the calculation of the GPA for honors, and a thesis cannot be pursued as a fifth course during any term.