Undergraduate Studies

Beginning in the spring semester of 2016Scope and Methods will be a pre-req for all 4000-level and above classes.  This will hopefully discourage students from putting the class off until their senior year, which has become a problem of late. So this fall is the last chance to take the class before the pre-req goes into effect!


Please note that the department has created a section of Scope and Methods tailored toward upperclassmen, to be taught this fall by Prof. Brox, and a couple of other sessions that are meant for underclassmen only.  Take the class this fall if you haven’t already, or you risk being shut out of upper-division classes in the spring.

Political Science Major Requirements

· Political Science Major Requirement Checklist

· PSIR Concentration Requirement Checklist

· Students who declared prior to July 1st, 2012 should refer to their degree audit.

TO DECLARE A POLS OR PSIR MAJOR:  Pick up a major-declaration form from your academic advisor and bring it to the office of our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Fettweis (308 Norman Mayer), during his office hours: Wednesday 10-12 and 1-3.  You will be assigned a major advisor at that point.

Political Science Major Requirement

Majors must complete at least 33 credits of coursework:  30 credits from within Political Science (31 for those completing the departmental capstone rather than an honors thesis), plus three credits outside the department from the options in requirements 3 (below).  Only fours credits of honors thesis research may be counted in the total.  

Transfer credit for courses taken outside Tulane University involving different credit systems will be evaluated case by case by the department's undergraduate advisor.

Required Courses:

Students must take at least three of the following courses:

POLA 2100 (American Government)*

POLC 2300 (Introduction to Comparative Politics )*

POLI 2500 (Introduction to International Relations)

POLT 2700 (Political Thought in the West)

*A 4 or 5 on the relevant A.P. Exam will fulfill this requirement

Students are required to complete POLS 2010 (Scope and Methods of Political Science).

Statistics or Foreign Language Component:

Students must complete either a statistics or a foreign language component.

Statistics Component: MATH 1110 (Probability and Statistics I), or other equivalent course.1

Foreign Language Component: Students must complete one additional course (3 credits) beyond the SLA foreign-language requirements.


Students must successfully complete at least six electives in political science. No more than four of these courses can be in any single subfield (POLA, POLC, POLI, or POLT).


Students must have successfully completed the correlating introductory course in order to enroll in any course above the 3000-level. For example, students must complete POLA 2100 in order to enroll in any POLA 4000 or 6000-level course. Of course, faculty may choose to add other prerequisites to any course and are encouraged to do so in any case in which they feel that doing so would improve student preparation for and performance in their own courses.  Non-major juniors and seniors may enroll in courses at the 4000-level or above with the consent of the instructor.

Grade Point Average

According to college rules, all students must have an overall GPA of 2.0 or better, and a GPA in their major of 2.0 or better, at the time of graduation.

Level of Coursework

Students must successfully complete either one course at the 6000 level or one 4-credit writing intensive course in political science. Honors theses fulfill this requirement. 

In addition, students must successfully complete at least two further courses at the 4000 level or above. This does not include internships, independent studies, or honors thesis credits.

Students not writing an honors thesis must complete the Senior Capstone Experience (POLS 5100) during their last year at Tulane. This one-credit course is not included in the 10 total courses for the major.

Students may not exceed six credits of internship toward their total hours of graduation and can count only one internship course (POLS 4560) toward the major requirements.

Concentration in International Relations (PSIR Major)

Students concentrating in PSIR must complete the following requirements in addition to the general political science major requirements.


Economics Component: PSIR majors must successfully complete 2 of the following courses:2

ECON 1010 (Microeconomics),

ECON 1020 (Macroeconomics)

ECON 1050

MATH 1110 (Probability and Statistics I)

POLI 3540 (International Political Economy)

ECON 3370 (The World Economy)

POLC 6110 (Comparative Political Economy)

Foreign Language Component: Students selecting the PSIR concentration must fulfill the foreign language component in addition to the expanded economics component.

Electives: Students selecting the PSIR concentration must take at least three of the required six elective courses in POLI and/or POLC.3  

General Minor Requirements

A minor in political science consists of six courses in political science, in at least two different subfields, with at least three courses above the 200 level.

Guidelines for POLS/PSIR Majors Planning to Study Abroad

1. No more than THREE classes for one-semester studied abroad or FIVE for a whole year will count toward fulfillment of the POLS/PSIR major.

2. We do not transfer classes at the 4000-level or above unless we have a direct equivalent in our catalog.  The courses students take will typically transfer in at the 3000-level or below.

3. Students need to consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies upon their return in order to have the classes taken abroad assigned numbers that will be recognized by the department (the number "5380," which is automatically assigned by the registrar, is NOT the official course number).

Honors Thesis Form and Deadline

If you are planning to write an honors thesis this year, you are required to submit the form (linked below), with the requisite signatures, to the departmental office (316 Norman Mayer) by the 2nd Wednesday of the fall semester.  We recognize that it is in advance of the deadline in the Honors Department for their form and prospectus.

Independent Study Registration Form


1. Political Science majors who are double majors in Sociology or Psychology may satisfy this requirement through the successful completion of SOCI 3030 (Intro to Research Design), PSYC 3090 (Psychological Applications of Univariate Statistics I).  Equivalent courses from other departments or schools may also satisfy this requirement for any student majoring in Political Science, as determined by the Department Chair or Undergraduate Studies Director.

2.  A course in the political economy department (such as PECN 3040) that is approved by the political science department’s director of undergraduate studies may also be considered.


3.  POLI 3540 (International Political Economy) and POLC 6110 (Comparative Political Economy) can count for either the Economics Component (#3) or an Elective but not both.

4. The Political Science department enforces all pre-requisites. Students must have successfully completed a pre-requisite the semester before registering for any class. The department reserves the right to drop students who are missing the pre-requisite from the course without notice.

Tulane University, Political Science Dept, 316 Norman Mayer Bldg, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5166