Program Information

Politics courses are designed to give students opportunities to develop both theoretical and practical understandings of the political world. Students are encouraged to develop analytic and evaluative skills that will enable them to investigate, understand, and explain political phenomena. The Politics curriculum also aims to foster informed and active participation in the political process.

Those who pursue the Politics major have the opportunity to study in the areas of American politics, political philosophy, comparative politics, and international relations. The senior thesis, required of all majors, involves writing a major research paper under the close supervision of a faculty member. Opportunities for interning in government and politics at the local, state, or national levels are available for qualified students with required academic preparation.

Politics majors find career opportunities in law, politics, public administration, planning, international organizations, foreign service, international management, journalism, teaching, research, social service, grass-roots activism, business, and government.

Requirements for the Politics Major (10 Credits)

Two credits are required at the 100 and 200 level. No more than four credits at the 100 and 200 level may count toward the major. If four credits are earned at the 100 and 200 levels, four credits are required in 300 level courses; if three credits are earned at the 100 and 200 levels, five credits are required in 300 level courses; if two credits are earned at the 100 and 200 levels, six credits are required in 300 level courses. Only one credit at the 100 level may count toward the major.

One course is required in each of the following three area concentrations of the major.

One course in Political Theory (1)

  • POLI 203 (AR) Themes in Political Theory
  • POLI 212 (TH) History of Western Political Philosophy
  • POLI 213W (IT) Writing Political Philosophy: Individuality and Community
  • POLI 303 (AR) Topics in Political Theory
  • POLI 304W (AR) Politics of Environmental Ethics
  • POLI 305 Modern Political Theory
  • POLI 307 American Political Thought
  • POLI 311W (IT) Writing Political Humor
  • POLI 314 (AR) Politics and Religion in the United States

One course in American Politics (1)

One course in Comparative and International Politics (1)

One Capstone Course

  • POLI 480W Senior Thesis is required of all majors (2)

At least six credits must be completed in residence at Willamette University. No more than three credits toward the major may be earned through off-campus programs, including AP credit and transfer credits, no more than one credit may be earned toward the major through internship.

Requirements for the Politics Minor (5 Credits)

Two credits are required at the 100-200 level. Three credits are required at the 300 level. Only one credit at the 100 level may count toward the minor. At least one course must be taken, at any level, in two of the three area concentrations: Political Theory; American Politics; and Comparative and International Politics. No more than one credit toward the minor may be earned through off-campus programs including AP credits and transfer credits.