Students who entered the University prior to Fall 2018 may complete the Politics (POLI) major as described in the catalog of the entering year (e.g. 2016-2017, 2017-2018), or may choose to complete the Politics, Policy, Law and Ethics (PPLE) major. Those choosing to complete the PPLE major must first consult the PPLE department chair.

Students who entered the University in Fall 2018 or later will complete the Politics, Policy, Law and Ethics (PPLE) major. Note: Fall 2018 Politics classes affected by this change will reflect on degree audits the appropriate PPLE requirements in spite of course prefix (POLI instead of PPLE on applicable courses).

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.


Course Listings

POLI 199 Topics in Politics (1-4)

A semester-long study of topics in Politics. Topics and emphases will vary according to the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit with different topics. See the New and Topics Courses page on the Registrar’s webpage for descriptions and applicability to majors/minors in other departments.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Topic dependent
  • Prerequisite: Topic dependent
  • Offering: Occasionally
  • Instructor: Staff

POLI 480W Senior Thesis (8)

The Senior Thesis is the capstone experience in the Politics major. It involves the writing of a major research paper under the close supervision of a faculty member. The paper is subject to multiple stages of criticism and rewriting. This process is intended to deepen students' insights into different forms of inquiry, methods and literature; hone their skills of critical thinking; sharpen their abilities to analyze theory and test ideas through research; and ensure that their research designs and methodologies are effective and appropriate.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Social Sciences
  • Prerequisite: A minimum of seven Politics credits, and three-credits at the 300 level, two of which must be completed in residence at Willamette; POLI 390, POLI 396 and POLI 398 do not count toward the three credit minimum
  • Offering: Every semester; phasing out
  • Instructor: Staff

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