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Mathematics and Political ScienceMajor

Degree AwardedBA
Hours To Complete45
Courses Required14
Department Contact


Students pursuing the Math/Political Science major must complete a total of 45 credit hours in 14 courses (7 POLS and 7 MATH):

Political Science Requirements

  • POLS 111: Principles of Political Science
  • POLS 208: Political Science Research Methods

Additional POLS Courses

  • One POLS research course (394/494 or “RSCH” in title). The research course should be one in which a student would be able to fully utilize their training in mathematically-based research methods to work within a substantive area and/or on a substantive project. A student must have their choice of research course approved by the joint political science and math faculty adviser
  • Four upper-level POLS electives (300-400). These courses must have content (such as readings or paper assignments) which employ the methods learned in 208 and 310. A student must have their choice of upper-level courses approved by the joint political science and math faculty advisor.

MATH Courses

  • MATH 111: Calculus I
  • MATH 112: Calculus II
  • MATH 211: Multivariable Calculus
  • MATH 212: Differential Equations or MATH 250: Foundations of Mathematics
  • MATH 221: Linear Algebra
  • MATH 361: Probability and Statistics I
  • MATH 362: Probability and Statistics II

Additional Requirements and Procedures

  1. Additional information about the joint major is available on the Math department web page.
  2. No courses taken pass/fail (S/U) may count toward the major.

Honors Program Eligibility

A student who is a joint major in math and political science may participate in the political science honors program alongside political science and international studies majors, or in the math honors program. The political science honors program requires taking a graduate or senior seminar of the student's choice. That graduate or senior seminar can satisfy requirement "e" above, contingent on the approval of the political science adviser. Honors students also take POLS 495: Honors Tutorial in the fall of the senior year, as well as POLS 499: Honors Research in the
spring of the senior year. These last two courses will satisfy only one of the three required upper-level POLS courses (see above under “Additional POLS courses”). That is, students who complete the honors program will still need to take at least two 300 level or above courses. In accordance with college guidelines, a joint major wishing to pursue honors in political
science must receive approval of the math department for entry into the political science honors program, and the math department must also agree on the level of honors ultimately awarded. Also per college guidelines, a joint major pursuing honors in political science must have a faculty member of the math department on the honors committee, in
addition to a political science faculty member and an outside member.

Note on the Research Requirement
Starting in the Fall of 2016, the Political Science department implemented a new requirement that MATH/POLS students complete a research paper as part of their Political Science major. Classes that contain a paper that meets the research requirement are numbers with either a POLS 394 or POLS 494 designation or contain "RSCH" in the course title.