International Politics Major Requirements
The globalization of ideas, goods, and communication presents the world with both unprecedented hopes and challenges. How do individuals, states, and organizations cooperate for mutual gain? Conversely, why and how do they compete against each other?
The International Politics major (IPOL) offers a multidisciplinary approach to understanding these basic questions with courses in diplomacy, religion, economics, security, media, and gender. IPOL also provides geographically-specific courses to see how different countries and regions address the topics of cooperation and competition.
IPOL majors must take:
- Quantitative Methods for International Politics (IPOL 320)
- And any 10 courses that have been approved for the International Politics major program. Students may select IPOL courses that focus on:
Ethics and human rights
Diplomacy and statecraft
Trans-national actors and forces
International political economy
SFS-Q offers a variety of courses that fulfill the requirements of the IPOL major. Below are some recently offered courses:
- ANTH 360: War Ethnography
- GOVT 008: US Political Systems
- GOVT 351: Campaigns and Elections
- GOVT 471: Gulf Politics
- ECON 364: Economics of the Middle East
- HIST 241: History of International Law
- HIST 469: America and the Muslim World
- INAF 257: Media, Cult and Pol in the ME
- INAF 258: Lebanon: Hist, Soc and Pol
- INAF 330: Water Rivalries in World Pol
- INAF 357: African Politics
- INAF 372: African Militaries
- INAF 393: Islam and Politics
- INAF 438: Women and the Law
- PHIL 388: Just War Theory
HONORS AND AWARDS
The honors program allows the student to examine a significant scholarly issue in detail and to focus his or her time and attention on an important issue in which he or she is deeply interested. Honors theses are original works of thought and research, not merely summaries of the work and ideas of others.
By writing an honors thesis, the student gets a sense of how much he or she enjoys the kind of original research done in graduate school. The student also demonstrates that he or she can independently design and carry out a long-term research project - a skill that both employers and graduate and professional schools find very attractive.
To apply for Honors track:
- GPA of 3.3, or strong evidence of the capacity to achieve it.
- By March 1 of junior year, submit a thesis proposal to IPOL field advisor.
To qualify for Honors:
- Complete both Honors seminars (Research and Thesis) in the senior year.
- Final written thesis must gain the approval of a faculty committee, which usually includes the seminar instructor, the curricular dean, and the IPOL field adviser. The thesis should be in the range of 50-80 pages. The student should speak with his or her thesis adviser to determine a paper length. The student will give a formal presentation attended by all IPOL faculty in residence during the spring semester in which the thesis is completed.
- Earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.33 and a grade point average of 3.67 in the major by the date of graduation.
IPOL presents a yearly Outstanding IPOL Graduating Senior Award to a graduating IPOL senior who has demonstrated outstanding performance in written work, in cumulative grade point average, and in leadership.
HOW TO DECLARE
During the second semester of their sophomore year, students meet with their advisory dean to declare their major. When declaring a major, sophomores prepare a declaration proposal outlining the reasons why they are pursuing one of the majors offered at SFS-Q, including how the intended major coincides with their academic interests and possible career goals.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What kind of careers do IPOL majors enter upon graduation?
A. Students who elect this major often pursue careers in diplomacy, security studies, international organizations, and international law.
Q. What if I am interested in topics or issues besides those covered in IPOL electives?
A. All SFS-Q students, regardless of their major, take a number of free electives that allow students to explore courses and issues that interest them but that do not directly relate to their specific major.
Q. Do I have to take both research seminars during my senior year in order to qualify for honors in IPOL, or may I elect to take only one of those courses?
A. To qualify for honors, students must take both the research methodologies seminar and the thesis seminar.
Q. Can I enroll in Honors and complete a certificate at the same time?
A. One cannot pursue Honors and a Certificate simultaneously, given the heavy workload. If the student insists to do both, he or she MUST complete the Certificate thesis in the junior year. The deadline for submitting the certificate thesis in its approved form would be the first day of classes in the student’s senior year.