Politics majors typically take the following courses in the fall semester of their first year:

First-Year Experience Learning Community Courses

We will register you in these courses.

  1. Philosophy (PHIL 201)
  2. English Composition (ENG 101) OR Theology (TRS 201)

Why am I taking these classes?   Honors students take equivalent honors courses.

Major and Elective Courses

You will need to choose and register for these courses.

  1. Introduction to American Government (POL 111)
  2. A foreign language
  3. A math course or another course of your choosing

Welcome to the politics major! The study of politics asks about the character and purpose of public life, both as it is and as it should be. Power, interests, ideas, leadership, governance and “who gets what, when, and how” are among the central questions of politics.

1 st Semester Courses

The courses you take your first year not only provide an opportunity to learn about other subjects, but will also equip you with the skills needed to succeed in subsequent courses within and outside of politics. For instance your learning community courses such as Philosophy 201 or Theology 201 relate to some of the moral, philosophical, and ethical foundations behind politics. English 101 will strengthen your writing skills, a tool foundational to learning and communicating politics.

We also urge all first year students to enroll in a language course. Taking languages early is particularly advantageous for students interested in world politics and/or desiring to study abroad while at CUA (fulfilling the language proficiency requirement is a precondition to studying abroad). Although courses in the math, sciences, humanities, or other social sciences may not seem immediately relevant to politics, you will later find that many issues in politics fall at the intersection of other disciplines, including history, psychology, economics, drama, or philosophy to name a few. Much of the field of politics is also oriented to quantitative reasoning requiring a basic understanding of math and statistics.

Introduction to American Government (POL 111) is our first core introductory course to the major, giving you a basic understanding of the function, history, issues, and problems found in American Politics. We recommend that you take this course in the fall.

In the spring you should take POL 112, Introduction to Comparative Politics, which compares and explores patterns of government systems of different countries around the globe, and then, during fall semester of sophomore year, POL 211, Introduction to Political Theory.

We recommend taking a language course (especially important for students wishing to study abroad their junior year).

Several math courses are also recommended if offered including MATH 114 (Probability and Statistics); MATH 168 (Mathematics in the Modern World); MATH 175 (Math in Politics); and MATH 187 (Introduction to Mathematical Thought). For those with strong math skills, calculus courses may also be appropriate, though you will need to submit AP scores or take the calculus placement exam before you can register for calculus-level courses.

We encourage students to take math courses early, but if it does not fit into your schedule, another option is a history course at the 200 level. A basic course in U.S. or world history may complement your understanding of American or World Politics.

You may also want to look through these other first-year course options.

Know which courses you want? Get registered.