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 (see below)
  3. A liberal arts foundations course, such as math; a course toward a minor, certificate, or other focus area; or a free elective

Language placement

Your major requires you to complete the study of a foreign language through the intermediate level. Catholic University teaches the following languages that satisfy this requirement: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. If you are interested in learning a language not listed here, consult with your advisor.

If you have previously studied a foreign language and are interested in continuing with that same language, or if you can demonstrate fluency in a foreign language, you should complete the language placement exam.

About Your First Semester Courses

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. 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.

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, though POL 112, Introduction to Comparative Politics is also a viable option.

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). You may particularly be interested in studying Chinese or Arabic, as these are important languages in global politics, and the study of these languages may give you a leg up in your future career.

For your fifth course, you can choose what you like. You can take a liberal arts elective or a free elective course in a subject of your interest. You may wish to take a math course 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. Or, you may wish to begin study in a secondary subject area, perhaps for a minor or certificate. Many politics majors complete the intelligence certificate, and others pursue minors in a modern language, sociology, criminology, or history. 

To learn more about the Politics major, consult the Politics Department’s website.

Know which courses you want? Get registered.