Political Science (B.A.)


Dr. Allen Pietrobon, Assistant Professor of Global Affairs (program chair)
Dr. Mercedez Callenes, Assistant Professor of Global Affairs
Dr. Erin Carriere-Kretschmer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
Dr. Kimberly Monroe, Assistant Professor of Global Affairs
Dr. James Stocker, Associate Professor of Global Affairs
Dr. Joshua Wright, Associate Professor of Global Affairs


The political science program emphasizes both the study of political science as a discipline and the active, practical participation of students in the political process. In addition to course work, students participate in a wide variety of internships and fieldwork classes in Washington, D.C., to learn politics through direct observation and involvement.

The major in political science is designed to help students effectively fulfill their expanding roles in public life. Knowledge of governmental affairs in combination with communication and research skills can open a wide vista of challenging opportunities. Trinity looks to its political science majors to provide the much-needed dedication and leadership qualities aimed at achieving an enriched and more just society.

Political science provides students with grounding in several fields including American government, comparative political systems, international relations, political theory, and field experience afforded by Trinity’s location in the nation’s capital. This resource serves students in two ways: first, through utilization of the city’s political and governmental institutions as learning laboratories and second, by providing students with professional contacts and networking opportunities well before they graduate. In addition, political science majors can combine a thorough grounding in political science theory and methodology with a self-directed focus on selected public policy topics and/or with multidisciplinary course selections through the general education curriculum and complementary courses in other disciplines.

An analysis of the many aspects of leadership as well as the concept itself is woven into every political science course. The political science program is also sensitive to the needs of women not only through gender-specific courses but also through many other courses that address issues and processes of special significance to women. The comparative politics sequence and international relations courses in particular provide an essential resource for the development of multicultural awareness.

The political science program supports a major and minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Courses in the political science program fall into the following categories: American government and law; international relations and comparative politics; political values; applied skills; elective; and advanced seminar. Each course taken may be counted to fulfill only one distribution requirement for the major, even if the course falls into two categories.

Major Requirements

TWO courses in American government & law chosen from:

  • POLS 213 Women and Politics
  • POLS 301 Congress and Policy Making
  • POLS 305 Public Policy
  • POLS 311 Constitutional Law

TWO courses in international relations and comparative politics chosen from:

  • POLS 231 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS 241 Introduction to International Relations
  • POLS 343 United States Foreign Policy I
  • POLS 363 US Intelligence and World Affairs

ONE course in political values chosen from:

  • POLS 201 Civil Rights and Liberties
  • POLS 275 Politics and Fiction
  • POLS 313 Religion, Law and Politics in the United States
  • POLS 471 Politics and The Media

Methods Course (3 credits)

  • SSC 350 Interdisciplinary Research Methods Interdisciplinary Social Science Research Methods

Two Mentorship Courses (2 credits)

  • GLBL 221 Global Affairs Mentorship I
  • GLBL 222 Global Affairs Mentorship II

ONE applied skills courses chosen from:

  • POLS 365 Field Work: Political Parties, Campaigns, and Elections
  • POLS 367 Field Work: Public Opinion Polling
  • POLS 369 Field Work: Political Advocacy
  • GLBL 411 Model Assembly Org Amer States:
  • GLBL 491 Internship

TWO electives chosen from any POLS, GLBL or HIS courses at the 200-level or above not already satisfying another major requirement

Senior Seminar (3 credits; students double majoring in GLBL or POLS need only take senior seminar once)

  • GLBL 499 Senior Seminar: Global Affairs

Capstone Project

Minor Requirements

Students pursuing the minor must complete 18 credits of political science courses at the 200-level or greater.

Program Policies

Advanced Placement:

A score of 4 or 5 on the AP examination is accepted for credit toward the degree. AP credit does not fulfill FLC, Core, major, or minor requirements.

CLEP Policy:

CLEP credit is not accepted to fulfill history major or minor requirements.

Grades in Major and Minor Courses:

Students are required to maintain an average of “C” (2.0) or better in the major and minor. All courses for the major or minor require a “C-“ or better.

Pass/No Pass:

With the exception of internships, courses fulfilling a major or minor requirement may not be taken pass/no pass.

Senior Assessment:

To complete their comprehensive examination requirement, students will present their senior project (written during the Senior Seminar) before two professors. Generally, the student will briefly present their research question, arguments, evidence, and conclusions, then will respond to questions from the professors and other students present. In addition, students are highly encouraged to present their research at Research Day and in other public forums, including conferences on undergraduate research. With guidance from Global Affairs faculty, they may also wish to submit their work to undergraduate research journals.

Study Abroad:

To support their major, students are encouraged to study abroad, preferably in their junior year.

TELL Policy:

TELL credits may count towards the major if the student is able to document active participation in an event, movement, or issue that has shaped contemporary history.

Transfer Credits:
No more than 15 credits in courses equivalent to those required for the major may be accepted toward the major in political science. No more than nine credits may be accepted toward the minor in political science.