Saint Louis University

Rules for picking classes

You should take  at least one class in each the subfield before you explore more classes in a single subfield.

Classes in American politics have a "1," "2," or "3" as the second digit from the left of the course number: e.g., 1100, 2100, 2200, 3300.

Classes in comparative politics have a "5" as the second digit from the left of the course number: e.g.,1510, 2530, 3570.

Classes in international relations have a "6" as the second digit from the left of the course number: e.g., 1600, 2610, 3610, 4620.

Classes in political thought have a "7" as the second digit from the left of the course number: e.g., 1700, 3710, 3720, 4750.

If a class has a 2930, 3930, 4930, or 5930 designation, it has a "special topics" number. The only way to know what subfield these courses are in is to ask your department mentor. Courses with an "8" as the second digit from the left may fulfill more than one subfield, though only one will count for the major distribution requirements. Again, you'll need to ask your department mentor.

1000 and 2000-level classes are appropriate for beginning Political Science students. For most people, it is better not to take 3000-level or higher courses until after you have taken two or three 1000 and 2000-level courses.

You should take two or three introductory classes in a variety of subfields before you take methods.

You should try to take methods in your sophomore year. If that doesn't work out, you should definitely take methods the first semester of your junior year.

If your schedule has you taking four or five upper-level Political Science classes in the same semester, be prepared for a whole lot of reading! (Or try to arrange your schedule differently.)

Before you can take a 4000-level seminar, you MUST first take a methods course AND another course within the same subfield as the seminar. In an ideal world, you would have taken the introductory course in the subfield as well as one or two others related to the topic of the seminar.

Internships do not count as seminars.

Before you start an honors thesis, if you choose that option, you MUST first take a methods class AND you must have had a few classes relevant to the area that you want to research. You may not start an honors thesis on a topic on which you have little background.

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