Major and Minor Requirements
The Department of Government offers a major and minor in Government, with optional concentrations in American Politics, World Politics, and Political Thought.
Students who major in government at Wofford begin their work with two broad introductory courses, Government 202 (Foundations of American Politics) and Government 203 (Foundations of World Politics). Government 202 is a survey of the political system in the United States, which emphasizes constitutional principles and the historical development of governmental institutions and processes. Government 203 is a historical, philosophical, and topical foundation in international relations and comparative politics, and an introduction to essential research skills. These courses prepare students for the advanced courses which are taken during the junior and senior years.
Many government majors choose to pursue a double major, completing the course of study in government and in another academic department. English, history, economics, foreign language, and philosophy have been the most common choices for the second. While a double major has the advantage of giving students considerable depth in two different disciplines, it eliminates much of the time that would be available for electives.
For many years the study of government has been an important part of the curriculum of liberal arts colleges. Study of the American political system, the political systems in other countries, international relations, and political concepts and ideas is in keeping with the best traditions of the liberal arts traditions that emphasize broad learning in the basic academic fields instead of specialized, vocational education. Another tradition of the liberal arts is a belief that it is important to foster an appreciation of our cultural, intellectual, and political heritage. The course of study in the government department is designed to support these traditions.
Government 202 (Foundations of American Politics) and 203 (Foundations of World Politics) must be completed, with a grade of C or higher in each course, before other courses. Twenty-four semester hours are required beyond Government 202 and 203 (for a total of 30). Within the 24 semester hours, the following distribution requirement must be met:
- Six semester hours in Division A: American Government beyond Government 202
- Six semester hours in Division B: International Relations and Comparative Government beyond Government 203
- Six semester hours in Division C: Political Theory
- Six additional hours from any Division
Government 202 and 203, and an additional 12 semester hours of 300- or 400-level Government courses are required, for a total of 18 semester hours.