Politics and Public Affairs Courses

The new department will offer three introductory level courses to serve both as the foundation for the major and for general education purposes. These courses would not be substantively different from the respective introductory courses currently offered, though common threads of inquiry will be emphasized in order to serve as the foundation for Sophomore Seminar.

  • Introduction to Theorizing About Political Life: Normative questions common to political systems;
  • Introduction to Policymaking in Democracies: Institutions and structures common and varied among democratic states;
  • Introduction to Global Governance: Policy under conditions of anarchy (norms, international law, and institutions).

PPA majors and minors would be required to take all three introductory courses. This common core will facilitate cohesion among students in the required Sophomore Seminar, where students will work to integrate the foundational study of politics gained in the introductory courses with their developing interest in a particular aspect of public affairs. A typical major’s schedule would consist of the following during their Denison careers:

  1. Three Introductory courses (100-level)
  2. Sophomore Seminar (200-level)

We reimagine our current 200-level POSC “Doing” courses to reflect upon core issues in the study of politics and policy. As with “Doing” courses, the curricular focus of the Sophomore Seminar will be on skill development cued to the particular focus of the instructor of the class. By the end of their Sophomore Seminar experience, majors will submit a formal statement of their Track commitment, including a brief rationale of the unifying theme of their course of study, a listing their non-departmental courses that fit the theme, and indicating their intention regarding a suitable off-campus experience to be approved by a departmental committee.

  1. Two upper-division department electives (300-400 level)
  2. Senior Capstone Seminar

These will be similar to the current offering in POSC. We will use a common assignment for this Seminar as part of the assessment process. At this point, we envision requiring students in the seminar to produce a policy brief addressing a question of interest generated as part of their study in their particular Track.

Political Science Courses

2022 - 2023

For this academic year's course catalog, please visit our Academic Catalog site. For courses currently offered, please refer to the Schedule of Classes.