Politics and Public Affairs Major


Majors must complete:

A total of seven courses in Politics and Public Affairs, consisting of:

  • three introductory level courses:
    • PPA 102 - Introduction to Policymaking in Democracies
    • PPA 122 - Introduction to Global Governance
    • PPA 132 - Introduction to Theorizing About Political Life: Normative Issues Common to Democratic Systems
  • PPA 201 - Sophomore Seminar
  • two upper-level departmental electives
  • PPA 491 - Senior Seminar

In addition, all majors must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a Major Proposal, a Curriculum Plan, and declare a Track of Study by the end of Sophomore Seminar.  Politics and Public Affairs defines three possible Tracks of Study:
    • International Affairs

How are actors in the global domain constrained, driven, or impeded in the international system absent a central authority? To what extent does the international system reflect what Hedley Bull (1977) referred to as an “anarchical society,” and to what degree does collective international governance emerge as a result?

  • Policy Analysis

Emphasizes the evaluation of public policy and explores the conditions under which the exercise of political power is most likely to be successful. This track provides a foundation for the evaluation of the efficacy of policy.

  • Government and Legal Affairs

How does the structure of government shape the interactions of individuals and institutions? How does debate over public affairs, legal arguments, and/or the political process, generate policy outcomes?

Students may also propose their own Track during Sophomore Seminar, subject to departmental approval.

  • Complete three cognate courses from outside the PPA department geared toward the emphasis of your Track as indicated on your Curriculum Plan:
    • International Affairs
      • One additional language course beyond Denison's foreign language requirement.
      • Two additional cognate courses on their “theme” of emphasis (one of these may be a foreign language course).
    • Policy Analysis
      • 3 additional courses focusing on the analysis of empirical data
    • Government and Legal Affairs
      • 3 cognate courses reflecting the area of emphasis established in Major Proposal
  • Participate in an off-campus experience confirmed by the end of Sophomore Seminar;
    • Semester (or summer) enrollment in a Denison-approved Off-Campus Study program;
    • An off-campus internship that advances/enhances the coursework for your selected Track;
    • Participation in Moot Court, Model UN, or similar co-curricular activities which augments the focus of your Track of study.
  • Complete one statistics course from an approved list of classes available from the PPA office, recommended to be fulfilled by the end of sophomore year.  

Additional Items of Note:

Cognate courses may also fulfill GE requirements.

No more than two cognate courses can come from a single department or program. Two need to be courses above the introductory level (199).

Because off-campus study is an integral part of the PPA major, courses taken off-campus cannot be brought in to replace any of the seven required PPA courses; however, one course from an off-campus program may fulfill a cognate course requirement.

Politics and Public Affairs Minor 

Minors in PPA would complete six courses: the three introductory courses; the sophomore seminar; and two upper-division electives in PPA. Minors would not declare a track of emphasis nor would an off-campus experience be required.