Requirements (for Classes Starting in 2027)

Students in the class of 2027 or later who wish to major in Politics must satisfy the requirements and stipulations below. Students in the class of 2025 or 2026 may opt into these requirements only after consultation with and approval by their Politics major advisor.

To complete the Politics major, students must complete eleven courses that count for at least 10.5 credits in total. The courses are in three categories and with the following stipulations:

  • Foundations
    • Three semester-length courses at the 100 level
    • We encourage students to complete these by the end of sophomore year
  • Exploration
    • Five courses at the 200 or 300 level, though we recommend that these be at the 200 level.
    • No more than one Short-Term course may count in this category.
  • Research Development and Application
    • Three semester-length courses
    • Two of these courses must be 300-level seminars and one must be the senior thesis.

The following stipulations also apply:

  • An FYS may count toward the major, but only in the Exploration category and only if taught by a member of the Politics Department.
  • One course in the major can be taken pass/fail. However, this course can be at only the 100 or 200 level.
  • All 300-level courses must be listed or cross-listed in the Bates Politics Department.
  • AP and IB credits may not substitute for any of the eleven required courses, however they may be used to substitute for prerequisites for courses in the department with instructor approval.
  • Subject to the approval of the department chair or associate chair, a student transferring to Bates may count up to four transfer credits for courses taken prior to their arrival at Bates. These courses can count towards Foundations and Exploration in the Politics major. Students must take at least seven of the eleven courses in the major on the Bates campus.

Under certain conditions, courses from off-campus study or from Bates academic units outside Politics may count for the major. The following stipulations apply for such courses:

  • No more than two such courses in total may count toward the major.
  • Such courses may count only in the Exploration category.
  • Up to two may be non-Bates courses (e.g., through Global Education/Study Abroad). Please visit this page for more information about off-campus study and the Politics major.
  • No more than one of those may be an approved Bates course outside of Politics. For a list of currently approved non-Politics Bates courses, please visit this page.