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  Nov 19, 2017
 
 
    
Undergraduate Record 2006-2007 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Politics


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Requirements for Major


Students planning to major must see the assistant to the undergraduate director (in Cabell 240) for admission and assignment to a faculty advisor. Completion of at least three credits of work in this department with no grade below C and a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 2.000 are prerequisites for majors in government or foreign affairs.

Government


The major concentration in government requires 30 credits of course work, as specified below, including the three prerequisite hours. No more than nine credits taken at the 100 level may be counted toward the major. At least fifteen credits of course work in the department must be earned at the 300 level and above. At least six of these must be earned at the 400 or 500 level.

The government concentration requires the following minimum distribution of courses among the four fields:

  1. American Politics - three credits
  2. Comparative Politics - three credits
  3. International Relations - three credits
  4. Political Theory - three credits; majors should take this distribution requirement by the end of their third year
  5. Students choosing the PLAP track must take nine additional credits in PLAP; students choosing the PLPT track must take nine additional credits in PLPT.

The remaining nine credits required for the government major may come from departmental offerings in any of the four fields, depending on student interests and objectives.

In addition to the 30 credits required in the Department of Politics, 12 credits of courses in closely related disciplines, such as history, philosophy, the social sciences and, in appropriate cases, in other related subjects, are required. No more than six of these credits should be taken at the 100 and 200 levels. The other six credits should be in advanced courses. Students should seek to construct their related course “package” in such a way that it contributes to their major subject field in as direct a fashion as possible, and must have this list of courses approved by their major advisor.

Foreign Affairs


The major concentration in foreign affairs requires 30 credits of course work, as specified below, including the three prerequisite credits. No more than nine credits taken at the 100 level may be counted toward the major. At least fifteen credits of course work in the department must be earned at the 300 level and above. At least six of these must be earned at the 400 and 500 levels.

The foreign affairs concentration requires the following minimum distribution of courses among the four fields:

  1. American Politics - three credits
  2. Comparative Politics - three credits
  3. International Relations - three credits
  4. Political Theory - three credits; majors should take this distribution requirement by the end of their third year
  5. Area Courses - six credits in a pair of courses that specialize in one area of the world, of which three should be in comparative politics and three in international relations. Area courses may deal with all or part of Latin America, Western Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Africa, or Eastern Europe and Russia.
  6. Six additional credits in either international relations or comparative politics

The remaining six credits required for the foreign affairs major may come from departmental offerings in any of the four fields, depending on student interests and objectives.

In addition to the 30 credits required in the Department of Politics, 12 credits of courses in closely related disciplines, such as history, philosophy, the social sciences, and in appropriate cases, in other related subjects, are required. No more than six of these credits should be taken at the 100 and 200 levels. Students should seek to construct their related course “package” in such a way that it contributes to their major subject field in as direct a fashion as possible, and must have this list of courses approved by their major advisor.

Both Majors


A grade of C or better is necessary in any course counted toward the major. Students who earn a grade of C- or lower in three courses in the department or who drop below a 2.000 GPA in the department are not allowed to continue as majors.

In most cases, up to six Politics credits and up to six related-course credits from another institution may count toward the major, subject to the approval of the Undergraduate Director. Such approval is not automatic. Work done elsewhere must be of a suitable nature and quality and must be offered in compliance with departmental rules available from the Undergraduate Director. Students already enrolled at the University who wish to take courses at other institutions must obtain advance approval from the Dean of the College. In the case of courses transferred to the University from other U.S. institutions, the transferred Politics credits may only count toward the elective requirement within the major. In the case of courses transferred from non-U.S. institutions, the transferred Politics credits may count toward any requirement within the major, so long as the student’s advisor approves. Students who study abroad for the equivalent of two complete semesters may count up to nine transferred Politics credits, and up to nine related-course credits, toward the major, subject to their advisor’s approval.

Under no circumstance may advanced placement credit count toward fulfilling the major.

Requirements for Minor


A minor program in politics consists of at least 15 credits of course work taken at the University in at least two of the four fields of the department, with a grade of C or better. At least nine credits must be in one field. Of the 15 credits, no more than six may be taken at the introductory (100) level. At least three credits must be taken at the 400 or 500 level. No advanced placement credit is allowed for a minor.

Students taking the minor in government or foreign affairs should fill out a minor application in the department’s academic office (Cabell 240). The department’s rules for satisfactory standing apply.

Honors Program


The Honors Program of the Department of Politics is for students with a deep and abiding interest in the study of politics. Students apply for the program during in February of their second year. Successful applicants usually maintain a 3.700 GPA or above and have a record of sustained interest and promise in political studies. Students enter the program at the start of their third year and begin a special, ungraded curriculum that integrates small seminars in different fields of political analysis with a limited number of courses taken outside the department. Honors students explore their special interests by working with a faculty member on a one-to-one basis in writing an honors thesis. The John White Stevenson Prize is awarded annually to the best honors thesis. Students can graduate with honors, high honors, or highest honors depending on their evaluations and performance on written and oral examinations taken at the end of their fourth year. For further information access the Honors Program webpage http://www.virginia.edu/politics/undergrad_program/honors.html or contact the program director.

The Distinguished Majors Program


Students of high academic achievement are eligible for the department’s Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). Students completing the program graduate with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction. A prerequisite of three credits of course work in the department and departmental and University GPA’s of 3.400 or above are required for admission. Students wishing to apply should submit an application form, a statement of interest in the DMP, a copy of their current transcript, and two sealed letters of recommendation from faculty members. Students may apply in the second semester of their third year. The application deadline is April 1.

GPA Requirements


Students in the DMP must maintain grade point averages of 3.400 or better, both cumulatively and in the department.

Requirements of the DMP


Students in the DMP are required to take 3 credits in the Department as a prerequisite plus 30 credits in the major. These 30 credits must include: (1) At least l5 credits at the 400 and 500 levels including six credits of PLAD 496. (2) Courses to satisfy general departmental distribution rules for Government or Foreign Affairs majors.

The DMP Seminar


In the fall semester, members of the DMP will meet regularly (but not weekly) to discuss issues related to conceptualizing, researching, and writing social-science theses. A small amount of readings will be assigned to inform that discussion. In the spring semester, members of the DMP will present their preliminary hypotheses and findings to the seminar.

The DMP Thesis


Students in the DMP are required to write a thesis of high quality, earning six credits, during the fourth year. The thesis course, PLAD 496, is a year-long course, carrying six credits, and graded at the end of the second semester. Students are responsible for obtaining a faculty member to serve as their thesis advisor for both semesters of the PLAD 496 course. Complete first drafts of theses must be submitted by April 1; the final deadline for completed theses, reflecting all revisions, is the third week of April, on a date set each year by the director.

Program Evaluations


Students who successfully complete the requirements of the DMP will be evaluated according to the following rankings: Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction. Evaluations will be based on the following: (l) quality of the thesis, (2) overall work in major field of study, (3) overall College record.

Faculty thesis readers will forward evaluations to the Department’s DMP faculty director, will review the evaluations and students’ records, and forward recommendations to the College Committee on Special Programs.

Superior thesis will be nominated by faculty advisors for the Emmerich-Wright Prize, which is given annually to the outstanding thesis, as determined by a faculty committee. The prize carries a cash award.

For more information on the Department’s DMP, contact Paul Freedman, 924-1372.

Conferences and Special Activities


Students and faculty of the department meet frequently in informal and off-the-record conferences throughout the session at which discussions are led by visiting authorities from government, business, and educational institutions. Speakers of distinction are also brought to the Grounds by student organizations, including those consisting primarily of students in the department. When appropriate, field trips are organized to study the operation of government and international relations firsthand in nearby Richmond, Washington, and the United Nations.

The Quincy Wright Library (Cabell Hall 211) is the department’s special reference collection. It is available to undergraduates as a supplement to their explorations in Alderman and Clemons Libraries.

Additional Information


For more information, contact John Owen, Director of Undergraduate Programs, Department of Politics, B011 Cabell Hall, P.O. Box 400787, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4787; (434) 924-3523; www.virginia.edu/politics.

Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service


The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service was created in 1987 by the merger of the former Institute of Government and portions of the former Tayloe Murphy Institute. With research programs in government, public policy, business and economics, and demographics, the center brings multiple perspectives to the study of Virginia. It assists both state and local governments in the Commonwealth with research into specific issues, management expertise, planning, and social and economic data. The center also sponsors professional education programs for government managers and elected officials, through the Virginia Institute of Government, and it hosts the Virginia Institute of Political Leadership. In all its work, the center aims to apply the University’s resources to improving the public life of Virginia.

The center employs both work-study students, who serve as office staff, and graduate research assistants, who gain firsthand experience in research and government by participating in center projects. The center’s publications program provides a wealth of data on Virginia to supplement course work in political science, economics, history, and sociology. Besides its central offices in Charlottesville, the center maintains a Southwest Virginia office in Wise County and a Richmond office.

Center for Politics


The Center for Politics, founded in 1998 by government professor Larry J. Sabato, maintains a close tie with the department. The center is dedicated to the non-partisan study and development of practical solutions to the problems facing our political system. The center is currently sponsoring a dozen projects and seminars, including the annual National Post Election Conference, the Youth Leadership Initiative, the Governors Project, and studies of the referendum process and non-voting. For more information, contact Larry Sabato or Ken Stroupe at (434) 243-8474.

Course Descriptions


American Politics


Comparative Politics


International Relations


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