Majoring in Politics
To be awarded the A.B. degree, Princeton undergraduates must concentrate in a particular academic department. In recent years, the Department of Politics has been one of the most popular concentrations, with more than 200 juniors and seniors enrolled in a typical year.
A majority of Politics students follow the straight concentration (or major) in Politics. Technically speaking, one does not major in Politics. At Princeton, students pursuing the A.B. degree instead "concentrate" in a particular department.
Students select a concentration in the spring of the sophomore year. In April, the Department of Politics hosts a Sophomore Open House where interested students can learn more about the department. The department also holds individual advising sessions for all sophomores who declare Politics as their concentration.
To declare a Politics concentration, sophomores must normally have completed, as prerequisites, two Politics courses. It is strongly recommended that one or both of these courses be at the 200-level. If you are considering a Politics concentration, be sure to complete these prerequisites, and try to complete your analytical requirement during your sophomore year if possible.
Some students choose, however, to specialize in political economy. In the Program in Political Economy, students take courses in both politics and economics and explore the relationships between the two fields. Students in this program are still considered Politics concentrators and must fulfill the same requirements as regular Politics concentrators, but they receive an additional certificate from the department upon completion of the program.
Finally, it is possible for students, with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, to put together a special program that combines the study of politics with the study of some other discipline or geographic area.
The department’s other expectations for Politics concentrators, and the resources available to help students meet those expectations, are contained in the pages listed on the menu at left.