Jun 01, 2023  
Course Catalog 2022-2023 
Course Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Politics Major

The major consists of a minimum of 10 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

arrow View the catalog page for the Politics department.  

The department encourages students to consult a faculty member when they begin to consider a major in Politics. When declaring a major, students work with a faculty advisor to develop a program that fits the student’s interest and goals.

Summary of Requirements

At least five full courses must be taken from the Oberlin Politics Department.
First Year Seminar courses taught by Politics faculty count towards the Politics major as introductory courses.

Advanced Placement

A student with a score of 5 on the American Politics, Comparative Politics, or General Politics AP exam will earn  one full course (within the maximum limit of five full courses of work accepted before matriculation) toward the Politics major and toward graduation requirements.


The honors program in Politics has three components: an honors thesis that involves a substantial piece of original research conducted over the course of the senior year; an oral thesis defense administered at the end of the senior year; enrollment in the Politics honors seminar in both the fall and spring of the senior year.

Students who are interested in the honors program submit a formal application to the department by the end of the spring semester of their junior year. The application includes a writing sample and statement of interest in honors  In deciding which applicants to accept into the honors program, the department considers the performance and number of courses taken in the Politics Major, as well as in broader College work, the quality of the writing sample, the coherence and thoughtfulness of the statement of interest, and the availability of faculty to serve as advisers for the proposed research projects in any given year. All senior honors students will work closely with a thesis advisor and will take POLT 403 in the fall and POLT 404 in the spring.

Politics Major Requirements

Politics Courses Above the Introductory-Level

Return to the summary of requirements.

Distribution Requirement

Return to the summary of requirements.

Students must complete courses in at least three of the Department’s four fields: American politics, comparative politics, international politics, and political theory