Foreign Affairs Requirements
(Note: In spring 2014, the Politics Department reformed the major requirements. ALL MAJORS ARE SUBJECT TO THE RULES THAT WERE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME THAT THEY DECLARED THEIR MAJOR.)
This program consists of 30 credits of course work in the Department of Politics plus 12 hours of related coursework, as specified below.
Prerequisites to Declare a Foreign Affairs Major
For College students declaring their major during or before their fourth term (spring term, second year):
For College students declaring their major during their third year or fifth term (fall term, Third year), including transfer students:
College students who have not completed any Politics courses with a grade of C or better before their third year or fifth term may request to defer the declaration of the Foreign Affairs major. To request a deferral in the third year, students must be currently enrolled in two Politics courses at UVA.
Minimum Performance Requirements
All courses counting towards the major must be passed with a grade of at least a “C”.
The Government and Foreign Affairs majors both require students consistently to earn grades above "C" in order to remain in the major. Our rule, published in the Undergraduate Record, reads as follows: "Students who earn a grade of C– or lower in three courses in the department are not allowed to continue as majors."
Twelve credits; three each in each of the four subfields of political science:
We strongly encourage majors to take this distribution requirement by the end of their third year.
Area Courses Requirement
Students who have declared their majors prior to August 26, 2014 are required to take six credits in a pair of PLCP and/or PLIR courses that specializes in the same area of the world. Area courses may deal with all or part of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East. Students who declared their major after August 26, 2014 are not subject to this requirement.
A list of approved courses for each area is available here.
Foreign Affairs Track Requirement
Students who have declared their majors prior to August 26, 2014 are required to take six additional credits in PLIR and/or PLCP. Students who have declared their majors after August 26, 2014 must take nine additional credits in PLIR and/or PLCP.
Foreign Affairs Electives Requirement
For students who have declared their majors prior to August 26, 2014, the remaining six credits required for the Foreign Affairs major may come from departmental offerings in any of the four fields (PLAP, PLCP, PLIR, PLPT) and from department-wide courses (PLAD), depending on student interest and objectives. For students who have declared their majors on August 26, 2014 or after, the remaining nine credits required for the Foreign Affairs major may come from departmental offerings in any of the four fields (PLAP, PLCP, PLIR, PLPT) and from department-wide courses (PLAD),
Course Level Requirements
Only 9 hours of course work for the major may be offered from among the department's introductory courses (1000 level). At least 15 credits of course work in the department must be earned at the 3000 level and above. Students declaring their major before August 26, 2014 must complete at least six credits at the 4000-level or above. Students declaring after August 26, must take at least 3 credits at the 4000-level or above.
Foreign Affairs Related Courses Requirement
Twelve credits of courses in closely related disciplines other than Politics. SIS will automatically pick up courses with the following mnemonics: AAS, AMST, ANTH, EAST, ECON, ETP, HI** (HIAF, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, HIUS), MDST, MEST, PHIL, PSYC, REL* (RELA, RELB, RELC, RELG, RELH, RELI, RELJ, RELS), SOC, SWAG. In extraordinary circumstances, your major advisor will consider other courses for approval.
No more than six of these credits may be at the 1000 and 2000 levels.
Transfer of Credit
No advanced placement (AP) or dual enrollment credit will count toward the 30 hours of PL coursework required for the major or for Foreign Affairs Related Courses credit.
With the approval of the department, up to six hours of PL transfer credit may count toward the Foreign Affairs Electives requirement and up to six hours of transfer credit may count toward the Related Courses requirement. For further details, please see the major FAQ.
Distinguished Majors Program
Requires thesis in fourth year and additional upper level courses. See the Distinguished Majors Program page for details.
A few outstanding students each year are admitted to this unique program, which involves an intensive weekly seminar in each of the department's four fields. See the Honors Program page for details.
All students are subject to the major rules specified above. In order to be fair to all students, exemptions will be granted only under the most exceptional of circumstances. Students wishing to petition for an exemption should first secure the approval of their advisor. They may then contact the Director of Undergraduate Programs. Exceptions must be requested by petition using the Exceptions Form, available here.
For further information visit us in S185 Gibson Hall.