Woodrow Wilson

Department of Politics

Government & Foreign Affairs Major Requirements

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 Government or Foreign Affairs Major

For College students declaring their major during or before their fourth term (spring term, second year):

  • Six credits of PL** coursework, taken at UVa (no transfer courses). Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course, and have an average GPA of 2.5 across the two. The 2.5 GPA requirement is waived for Spring 2020 courses with a grade of “Credit.” 
  • Current enrollment in one additional PL** course.

For College students declaring their major during their fifth term (fall term, third year), including transfer students:

  • Six credits of PL** coursework, taken at UVa (no transfer courses). Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course, and have an average GPA of 2.5 across the two. The 2.5 GPA requirement is waived for Spring 2020 courses with a grade of “Credit.” 
  • Current enrollment in two additional PL** courses.

For College students who have not completed any Politics courses with a grade of C or better before their third year or fifth term:

  • You may request to defer the declaration of the Government major, if you are currently enrolled in two PL** courses at UVa.

Minimum Performance Requirements

Only courses with a grade of at least "C" may count toward major requirements.

Students who earn a grade of "C–" or lower in three PL** courses may not continue as majors.

Major Course Requirements

The course requirements are slightly different for Government and Foreign Affairs majors:

 

Government Major

Foreign Affairs Major

Distribution
12 credits

Three credits in each of the four political science subfields:

  • American Politics (PLAP)
  • Comparative Politics (PLCP)
  • International Relations (PLIR)
  • Political Theory (PLPT)
Concentration
9 credits

American Politics Track: nine additional PLAP credits

(or)

Political Theory Track: nine additional PLPT credits

Foreign Affairs Track: nine additional PLCP and/or PLIR credits
Government / Foreign Affairs Electives
9 credits

Nine additional credits in any Politics Department courses:

  • American Politics (PLAP)
  • Comparative Politics (PLCP)
  • International Relations (PLIR)
  • Political Theory (PLPT)
  • Cross-field and department-wide (PLAD)
Related Courses
12 credits

Twelve credits in courses from closely related disciplines other than Politics. SIS will automatically pick up courses with the following mnemonics:

AAS, AMST, ANTH, COMM 3410, COMM 3420, EAST, ECON, ETP,  GDS, GSGS, GSSJ, GSVS, HIAF, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, HIUS, MDST, MEST, PHIL, LPPA, LPPP (except LPPP 3001 and LPPP 3559), LPPS, PSYC, RELA, RELB, RELC, RELG, RELH, RELI, RELJ, RELS,  SOC, WGS. 

In extraordinary circumstances, your major advisor [or DUP???] will consider other courses for approval.

Course Level Requirements

PL** 1000-level: no more than 9 credits

PL** 3000-level or above: at least 15 credits

PL** 4000-level or above: at least 3 credits

Related courses 3000-level or above: at least 6 credits

 

Dual Enrollment and Advanced Placement Credit

No advanced placement (AP) or dual enrollment credit may count toward the 30 hours of PL coursework required for the major or for Related Courses credit.

Transfer and Study-Abroad Credit

With the approval of the DUP, the following transfer/study abroad credit may count toward major requirements:

  • Up to six hours of PL transfer credit may count toward the Government or Foreign Affairs Elective requirement. 
  • Up to six hours of transfer credit may count toward the Related Courses requirement.
  • Up to six hours of study abroad transfer credit may count toward any major requirement. If you study abroad for a full year, this limit is raised to nine credits.

To get SIS to record approval of your transfer classes, please have your major advisor email the DUP the name of your prior institution, the number and title of the course you took there, and the course number the advisor considers to be equivalent at UVA (if any).

Distinguished Majors Program (DMP)

The DMP is an advanced program for Politics Department majors that involves in-depth research and a thesis during the fourth year. Students may apply to DMP in the spring of their third year; see the Distinguished Majors Program page for details.

Honors Program

The Honors Program in an intensive weekly seminar with a small cohort in each of the department’s four fields, completed during the student's fourth year. See the Honors Program page for details.

Exceptions

To be fair to all students, exceptions from the rules listed above will be granted only under exceptional circumstances.  Students wishing to petition for an exemption should first secure the approval of their advisor. Then they may petition the Director of Undergraduate Programs, using the Exceptions Form.

Where can I find the official academic requirements for the University?

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.