The undergraduate program in politics is one of the most popular at Catholic University. Students in the major can choose to focus on one of three sub-concentration fields — American government, political theory, or world politics. Many students also get hands-on experience in the world of politics through off-campus internships, including on Capitol Hill, in the executive branch, in government agencies, and in non-governmental organizations.
  • Intro to American Politics (POL 111) - 3 credits

    How does American government really work? Is it as dysfunctional as many people claim, and if so, why? This course examines the structure and function of the presidency, Congress, and the judiciary as established by the Founding Fathers. It also reviews the importance of political parties and elections, the issues that define the differences between the two major parties, and the changing nature of both U.S. domestic and foreign policy over the past forty years.
  • Intro to Political Theory (POL 211) - 3 credits

    An introductory survey of Western political thought from Plato to modern times, defining the fundamental issues of politics and their relation to the enduring problems of civilization.
  • Intro to International Relations (POL 212) - 3 credits

    This course introduces students to important theoretical approaches to the analysis of international relations and applies these approaches to a number of historical and contemporary issues. A sample of topics covered include the causes of war, international institutions, the Cold War, globalization, nuclear weapons, terrorism, and human rights.
  • Democracy and Democratization (POL 333) - 3 credits

    Explores competing meanings of "democracy"; examines the evolution and expansion of democracies and democratization since the 1970s, and the recent and emerging challenges to democracies today.
  • Cybersecurity (POL 337A/665A) - 3 credits

    Today's global, IT-connected world is increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks and fast-moving threats from criminals, terrorists, and foreign governments. How do the public and private sectors deal with this security environment? In what ways does cyber security by the U.S., the European Union, and the United Nations compare? How do organizations react to rapidly changing cybersecurity threats?

    This class will examine the policy debates over cybersecurity, cyberwarfare, drones, critical infrastructure protection, cyber crime and cyberterrorism, and the national, public-private, and international responses to meet these growing security threats. The course draws primarily on case studies, and no prior or technical knowledge is required.

  • Politics & Culture in France and US (POL 372A/672A) - 3 credits

    This course is intended to introduce students to the great sweep of political history and culture in two self-styled exceptionalist countries that share so many political values yet are so fundamentally different. Prior introductory courses in Politics and French are helpful but not required; no prior knowledge is assumed.
  • Washington and Congressional Internships (POL 495A) - 3 credits

    A combination of lectures, discussions, and internships arranged for students in congressional offices and committees. Interested students must fill out the form on the internships page of the Politics Department's website.