The department offers minor programs in World Politics, Law and Justice, and Practical Policy and Politics, as well as a Certificate in Public Administration and Policy. Each minor has its own requirements and no grade lower than a “C” in any course may count toward the minor.

No student may earn more than two POLI minors, only three courses can count toward the major and a minor, and only three courses can count toward two minors.

World Politics Minor

Students in the World Politics minor explore the politics of interstate relations and its interaction with the domestic political systems of different countries. Students are equipped with theories and methods to think critically and creatively about foreign policy, diplomacy, international organizations, international security, warfare, terrorism, international law, democratization, political economy, development and other complex global problems of the day. The minor offers students a strong foundation for graduate study and careers in the U.S. State Department, the intelligence community, foreign governments, international organizations, NGOs, public and private international development agencies, consulting firms, and multinational corporations.

Basic requirements:

  • 18 total credits required, two of which must be POLI 260 and POLI 280
  • At least four upper level courses, as least one of which must be at the 400 level
  • One language through the second year (202 level), although students committed to World Politics are strongly encouraged to progress to higher levels.
  • Students can also take advantage of active learning opportunities in the Model United Nations student club, as well as a variety of internship and research opportunities that can be valuable stepping stones to the types of careers noted above.

Elective courses must be in the 360s/460s, 370s/470s, 380s/480s, 390s/490s, as well as any course listed below: 310 – Political Theories of Democracy, 337 – Comparative Justice, 409 – Disaster Politics, 419 – Advanced Selected Topics in Political Theory: Globalization , 430 – The Law of War, 431 – Modern National Security Law, 437 – International Human Rights Law


Law and Justice Minor

The Law and Justice minor allows students to develop an expertise in the law, and in how lawyers, courts and judges influence the world.  We offer a wide variety of classes in American, comparative, and international law.  In addition, the minor features classes that examine the struggle for justice as well as the theoretical foundations of law and justice.  The minor is excellent training for students who plan to attend law school, or to work in the many fields where knowledge of the law is a powerful asset.  An understanding of law and justice is valuable for students working in politics, business, the arts, science, technology, and engineering.  The minor offers students hands-on practical opportunities through legal internships, mock trial, moot court, and legal advocacy.

Basic requirements:

  • 18 total credits required, one of which must be POLI 230
  • At least 1 400-level class

Possible Courses:

220 – Constitution and American Democracy, 233 – Common Law & Legal Analysis, 309 – Selected Topics: Criminal Law and Procedure, 315 – Political Theories of Justice, 320 – American Political Thought, 318 – United States Constitutional History, 328 – Women, Gender, and the Law, 334 – Judicial Process, 337 – Comparative Justice, 339 – Advocacy, 352 – Administrative Law, 409 – Selected Topics in Public Law – Mock Trial, 409 – Selected Topics in Public Law – Moot Court, 429 – Selected Topics in American Politics – Baseball, American Politics & the Law (Blake), 429 – Selected Topics in American Politics – Constitutional Significance of the New Deal, 430 – The Law of War, 431 – Spies, Assassins, and Cyber-Warriors – Modern National Security Law, 432 – Civil Rights, 433 – First Amendment Freedoms, 435 – Legal Reasoning, 436 – Health Law , 437 – International Human Rights Law, 438 – Legal Internship, 439 – Selected Topics in Public Law – Refugee and Asylum Law , 439 – Selected Topics in Public Law – Constitutional Conflict in the Age of Trump, 445 – Law, Politics and American Educational Policy, 470 – Politics of Human Rights, 471 – Globalization and Transitional Justice, 482 – International Law


Practical Policy and Politics Minor

The Practical Policy and Politics minor immerses students in study of the theory and practice of American democracy. It aims to enhance students’ capacities as citizens and to prepare them for potential careers in politics, public policy, or public administration and management. Through coursework and opportunities to earn academic credit for an internship, the minor equips students with knowledge about the principles, institutions, processes, and policies of American government and offers chances to develop various professional skills. Students may focus their courses on one particular career field, or may sample from the minor’s wide variety of courses on political communications, behavior, strategy and thought; legislative, executive, judicial and electoral politics; and public policy and administration.

Basic requirements:

  • 18 total credits required
  • No more than 1 lower-level class
  • At least 1 400-level class
  • Experiential learning is required (see below). Any academic credits awarded in relation to that experience DO count toward the 18 credits.

Classes that will count toward the minor:

Any POLI course number ending in the 20s, 40s, or 50s, plus any of the following courses: POLI 100, POLI 205, POLI 230, POLI 304, POLI 310, POLI 315, POLI 334, POLI 412. POLI 209, 309, and 409 “Selected Topics” classes also count, subject to approval of the minor advisors to ensure the specific topic is relevant.

For the experiential learning component: Experiential learning courses are defined as ones that solely or primarily involve students in off-campus internships or service learning or in performing research/projects for real clients. Requirements can be fulfilled with:

  • POLI 448 (policy, politics, and public administration internship), POLI 304 (community research), 3 credits worth of POLI 341 (Legislative Simulation, the Maryland Student Legislature class) and/or 3 credits worth of POLI 384L (Model UN), POLI 409 (Moot Court) or POLI 409 (Mock Trial).
  • POLI 409 (Political Writing) with Dr. Schaller
  • Internships and service-learning experiences associated with other transcript notations (e.g., POLI 438, POLI 401, the Career’s Center internship PRAC, the Shriver Center’s internship PRAC, and other departments’ internships) can also satisfy the requirement, but must be approved by the minor advisor to ensure they are topically relevant.


Political Science Minor (For non-majors ONLY)

The Political Science minor gives students a broad overview of the multi-faceted field of political science.  Students are required to take POLI 100 and 5 POLI electives (one elective must be a 400 level course).