Minor in Political Theory

Effective:  Fall Semester, 2012

The Minor in Political Theory engages students in systematic study of the philosophical underpinnings of our political world. Political theory is a field that engages students in the history of political thought and attempts to answer the question, “What do we want our political world to be?” In total, the courses offer an historical survey of the core ideas in political theory from Greek and Roman antiquity through to the present day. Students grapple with the contested meaning of foundational political concepts such as justice, democracy, inclusion, power, and legitimacy. Students also reflect upon and assess the worthiness of contemporary political systems, including their own, by examining competing conceptions of various ideal arrangements proposed by political philosophers over the millennia. Lastly, students examine the impact of political ideas upon monumental events in American political history and Western civilization generally.

In sum, students will learn to think critically about the ideas and philosophies that have shaped, and will continue to guide, contemporary political systems, gain the intellectual tools to become more informed and engaged democratic citizens, and it is hoped, more thoughtful and considerate human beings.

Overview of Degree RequirementsMinimum number of credits required to earn minor: 18

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to earn minor: 2.00

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward minor:  C

Residency Requirement:  A minimum of  9 Credit Hours must be completed at the University of Maine


Courses for Credit Toward the Minor in Political Theory

POS 201: Introduction to Political Theory (This course is normally the prerequisite for 300-400 level courses, but may be waived with permission of the instructor; without POS 201, the only prerequisite for the upper-level political theory courses is Junior/Senior status.)

POS 301: Classical Political Thought

POS 302: Medieval Political Thought

POS 303: Early Modern Political Thought

POS 304: American Political Thought

POS 305: Late Modern Political Thought

POS 306: Crafting the American Constitution

POS 307: Democratic Theory

POS 309: Topics in Political Theory

POS 355: Music and Politics in the American Context

POS 401: Seminar in Political Theory

POS 493, POS 495, or POS 496 American Politics Internship, Congressional Internship, or International Affairs Internship.  Choose no more than 3 pre-approved Internship credits.

POS 499: Senior Seminar in Political Science (sections with theory focus only)