Economics-political science (major)

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The Economics-political science major is a great major for tryhards and student leaders who think that it makes them look well-rounded for Goldman and Mckinsey. There are people interested not just in Econ or Poli-Sci but rather the interdisciplinary nature of the two topics, but they are in the minority. Studying Econ and Poly-Sci together is one of the best ways to really understand how governments influence the market, and how people apply economic methods of analyses to political structures. Having said that, the major requires a LOT of credits and you should start taking the intro courses during your sophomore year. Look ahead of time at the Poly-Sci seminars offered, because your choice of intro courses will affect your eventual field of concentration and consequently which seminars you are eligible to take as a senior. The seminars are important in that they are one of the few opportunities you will have to learn from a professor in a small class size.

Faculty

Both departments have excellent professors, but both face serious administrative problems when it comes to hiring enough teachers for all the students in these popular majors (profs AND grad students are both in short supply in each department). If you want a lot of individual attention, you will probably not find it until your senior year - if you're lucky.

  • Jack Snyder (teaches seminars)
  • Prof. Lukauskas (teaches US Foreign Economic Policy)
  • Prof. Spruyt (although the intro IR course itself is boring)
  • Prof. Munasinghe (Barnard)
  • Prof. Edmund Phelps (famous but incoherent)

Courses

Finally, try to take the Political Economy lecture BEFORE you take the Political Economy seminar. The coursebook says you have to do this anyway, but they have yet to schedule the lecture in the fall semester - making all seniors in the major take it at the same time as the seminar. If you're interested in Political Economy, go for it - but I would NOT recommend doing this major because you think it might look good on your resume - it's too many credits and not enough small classes to be worth it.

Note: Despite all the credits required, I was still able to spend my junior fall semester studying abroad in Chile. Study abroad IS possible, but be sure to talk to a dean and a member of both departments BEFORE and AFTER going abroad to make sure you get your credits transferred (another ridiculously difficult administrative procedure - hopefully coordination of study abroad will improve by the time it's your turn).

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