Politics (BA)

Department Website

Program Description

A vibrant home for those interested in government and public affairs, the Wilf Family Department of Politics gives students the skills needed to reach a deeper analytical understanding of political events that is grounded in logic and evidence. We encourage a truly scientific inquiry into politics that informs a critical discussion of political institutions and a rigorous approach to effecting positive political change.

We offer courses in political theory, quantitative and formal political analysis, American politics, comparative politics, and international politics. Our curriculum covers a wide range of substantive topics including law, elections, ethnic conflict, justice, economic development, political accountability, war and peacekeeping, public policy, democracy, political economy, strategy, and political attitudes and beliefs. Our faculty specializes in the politics of the United States and countries around the globe. Courses are regularly offered on Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Russia, India, China, and Japan.

The analytical skills gained by politics majors prepare them for a wide range of careers. Our graduates accept positions with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, international finance groups, multinational corporations, law firms, and other institutions. Many pursue further study in fields such as political science, law, and public and international affairs at highly competitive universities.

Honors Program

For admission to and completion of the department’s honors program, students must have a GPA of 3.65 both overall and in the politics major. The deadline for applying to the honors program is March 1 in spring of junior year. To be eligible for application students must have completed (or be currently enrolled in) POL-UA 850 Introduction to Research Methods for Politics, as well as either ECON-UA 1 Introduction to Macroeconomics or ECON-UA 2 Introduction to Microeconomics. Admitted students register for POL-UA 950 Senior Honors I (fall) to prepare a research proposal for their thesis, which they write in the spring while taking POL-UA 951 Senior Honors II. The thesis and its oral defense must be approved by both the instructor teaching Senior Honors II and the second reader of the thesis.

Preparation for Law School

Although law schools do not require any particular major or course of study, politics can be an especially useful field for students planning legal study and a career in law. Students interested in a course of study that prepares them for law school may wish to choose courses in consultation with the College’s Prelaw Program. For information about the program, please visit prelaw.cas.nyu.edu.

BA/MA Program in Politics

The College of Arts and Science and the Graduate School of Arts and Science offer an accelerated dual-degree BA/MA program in politics. Bachelor’s-master’s students who satisfy the track's undergraduate requirements receive a scholarship covering 50% of MA tuition and registration fees during the graduate school year. The GSAS requirement to take the GRE is also waived. This dual-degree program is open only CAS students majoring or minoring in politics or international relations. Applicants must have completed a minimum of 48 credits toward the BA but not more than 96 credits or six semesters, whichever comes first. Questions about eligibility for, or application to, the BA/MA program should be directed to the CAS Advising Center (726 Broadway, 7th floor; 212-998-8130).


New York University's Office of Undergraduate Admissions supports the application process for all undergraduate programs at NYU.  For additional information about undergraduate admissions, including application requirements, see How to Apply