American Politics Breadcrumb academics academic departments social sciences american politics American Politics Major The American politics (AP) program uses political science tools to analyze and understand the American system of government, with the goal of explaining political outcomes. The program traces the founding and evolution of our American political institutions, emphasizing how philosophical principles influenced the structure and behavior of the nation's governing apparatus. Cadets taking our classes receive instruction in political science methods, enabling them to identify and critique methodological approaches to answering political science questions and select an appropriate method of answering their own research questions. From this intellectual foundation, students are afforded an opportunity to study contemporary topics in public policy in depth and explain outcomes based on the actions of formal and informal political actors. As a program focused on educating future Army leaders, the American politics program also emphasizes the role of the U.S. military in society, its constitutional roles and responsibilities, and the shifting tenor of civil-military relations across time and levels of policy implementation. American politics majors develop a deep understanding of their roles as both a military officer and a citizen by exploring political institutions, societal dynamics, public policymaking, and national security strategy. The AP program provides future officers with the strategic, political, cultural, and policymaking knowledge that Army leaders at all levels, from platoon leader to theater commander, need to succeed on the contemporary battlefield. To graduate as an American politics major, cadets are required to take 13 elective courses in the major as well as 27 courses in the core. With a large pool of elective options, American politics majors have a lot of flexibility in charting their academic journeys to match their unique interests. To learn more about the program, contact the AP Department Academic Counselor! Are you a current cadet thinking about majoring in American Politics? Fill out an interest form here! Program Director: Dr. Hugh Liebert Required Tool Box Courses All American politics majors are required to take five tool box courses. These classes provide the foundational skills you will use over the course of your academic journey in American politics. SS360: Research Methods- sophomore (yearling) year SS386: Political Thought - sophomore (yearling) / junior (cow) year SS379: American Political Development - sophomore (yearling) / junior (cow) year SS366: Comparative Politics - junior (cow) / senior (firstie) year SS480: Public Policymaking - senior (firstie) year American Politics Electives American Politics majors choose four American politics electives from the below list of options. These electives are normally taken in the cadet's junior (cow) and senior (firstie) years. SS370: Mass Media and American Politics SS373: The American Presidency SS379: Legislative Politics SS392: The Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality SS464: Homeland Security SS465: Terrorism: New Challenges SS466: Advanced Terrorism Studies SS468: Political Participation SS472: The Soldier and the State SS473: American Foreign Policy SS481: The Politics of Defense Policy SS490A: Colloquium in American Politics* SS493: Senior Studies in American Politics* *SS490A and SS493 explore special topics in American politics and vary annually. Recent special topics classes have included “Music and Influence,” “African American Political Thought,” “Politics and the Internet,” and “Economics for Policymakers.” Check with the American Politics DAC about future offerings! International Affairs Elective Cadets take one international affairs elective. This is normally taken in the cadet's junior (cow) or senior (firstie) year. Possible options include the following: SS372: Politics and Government of China SS375: Government and Politics of Russia and Neighbors SS457: Introduction to Grand Strategy SS476: Conflict and Negotiation SS483: National Security Seminar SS487: International Political Economy And many more! Check the USMA Redbook for the most current list of international affairs electives. Complementary Support Courses AP cadets also choose three Complementary Support Courses (CSCs) in order to develop their academic breadth outside of the field of political science. These classes are normally taken in a cadet's Cow or Firstie year. Options include courses in the field of Economics, Psychology, Management, History, English, Geography, Law, and Mathematics, among others. For a list of possible CSC courses, please check the American Politics Major entry in the Redbook. Courses not in the list of CSCs in the Redbook may still qualify for credit. Consult the American Politics DAC for more details. Are you interested in learning more about American Politics (AP)? Check out our links below for more detailed information on what it’s like to study American politics: Highlight Courses: Read about some of our highlighted electives in the major. Sample Schedules: Interested in the major but not sure how to build your academic program? Take a look here for some ideas on what electives might match your interests! Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Answers to common questions and issues like semester abroad opportunities, minoring in other fields, etc. American Foundations Minor: Learn more about our exciting new minor! Return to the Department of Social Sciences Page: Learn about other offerings in the SOSH Department!