The Political Science Students Association is a group of students with an academic and extracurricular interest all things political. We're made up of every political science major on campus, and we welcome any student who is interested to join. The PSSA serves two primary purposes: providing information regarding the Political Science major at Columbia such as advising and clarifying the requirements and hosting events with a focus on the academic analysis of current events, political trends and other subjects of interest featuring Columbia professors. Eleven students hold positions on the PSSA executive board, which is responsible for organizing events, relaying concerns from students to the department, and answering your questions.
Advising events are held at least once a semester with the goal of answering questions of prospective majors or students beginning the political science major. Advising events are a good place to get an explanation of differences between the four different subfields within the major, the requirements of each subfield, and after-graduation possibilities from upperclassmen.
We host a regular series called Profs and Pizza in which we invite a professor to explain his or her topic of research to a small group of students. Profs and Pizza is a great way to get a more intimate academic experience with professors at the top of their fields.
Events part of the Interdisciplinary Panel Series host professors from the political science department and from other departments to discuss a specific topic of interest. Past events have included a discussion of the rise of the Latin American left and the media in the upcoming presidential election.
What is political science at Columbia?
The political science major at Columbia is divided into four subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and International Relations. Each major must pick one main subfield and one minor subfield and must take the corresponding introductory classes to their subfields (except for Political Theory, which has not introductory course). Three elective courses must be taken in the major subfield and two in the minor, in addition to two seminars, one from the major subfield discipline. Four courses are required any related fields such as history, anthropology, economics, and sociology in order to broaden the student's perspective and to apply an academic understanding of politics to other fields. The department also offers a variety of interdisciplinary majors, such as Economics-Political Science, Political Science- Statistics, Political Science-Philosophy, and a premedical concentration in Political Science.