Students in the Department are encouraged to take cognates when such courses are not at the introductory level and have a substantial political content, which is defined as having at least 50% politics content. Students can find relevant cognates in many neighboring departments, including (but not limited to) Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and the School of Public and International Affairs.

The following departmental policies apply to cognates:

  • The Department will maintain a list of up to two cognates for an individual student.
  • Courses taken in the Freshman or Sophomore year cannot be designated as cognates. (With the exception of courses taken outside of Politics that satisfy the analytical requirement, or upper-level courses taken in Economics to fulfill the requirements of the Program in Political Economy.)
  • A cognate must be approved by the last day of classes in the semester in which it is taken (except in Spring semester of senior year, when the deadline is the second Friday of classes).
  • Approved cognates will be used in the departmental honors calculation, and must be taken for a grade.
  • Once a cognate has been approved, it may not be rescinded.
  • Cognates cannot be used to satisfy field distribution requirements.
  • Concentrators may submit a written proposal to the Cognate Approval Advisor by the end of the junior year requesting that three cognates be counted. The proposal must demonstrate how the three cognates relate to one another and form a coherent interdisciplinary program.

NOTE: To seek approval for a cognate, you must complete this form and submit it via email to Prof. Patricia Kirkland prior to or during the semester in which you intend to take the course(s). It is imperative that you also attach a current syllabus. She will inform you of the decision after careful consideration.