Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Concentration

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: PP-BA-GVIP-PPE

The BA in Government and International Politics teaches students to critically examine political issues, prominent actors, and processes in government, foreign policy, and international affairs. The government and international politics program:

  • Equips students with expertise in international relations, political analysis, public service, law, campaigns, or research.
  • Prepares students for leadership roles in government, nonprofits, or private businesses in the U.S. and around the world.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly qualified students majoring in Government and International Politics and Public Administration may pursue advanced work leading to graduation with honors in the major. Those students selected for participation in this program take a two-course sequence: GOVT 491 Honors Seminar (Mason Core) and GOVT 496 Directed Readings and Research. To graduate with honors in the major, students must complete these courses with a minimum GPA of 3.50.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students pursuing a BA in Government and International Politics and wishing to narrow their focus may choose to concentrate in one of eight government fields or complete a higher credit concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

BA with or without Government Concentration

Core Courses
GOVT 101 Democratic Theory and Practice (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 103 Introduction to American Government (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 132 Introduction to International Politics (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 133 Introduction to Comparative Politics (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 300 Research Methods and Analysis (Mason Core) 4
Senior Seminar
Select one seminar from the following: 3
GOVT 490
Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core)
GOVT 491
Honors Seminar (Mason Core) 1
Total Credits 19
1

This option is for students who have been accepted to pursue honors in the major.

Government Field Study

Select any eight advanced government field courses (GOVT 301-GOVT 499), with or without a government concentration. 24
Total Credits 24

Students may complete a government concentration (four courses) in one field, then complete any four more advanced government field courses to satisfy this requirement. Students who do not pursue a government concentration may choose 24 credits from the advanced government field courses listed below (with restriction) for a broader learning experience.

Up to three credits of GOVT 480 Internship may be used to fulfill the field course requirement. Up to six credits of GOVT 398 Study Abroad, GOVT 399 Research Practicum, and GOVT 496 Directed Readings and Research may be used to fulfill this requirement. GOVT 490 Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core) or GOVT 491 Honors Seminar (Mason Core) may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Concentrations

  • Concentration in American Institutions and Processes (AMIP)
  • Concentration in Comparative Politics (CPOL)
  • Concentration in International Political Economy (IPE)
  • Concentration in International Relations (INTR)
  • Concentration in Law, Philosophy and Governance (LPGV)
  • Concentration in Political Analysis (PA)
  • Concentration in Political Behavior and Identity Politics (PBIP)
  • Concentration in Public Policy and Administration (PPA)
  • Individualized Concentration (IND)
  • Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)
Select 0-12 credits in any one concentration 0-12
Total Credits 0-12

Students may partially satisfy the field study requirement by completing four courses (minimum 12 credits) in any one approved concentration.

Concentration in American Institutions and Processes (AMIP)

GOVT 301 Public Law and the Judicial Process 3
GOVT 304 American State and Local Government 3
GOVT 305 Contemporary American Federalism 3
GOVT 307 Legislative Behavior 3
GOVT 308 The American Presidency 3
GOVT 311 Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior 3
GOVT 319 Issues in Government and Politics 1-3
GOVT 344 American Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 357 Urban Planning 3
GOVT 364 Public Policy Making 3
GOVT 400 Issues in Political Analysis 1-3
GOVT 409 Virginia Government and Politics 3
GOVT 422 Constitutional Interpretation 3
GOVT 423 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties 3

Concentration in Comparative Politics (CPOL)

GOVT 331 Politics of Latin America 3
GOVT 332 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Politics of East Asia 3
GOVT 334 Politics of Europe 3
GOVT 337 Ethnic Politics in Western Europe and North America 3
GOVT 338 Politics of Eurasia 3
GOVT 339 Issues in the Politics of Advanced Industrial Societies 1-3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 342 Diplomacy 3
GOVT 344 American Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 430 Comparative Political Leadership 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
GOVT 434 Democracy in Global Perspective 3
GOVT 443 Law and Ethics of War 3
GOVT 444 Issues in International Studies 1-3
GOVT 445 Human Rights 3
GOVT 447 Revolution and International Politics 3
GOVT 448 Ethics and International Politics 3

Concentration in International Political Economy (IPE)

GOVT 322 International Relations Theory 3
GOVT 339 Issues in the Politics of Advanced Industrial Societies 1-3
GOVT 343 International Political Economy 3
GOVT 366 Public Policy Analysis 3
GOVT 367 Money, Markets and Economic Policy (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 368 Tools for Economic Policy Analysis 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
GOVT 444 Issues in International Studies 1-3
GOVT 446 International Law and Organization 3
GOVT 469 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 3
ECON 385 International Economic Policy 3

Concentration in International Relations (INTR)

GOVT 322 International Relations Theory 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 342 Diplomacy 3
GOVT 344 American Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 346 American Security Policy 3
GOVT 347 International Security 3
GOVT 443 Law and Ethics of War 3
GOVT 444 Issues in International Studies 1-3
GOVT 445 Human Rights 3
GOVT 446 International Law and Organization 3
GOVT 447 Revolution and International Politics 3
GOVT 448 Ethics and International Politics 3

Concentration in Law, Philosophy and Governance (LPGV)

GOVT 301 Public Law and the Judicial Process 3
GOVT 307 Legislative Behavior 3
GOVT 322 International Relations Theory 3
GOVT 323 Classical Western Political Theory 3
GOVT 324 Modern Western Political Theory 3
GOVT 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 3
GOVT 329 Issues in Political Theories and Values 1-3
GOVT 334 Politics of Europe 3
GOVT 352 Responsible Innovation 3
GOVT 407 Law and Society 3
GOVT 420 American Political Thought 3
GOVT 422 Constitutional Interpretation 3
GOVT 423 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties 3
GOVT 427 Feminist Political Thought 3
GOVT 428 Advanced Democratic Theory 3
GOVT 443 Law and Ethics of War 3
GOVT 445 Human Rights 3
GOVT 446 International Law and Organization 3
GOVT 448 Ethics and International Politics 3
GOVT 452 Administrative Law and Procedures 3
GOVT 460 Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society 3
GOVT 461 Governance in Space 3
GOVT 469 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 3

Concentration in Political Analysis (PA)

GOVT 307 Legislative Behavior 3
GOVT 343 International Political Economy 3
GOVT 356 Public Budgeting and Finance 3
GOVT 357 Urban Planning 3
GOVT 358 Nonprofit Financial Planning 4
GOVT 366 Public Policy Analysis 3
GOVT 367 Money, Markets and Economic Policy (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 368 Tools for Economic Policy Analysis 3
GOVT 400 Issues in Political Analysis 1-3
GOVT 426 Political Theory of Autonomous Algorithms 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
GOVT 469 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 3
STAT 350 Introductory Statistics II 3
Any 400-level STAT course

Concentration in Political Behavior and Identity Politics (PBIP)

GOVT 311 Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior 3
GOVT 312 Political Parties and Campaigns 3
GOVT 313 Political Psychology 3
GOVT 318 Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process 3
GOVT 319 Issues in Government and Politics 1-3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 400 Issues in Political Analysis 1-3
GOVT 412 Politics and the Mass Media 3
GOVT 414 Politics of Race and Gender 3
GOVT 423 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties 3

Concentration in Public Policy and Administration (PPA)

GOVT 304 American State and Local Government 3
GOVT 329 Issues in Political Theories and Values 1-3
GOVT 351 Administration in the Political System 3
GOVT 354 Nonprofit Sector in Society 3
GOVT 355 Public Personnel Administration 3
GOVT 356 Public Budgeting and Finance 3
GOVT 357 Urban Planning 3
GOVT 358 Nonprofit Financial Planning 4
GOVT 361 Introduction to Environmental Policy 3
GOVT 362 Intermediate Environmental Policy 3
GOVT 363 Science and Technology Institutions/Policy 3
GOVT 364 Public Policy Making 3
GOVT 366 Public Policy Analysis 3
GOVT 367 Money, Markets and Economic Policy (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 368 Tools for Economic Policy Analysis 3
GOVT 369 Cybersecurity Policy 3
GOVT 400 Issues in Political Analysis 1-3
GOVT 452 Administrative Law and Procedures 3
GOVT 460 Surveillance and Privacy in Contemporary Society 3
GOVT 462 Public Interest Technology 3
GOVT 464 Issues in Public Policy and Administration 1-3
GOVT 467 How Washington Really Works 3
GOVT 469 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 3

Individualized Concentration (IND)

Create your own concentration consisting of four upper level courses with Director approval. A minimum of two courses in this concentration must be GOVT.

BA with Concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) 

This is a high credit concentration for students interested in a program that explores the interdisciplinary connections between philosophy, politics, and economics. 

Required Courses for Politics 
GOVT 101 Democratic Theory and Practice (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 103 Introduction to American Government (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 132 Introduction to International Politics (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 133 Introduction to Comparative Politics (Mason Core) 3
GOVT 300 Research Methods and Analysis (Mason Core) 4
Total Credits 16
Senior Seminar
Select one from the following: 3
GOVT 490
Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core)
GOVT 491
Honors Seminar (Mason Core) 1
Total Credits 3
1

This option is for students who have been accepted to pursue honors in the major.

Electives with Concentration
Select one from the following: 3
GOVT 301
Public Law and the Judicial Process
GOVT 307
Legislative Behavior
GOVT 308
The American Presidency
GOVT 312
Political Parties and Campaigns
GOVT 318
Interest Groups, Lobbying, and the Political Process
GOVT 323
Classical Western Political Theory
GOVT 331
Politics of Latin America
GOVT 332
Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
GOVT 333
Politics of East Asia
GOVT 334
Politics of Europe
GOVT 338
Politics of Eurasia
GOVT 345
Islam and Politics
GOVT 361
Introduction to Environmental Policy
GOVT 364
Public Policy Making
GOVT 366
Public Policy Analysis
GOVT 367
Money, Markets and Economic Policy (Mason Core)
GOVT 422
Constitutional Interpretation
GOVT 423
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
GOVT 443
Law and Ethics of War
Culminating
GOVT 467 How Washington Really Works 3
Total Credits 6
Economics
Foundational
ECON 103 Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
ECON 104 Contemporary Macroeconomic Principles (Mason Core) 3
Electives
Select one from the following: 3
Intermediate Microeconomics
Managerial Economics and Strategy
Economic Problems and Public Policies
Money and Banking
Intermediate Macroeconomics
Economics of Labor
Public Finance
Introduction to Econometrics
Economics of Developing Areas (Mason Core)
Topics in Economic History (Mason Core)
International Economics
Austrian Economics
Public Choice
Game Theory and Economics of Institutions
Design and Analysis of Experiments
The Development of Economic Thought
Smithian Political Economy I (Mason Core)
Smithian Political Economy II
Culminating
ECON 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics 3
Total Credits 12
Philosophy
Foundational
Select one from the following: 3
GOVT/PHIL 324
Modern Western Political Theory
GOVT/PHIL 327
Contemporary Western Political Theory
Electives
Select two from the following: 6
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Ethics and Economics
Culminating
PHIL 353 Theories of Justice 3
Total Credits 12

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors. Students majoring in government and international politics may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing GOVT 490 Synthesis Seminar (Mason Core) or GOVT 491 Honors Seminar (Mason Core) in their major programs.

Schar Requirements in Addition to Mason Core Below

One course in Philosophy or Religion
One additional course in Social and Behavioral Sciences
One course in Non-Western Culture
Proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate level

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Students who have completed the following credentials are eligible for a waiver of the Foundation and Exploration (lower level) requirement categories. The Integration category (upper level) is not waived under this policy. See Admissions for more information. 

  • VCCS Uniform Certificate of General Studies
  • VCCS or Richard Bland Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Arts and Sciences (A.A.&S.), or Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.)
Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (lower-level) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements
Arts 3
Global Contexts 3
Global History 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Just Societies (optional) 1
Integration Requirements
Written Communication (upper-level) 3
Writing Intensive 2 3
Mason Apex 3 3
Total Credits 40
1

In addition to covering content related to the designated category, Exploration level courses marked with a Just Societies "flag" are specifically designed to help students learn how to interact effectively with others from all walks of life, including those with backgrounds and beliefs that differ from their own. Courses marked with the Just Societies flag are available for students starting in Fall 2024. Students admitted prior to the Fall of 2025 are not required to take courses with a Just Societies flag but may wish to do so to increase their knowledge and skills in this important area. Students interested in this approach to completing their Mason Core Exploration Requirements should work closely wiht their advisor to identify the appropriate Just Societies-flagged courses.

2

Most programs include the writing-intensive course designated for the major as part of the major requirements; this course is therefore not counted towards the total required for Mason Core.

3

Minimum 3 credits required.