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International Politics

The International Politics cohort is designed to create a stimulating community of women who wish to pursue intensive study of international affairs and comparative politics while taking advantage of all the offerings of our nation’s capital. The courses satisfy requirements for students in the Elliott School of International Affairs, majors in political science in the Columbian College of Arts and Science as well as general curriculum requirements for other students.

Overview

This year-long living and learning program offers an academically challenging, interactive, and dynamic experience for first year students. The emphasis is on exploring politics in other countries and at the international level. Students reside together in Somers Hall located on the Mount Vernon campus. A graduate teaching assistant lives with students and acts as an on-site academic resource and mentor.

Academic Program

This year-long program emphasizes critical reading and writing skills as well as oral presentation skills which students use in formal presentations and classroom discussions. Students enroll in two academic courses each semester, in addition to the year-long symposium. The Comparative Politics course focuses on political structures and leaders in different countries, such as France, Egypt, and China. The International Relations course focuses on how and why states go to war and when and why they cooperate.

Fall Semester

Course Area Credits
Introduction to Comparative Politics Political Science 3

PSC-001: Introduction to Comparative Politics

The Comparative Politics course is taught by the Program Coordinator for the International Politics cohort. The course involves reading, writing, research, and discussion about key concepts and theories that Political Scientists use to study politics in different countries around the globe. In this course, you will learn about different types of “states” and how different states govern and interact with their societies. You will learn about the formation of institutions and practices. You will study specific countries to see how these states and their institutions have evolved in both positive and negative ways.

WLP Politics Seminar Humanities 3

WLP 20

This course fulfils one Humanities requirement.

A writing-intensive seminar that emphasizes critical reading skills, concepts of disciplinarity, and processes of producing and legitimating knowledge. Each cohort includes a WLP 020 course, and texts and emphasis vary according to the cohort. The course is taught by a member of the WLP University Writing faculty.

Symposium   1

WLP 110 and WLP-111: Symposium

This course does not fulfill an academic requirement, but counts towards the students’ overall earned credit-hours.

Symposium, which takes place once a week, is designed to supplement the academic component of the program with a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities, many of which are exclusive to members of WLP. Symposia fall into two main categories: women’s leadership and discipline-specific exploration.

Each semester includes several shared symposia that include leadership-building workshops, cultural events of cross-disciplinary interest, and guest speakers. These shared events are designed to introduce students to successful women in international politics and a variety of other fields, generate new ideas about different aspects of community and leadership, provide networking opportunities, and encourage students to reflect upon their current and future contributions as a leader.

The second genre of symposia are cohort-specific, geared towards each group’s particular discipline. The Politics cohort explores the rich variety of Washington DC’s politics-related venues and resources. A sampling of events includes:

  • The Pentagon: Tour of the rebuilt section of the building that was bombed on 9/11 and conversations with a female Admiral and a female 3-star General
  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre: No Child… acclaimed one-woman show written and performed by Nilaja Sun about teaching in public schools
  • Library of Congress: Inaugural reading by the U.S. Poet Laureate, Kay Ryan; followed by book signing and reception
  • Inter-American Development Bank: Visit with a group of women executives who talked about their work at the Bank which provides loans to countries in Central and South America
  • Voices of Rwanda: Visit with the founder of a Rwanda-based NGO (non-governmental organization) that records testimonies of genocide survivors on video and film
  • Central Intelligence Agency: Visit from two analysts who have worked at the Agency for close to ten years and have briefed the Presidents’ briefers!
  • West Wring Writers: Visit by Vinca LaFleur, former senior speechwriter in the Clinton White House

Spring Semester

Course Area Credits
Introduction to International Politics Political Science 3

PSC-003: Introduction to International Relations*

*This is the same course as IAFF-005.

The International Relations course is taught by the Program Coordinator for the International Politics cohort. The course involves reading, writing, research, and discussion about key concepts and theories that Political Scientists use to study relations between states and non-state actors, such as international organizations, networks, firms, and transnational movements. Questions this course will address include: What are sources of threats to states? What are sources of cooperation? Under what conditions will states or other actors go to war? Under what conditions will they form alliances or find ways to cooperate?

University Writing 020 Literacy 4

UW 20

This course fulfils one Literacy requirement.

The University Writing Program provides comprehensive writing and research instruction, and is required for all undergraduate students. WLP offers a choice of four topics taught by the program’s University Writing faculty. This course is not cohort-specific – students may select any of the four courses offered.

Symposium   1

WLP 110 and WLP-111: Symposium

This course does not fulfill an academic requirement, but counts towards the students’ overall earned credit-hours.

Symposium, which takes place once a week, is designed to supplement the academic component of the program with a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities, many of which are exclusive to members of WLP. Symposia fall into two main categories: women’s leadership and discipline-specific exploration.

Each semester includes several shared symposia that include leadership-building workshops, cultural events of cross-disciplinary interest, and guest speakers. These shared events are designed to introduce students to successful women in world politics and a variety of other fields, generate new ideas about different aspects of community and leadership, provide networking opportunities, and encourage students to reflect upon their current and future contributions as a leader.

The second genre of symposia are cohort-specific, geared towards each group’s particular discipline. The Politics cohort explores the rich variety of Washington DC’s politics-related venues and resources. A sampling of events includes:

  • The Pentagon: Tour of the rebuilt section of the building that was bombed on 9/11 and conversations with a female Admiral and a female 3-star General
  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre: No Child… acclaimed one-woman show written and performed by Nilaja Sun about teaching in public schools
  • Library of Congress: Inaugural reading by the U.S. Poet Laureate, Kay Ryan; followed by book signing and reception
  • Inter-American Development Bank: Visit with a group of women executives who talked about their work at the Bank which provides loans to countries in Central and South America
  • Voices of Rwanda: Visit with the founder of a Rwanda-based NGO (non-governmental organization) that records testimonies of genocide survivors on video and film
  • Central Intelligence Agency: Visit from two analysts who have worked at the Agency for close to ten years and have briefed the Presidents’ briefers!
  • West Wring Writers: Visit by Vinca LaFleur, former senior speechwriter in the Clinton White House