Program Structure

The philosophy underlying NYU Abu Dhabi Political Science courses has several distinctive features.

  1. The major has a strong analytical focus, with two required courses that introduce students to statistics and models of political behavior and institutions. These courses provide an introduction to the kinds of tools used by social scientists to conduct a deep analysis of these questions and to test the analysis using quantitative data.
  2. The major offers many substantive courses, wherein these analytical tools are applied to important policy questions of considerable current interest.
  3. The courses in the major include discussions of classic texts that illuminate both the intellectual history and the broader dimensions of these policy questions.
  4. The major offers several courses jointly with programs in Economics, Psychology, and Philosophy, providing students with exciting interdisciplinary opportunities.

Majors in Political Science take two required courses, two principal electives, and four general electives. 

General Elective Areas

  • Methods
  • Political Theory and Institutions
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Politics

In senior year, every student majoring in Political Science takes a two-course sequence of seminars, culminating in the production of a senior thesis in Political Science. During the first semester, students in Senior Seminar 1 develop a research question, construct a research design that allow them to test potential answers to that question, and collect relevant data. During the second semester, in Senior Seminar 2, students implement their proposed research design, analyze the results, and write their senior theses.

Foundations of Social Science

Students come to NYUAD with a great diversity of backgrounds in terms of their grasp of societal development and globalization, with a vision that is often narrowed by regional foci of high school curricula. Foundations of Social Science (FSS) is designed to broaden and amplify students’ understandings of the world and global processes. Required and elective courses in each of the Social Science majors will be able to build on this foundation, thereby fostering intellectual growth. There are four components:

  • intellectual traditions in the social sciences
  • global development in historical perspective
  • quantitative reasoning and numeracy
  • gateway courses into the majors

Beyond their role in the programs, FSS courses are open to all students and will deliver high value to any student curious about the development of societies and social thought; the substance and skills students learn in these courses will be applicable across the liberal arts spectrum. They are designed to foster informed world citizenship.

Earn Credit Toward Your Master of
Public Administration

NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service offers a dual-degree program that enables NYUAD Social Science students to earn the Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Public Administration in less time than it would take to complete the programs separately.

NYUAD students who major in Political Science can accelerate progress on the master's degree during their undergraduate studies. How?

  1. Earn course credits (typically five courses) toward the Wagner MPA.
  2. Choose to get started on 280 hours of field experience required by Wagner.

Interested students usually apply to Wagner during their junior year at NYUAD, and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered.