A Very Social Science-y Term
I've bounced around a TON of academic departments at Dartmouth. Religion, biology, English, government, computer science, chemistry – you name it, I've probably at least considered taking a class in it. Now, after many terms of exploration, I'm planning on declaring a major in government modified with economics (the "modified" lingo is roughly equivalent to what other schools might call a concentration or focus). This winter is my first term really focusing on classes in the government and economics departments, so I thought I'd walk you all through my class schedule and experiences so far!
- No. 1
Quantitative Political Analysis
Before classes began, I was not excited for Quantitative Political Analysis, which is required for government majors, because it is essentially statistics, which I have absolutely no background in. However, the class, taught by Professor Brendan Nyhan, has actually been my favorite so far! The subject matter, which combines math and data analysis with my interest in government, is super topical and provides an insight into how many of our assumptions about politics are formed. Despite the virtual format, the class is focused on group work and, because I’ve worked with the same group of four students for the whole term, we’ve all become friends, which is not something I expected during a virtual term.
- No. 2
International Politics is one of the classic introductory government classes at Dartmouth and offers a broad overview of international relations theory. I’m more interested in domestic politics, but the class has still been engaging and accessible, even as someone who didn’t begin with a super strong interest in foreign affairs. Because of the virtual format, we meet in small discussion groups with the professor for one hour every week. Throughout the week, we do readings, usually beginning with theory and concluding with articles that apply the theory to current events. Weekly written response journals also serve as a nice way to process the readings and get direct feedback from my professor.
- No. 3
My third and final class of my sophomore winter is microeconomics, which is also required for the government modified with economics course of study. However, I would still take this class even if it weren’t required because the material, which focuses on individuals’ economic decisions, is so important to understanding how the world works. I, like many of my friends in the class, was intimidated by the class because it is the “bootcamp of the economics department.” However, I’m five weeks into the class and have learned a ton! In my opinion, the best part of this class is how many opportunities I have to absorb the information; each week, there are pre-recorded lectures, live Q & A sessions, problem sets, individual office hours, and opportunities for group work. Because of the many ways the material is presented, I feel I’ve learned a lot and been successful, despite my relatively limited economics and math background.