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Department of Government


SPA: Government
Fax: 202-885-2967
Kerwin Hall, Room 230

Graduate Admissions:

Government Programs:

SPA: Government
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8130
CLEG degree header

Interdisciplinary Studies: Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG) (BA)

Offered by the Department of Government, School of Public Affairs, this interdisciplinary major is designed for students who want a breadth of background necessary to participate effectively in decision making for public affairs and the practical training necessary to deal with social problems as public issues.

Admission to the Program

New freshmen and transfer students are admitted through the university's Admissions Office. Students currently enrolled in the university who wish to transfer into the Department of Government or develop a double major or minor should have a grade point average of 2.50 or higher and the approval of the undergraduate academic advisor.

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

  • 57 credit hours with grades of C or better, including at least 18 credit hours at or above the 300-level

Course Requirements

Required (33 credit hours)

Research (3 credit hours)

Complete one course from the following:

CLEG Core (21 credit hours)

Complete 21 additional credit hours, including at least 12 credit hours at or above the 300-level, with one course selected from each of the four categories (communication, legal institutions, economics, and government) and an additional three courses approved by the Department of Government. Courses may not be taken to satisfy multiple core requirements. The list of approved courses is also available in the Department of Government office.


Legal Institutions



Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.

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SPA undergraduate program experience

We offer our students extensive individual attention and a dynamic and rigorous curriculum. We heavily promote our academic side, offering in-depth learning from accomplished faculty, and we also encourage our students to undertake internships and study abroad.

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Program Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of key theories, concepts, and issues surrounding the study of political institutions and processes from the four foci of the major: Communications, Law, Economics, and Government.
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking, written and oral communication skills.
  3. Demonstrate competence in analyzing, interpreting and evaluating. within the realm of public policy.
  4. Apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the major to the practice of actual politics and policy-making.