American Politics is the study of U.S. political institutions, processes, and behavior. Americanists study elections, Supreme Court decisions, social movements, Congressional politics, interest groups, political parties, federalism, state and local politics, public policy, and related topics.
Comparative Politics is the study of politics and policy around the world. Comparativists study democratization and dictatorship, revolution, ethnic and religious politics, political violence, individual and group rights, political parties and elections, economic development, and related themes.
International Relations is the study of interactions among sovereign states and other actors in the international arena. People who study international relations study diplomacy, trade, war, international law and international organizations (e.g., the United Nations), and so forth.
Political Theory and Public Law focuses on the theoretical and philosophical questions raised by the ways human beings wield power and seek justice. Political theorists also study basic questions pertaining to freedom, rights and liberties, legitimacy, the appropriate boundaries of law, and so on.
Many courses, and the interests of most faculty members, span subfield divisions. Students are invited to identify topics or puzzles of interest to them, and then to pursue those topics or puzzles across subfields—and, indeed, across academic departments and programs.