Government and Legal Studies majors may be unable to take 3000-level seminars in the spring semester, due to several department faculty who will be on sabbatical. Options for the seminar—a course required for the major—will be particularly limited for students concentrating in international relations, according Chair of Government and Legal Studies Department Michael Franz in an email sent to all junior and senior majors on Sunday.

“We have known that this particular year would be a bit of a challenge with our courses,” Franz said. “[When] faculty will go on leave, we replace those faculty with sabbatical replacements, but we traditionally don’t ask the sabbatical replacements to teach advanced seminars.” 

According to Franz, the department will give priority in seminars to seniors. All government majors must take a senior seminar, which are limited to 15 students, either during their junior or senior year.

The limited number of spots will most likely affect juniors; however, Franz said this is not a huge cause of concern since those students can take the seminars their senior spring. 

The department did not offer any senior seminars this semester, which is typical as many government professors instead teach first year seminars. Franz said that the department may offer a few senior seminars next fall so that some current juniors don’t have to take their senior seminar during their final semester at the College.

Connor Rooney ’18 is a government major planning to concentrate in American government. He noted that the limits were a source of stress among his peers.

“I think in general it’s going to create more tension, [for] people deciding what they want to do,” he said. “I think it affects all [government] majors, not just [international relations] students.” 

Government and legal studies is the most popular department at Bowdoin, with about 200 junior and senior declared majors. Over half of government majors choose to concentrate in  international relations, Franz said. 

To earn a government and legal studies major, a student must take four classes (including a senior seminar) in one of four concentrations: American government, comparative government, international relations or political theory.