Political Science

Political Science is, on the one hand, an ancient discipline with roots in Plato and Aristotle, and on the other, it is one of the most recent of the social sciences with roots in the early twentieth century. Political scientists study political institutions, the political behavior of individuals and groups, the formulation of public policy, the relations among states, and also enduring moral issues, such as what is justice and how leaders should be chosen. Political science, by its very nature, blends normative and empirical issues. Questions about democracy, participation, justice and representation have both empirical and evaluative components. The discipline attempts to understand who participates in the political process and, when they do not, what it means for society. A major in Political Science offers the student a front row seat in the analysis of these questions. The principal fields of study in Political Science are political theory, public law, comparative politics, international relations, public administration and American politics. Students may pursue the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a concentration in any of the fields of study. The department also offers Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Political Science degree options in Pre-Law, Global Politics, and Campaigning, Lobby and Policymaking. In addition to the required political science classes, courses numbered 3000 or above from the usual accepted areas of economics, English, foreign languages and literature, geography, history, philosophy, psychology, religion or sociology, and any other upper-division courses are necessary to reach the required hours of the degree option. The minimum GPA is 2.50 with a minimum grade of "C" in all upper-division political science and related upper-division coursework. Additional flexibility in the degree program is offered through internships, and opportunities to work with professors in developing independent study courses in areas where the department may not offer regular coursework. Students may also pursue political science as a second degree, or as a minor to complement other areas of study. In addition to the minor in Political Science, the department also offers minors in Campaigns and Lobbying, Intelligence and Security Analysis, and Law and Legal studies. The required GPA for a minor is 2.50.

The political science major prepares students for a wide range of local, state, national and international careers, in and around government. It also provides preparation for admission to law school; teaching at the secondary level; urban and regional planning; political journalism; the conduct and analysis of foreign policy; and for graduate study in political science. At a more general level, political science has great career versatility for students. While the major does focus on the subject matter of government and politics, it also develops students' skills in critical analysis, written and oral communications, leadership and judgment. Such skills, prepare students for a wide range of options throughout their professional lives.