B.A. in Political Science
The American Political Science Association has developed a broad description of the discipline. “Political Science,” it says, “is the study of governments, public policies and political processes, systems, and political behavior.” The profession’s subfields include American politics, political philosophy, comparative politics, international relations and a host of related fields such as policy studies, political geography, political economy, and studies of particular countries or geographic areas. Political scientists use a variety of approaches to examine the process, systems and political dynamics of all countries and regions of the world.
Students majoring in political science must complete a 30-credit course of study. Several required courses introduce students to the discipline’s traditional subfields and to different methods of analysis. There is also considerable room for student choice within the major, and the department offers ample opportunities for independent study, honors theses and internships. Students also may earn a minor in the discipline with 12 credits.
About the Field
Students with expertise in the study of politics are always in great demand. Government, law, politics, business, journalism, non-profit organizations and education are broad areas of employment for political science students. Political science is a favorite major for prospective lawyers, and it leads to careers in teaching, journalism and government service. Large corporations are always looking for employees with expertise in the analysis of public affairs, and organizations as different as charities, foundations, the armed forces, non-profits and police departments are eager to hire political science majors. A major in political science also can lead to careers as lobbyists, pollsters and commentators to college professors, activists and consultants. The American Political Science Association publishes a guide to employment called “Careers and the Study of Political Science: A Guide for Undergraduates,” which the Department makes available to all interested students.