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Political Science

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 sub-fields 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 sub-fields 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 15 credits.

Graduation Requirements

Students must satisfy the Placement, Proficiency, Orientation and Core Curriculum criteria outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of this bulletin.

Core curriculum requirements for this major are summarized below:
Core Seminar 3 credits
English Composition 3 credits
English Literature 6 credits
Philosophy 6 credits
Foreign Language 6 credits
Social Sciences
History 6 credits
Social Sciences (ANT, ECO, POL, PSY, SOC) 6 credits
Science and Mathematics
Mathematics 3 - 4 credits
Science (BIO, CHM, PHY) 10 credits
Communication, Visual & Performing Arts
Speech 3 credits
Visual & Performing Arts (ART, DNC, MUS, THE) 3 credits
Distribution Requirement
To satisfy this requirement, majors must complete two courses numbered 100 or above in one of the following subjects: Economics, History, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology.

Major Requirements - 30 credits
The following one (1) course is required:
POL 11 Power and Politics 3.00
One (1) Course from the following:
POL 150 World Politics 3.00
POL 151 American Foreign Policy 3.00
One (1) Course from the following:
POL 170 Classical Political Theory 3.00
POL 171 Modern Political Theory 3.00
The following one (1) course is required:
POL 185 Seminar: Political Inquiry 3.00
Additional Requirements:
  • One (1) course required from American Institutions and Political Practices: POL 129-149
  • One (1) course required from International Relations-Foreign Policy: POL 152-159
  • One (1) course required from Foreign Political Systems Comparative Politics: POL 160-169
  • Students are encouraged to take additional theory courses from POL 170 -179
  • One (1) course from the Social Science (SSC) 223, 224 Capstone Series is required in the Senior year.