Wright State University 2005-2006Undergraduate Catalog
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Admissions and

Degrees and Areas of

Student Organizations
African and African
  American Studies

Art and Art History
Criminal Justice
English Language and

International Studies
Liberal Studies
Modern Languages
Political Science
Selected Studies
Social Science

Social Work
Sociology and

Theatre, Dance and
  Motion Pictures

Urban Affairs and

Women’s Studies

Political Science

Professors Fitzgerald, Funderburk, Green, Nord, Schlagheck (chair), Thobaben (Emeritus), Walker (Emeritus)
Associate Professors Adams (Emeritus), Anderson, Feldmeier, Luehrmann, Sirkin, Snipe
Assistant Professors Atkinson, Kantha
Instructor Hussain

Students of political science study governments: how they evolve, why they exist, the forms and social functions they assume, why they change, and who controls them. To understand governments, students of political science also study politics: how people behave in their relationship to government, what they do to influence government, and how government attempts to influence people's behavior and beliefs about what it does. Students of politics also must appreciate how cultural, historical, and economic forces affect the evolution of governments and mass political behavior.

The Bachelor of Arts program in political science focuses on three areas of instruction:
  1. American government, including legislative and executive institutions, political parties and interest groups, public administration, public opinion and elections, and state and urban government; and public law, including constitutional law, criminal justice, civil liberties, and environmental law
  2. International relations and comparative politics, including American and post-Soviet foreign policy; European and Latin American governments; Middle East, Russian, and Asian governments; African politics; national security policy; terrorism; international political economy; and developing political systems
  3. Political philosophy, theory, and analysis, including feminist theory, political philosophy, political ideologies, the history of political thought, and political analysis; and quantitative methods of political research

Student Internships and Applied Politics

Internships for political science majors may be arranged with area state legislators, congressional district offices, county prosecutors and public defender offices, Dayton-area metropolitan governments, and governmental and policy advocacy agencies and organizations in Washington, D.C. These internships complement classroom work and give students the chance to apply knowledge and develop valuable interpersonal and career-related skills. The department sponsors student participation on our nationally recognized, award-winning team attending the annual National Model United Nations meeting in New York.

Degree Requirements-Political Science

Bachelor of Arts Degree
See General Education Requirements
General Education Requirements 56

Required Courses:
Area III: PLS 200
Area VI: Any approved Liberal Arts College
Component course
Foreign Language and Research Methods Requirement 24-32

Departmental Requirements 60

Core Requirements 8
Prerequisite: PLS 212, 222
Area Requirements 20
Prerequisite: core requirements
  1. American Government (two courses, eight hours)
  2. International and Comparative Politics (two courses, eight hours)
  3. Political Philosophy, Theory, and Analysis (one course, four hours)
Advanced Department Electives 32
Prerequisite: core requirements
Thirty-two quarter hours, chosen in consultation with a departmental advisor and distributed among 300- and 400-level courses, with no fewer than four hours at the 400 level  
Related Major Requirements from Outside the Department 21-22

There are two options.
Option 1
Option 1 must be completed by all political science majors who do not choose and complete a departmentally approved alternative of at least 21 credit hours.
One English course from among the following:
ENG 240, 330, 333, or 344 3-4
HST 211 and 212 8
EC 204 and 205 8
GEO 201 or 202 4
Option 2
In all cases, Option 2 must have advisor approval and requires at least 21 credit hours. Option 2 may be the international business minor for liberal arts majors, a minor or second major in another field, or a set of courses from another discipline with a clear focus and coherence reflecting the individual's career or other interests. Transfer students from Sinclair Community College may apply LAP credits toward "legal affairs" related requirements. Other transfer credits also may be applied toward completion of the requirement.
Free Electives 22-31

Total (minimum requirement) 192

Minor in Political Science

Students majoring in other fields, particularly other social sciences, may benefit from a minor in political science. The minor is especially helpful to students in journalism, business students interested in international business and finance, students in education, and anyone pursuing a career where a basic understanding of political institutions and processes would strengthen other program interests. Completion of the approved minor is certified on students' official transcript upon graduation. The minor may be fulfilled by completing the following requirements.

Political Science Minor Requirements 36

Core Requirements 12
Prerequisite: PLS 200, 212, 222
Area Requirements 12
Prerequisite: Core Requirements
  1. American Government (one course, four hours)
  2. International and Comparative Politics (one course, four hours)
  3. Political Philosophy, Theory, and Analysis (one course, four hours)
Advanced Political Science Electives
Twelve hours, distributed among 300- and 400-level courses chosen in consultation with a departmental advisor

Departmental Honors

Majors in political science may earn departmental honors by completing the following requirements:
  1. Achieving a minimum GPA of 3.4 in all political science course work and in overall course work
  2. Attaining senior standing
  3. Completing the Model United Nations Seminar or a comparable limited enrollment advanced course with a grade of A or B (see the department chair for more information), or

By completing these requirements and the eight-course Honors Program requirement, majors may earn the designation "University Honors Scholar" upon graduation. Interested students should contact the University Honors Program for more information.

National Honor Society

Majors in political science may become eligible for membership in Theta Zeta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Interested students should see the department chair for more information.
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