The Department of Political Science currently houses the following:
Majors and Minors in Political Science and the International Studies Program . The graduate program in the department is the M.A. in International and Comparative Politics.
About the Major
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, 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.
Political Science is one of the largest programs in the College of Liberal Arts. After completing core courses in American Government, Political Life and International Relations, students choose their direction by selecting advanced courses in a variety of areas, including American politics, public law, international relations and comparative government. We have recently added faculty teaching in the areas of African Politics, Gender Violence, African-American Politics and South Asia Politics.
The Bachelor of Arts program in political science focuses on four areas of instruction:
- American government, including legislative and executive institutions, political parties and interest groups, public administration, public opinion and elections, and state and urban government;
- public law, including constitutional law, criminal justice, civil liberties, and environmental law;
- International relations and comparative politics, including American foreign policy; European and Latin American governments; the Middle East, Russian, and Asian governments; African politics; national security policy; terrorism; and developing political systems;
- political philosophy, political ideologies, the history of political thought, political theory, and political analysis; and quantitative methods of political research.
To view the checksheet for a Major: PLS Major Checksheet
About the Minor
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.
To view the checksheet for a Minor: PLS Minor Checksheet