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:
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
International relations and comparative politics, including American foreign policy, European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Russian, African, and Asian politics; national security policy, terrorism, human rights, and developing political systems;
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
Program Learning Outcomes:
- Be effective writers
- Be able to produce analytical work on both domestic and international political issues
Majors in political science may earn departmental honors by completing the following requirements:
Achieving a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all political science course work and 3.0 in cumulative, overall course work,
Attaining senior standing,
Completing an honors project (20 page minimum) associated with a 4000-level course in political science with a grade of A or B (interested students should contact the chair of the School of Public and International Affairsr for more information).
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.
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