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Political Science

Bachelor of Arts

This major aims to provide the student with a comprehensive introduction to political science, a discipline that deals with the way human beings organize and govern themselves. Political science is a valuable component of a liberal education because it enhances our understanding of human relations and behavior, how we make decisions, and the factors that influence them.

Power, justice, law, social order and the creations of effective and equitable human relationships are the essential concerns of the discipline. Political science prepares students for graduate study and research; for professional careers in business, law and government; for active participation in local, state and national politics. Because political science enhances our understanding of human relations and behavior, how we make decisions and factors that influence them, it is a valuable component of a liberal arts education.

Upon graduation, students majoring in political science will be able to demonstrate knowledge of critical concepts and information in the subfields of political science, political philosophy and theory, comparative government and international relations, and American government and politics. Knowledge of critical concepts will be assessed in each individual course and by students meeting the subfield course distribution requirements within the major. Students will understand the research process of political science and have the ability to produce quality political science research, identify important research questions, create hypotheses, test hypotheses, apply appropriate methodologies to collected data, and explain how acquired information relates to existing knowledge in the field.

Students will demonstrate development of these skills in research and writing assignments of individual courses and will be formally demonstrated in PSCI 340: Social Science Research Methods. Students will use skills necessary for success in many professions and be able to solve problems logically and systematically, express a position and defend it by identifying evidence, write clear and correct prose and demonstrate critical thinking skills.

Core Courses

MATH 200 - Elementary Statistics
PSCI 101 - American Government
PSCI 243 - State and Local Government
PSCI 284 - Comparative Politics
PSCI 303 - Congress and the Presidency
PSCI 318 - The Elections
PSCI 340 - Social Science Research Methods
PSCI 455 - American Political Thought
WRTG 159 - Contemporary Argument and Research

Additional Program Requirements

The political science major requires at least three electives from the following courses: PSCI 245, 256, 260, 264, 300, 345, 370, 401, 256, 260, 320, 370 or 401.

PSCI 318 is interchangeable with PCI 338; WRTG 159 is interchaneable with WRTG 225.