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    Jul 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

Political Science Major (BA)

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Ten courses are required to complete a Political Science major. Core requirements form a developmental arc and should be taken in order. Great Questions of Modern Politics introduces student to the major. Political Research and Analysis is a prerequisite for the Senior Capstone. Students choose one of three thematic concentrations for elective coursework: public service, law and leadership; political change and advocacy; or regional and international security.

Public Service, Law and Leadership

This concentration prepares students for public service associated with international or domestic affairs. It is also appropriate for students interested in law school or graduate study in public policy or public administration. Students might explore the following topics: theories of leadership and leadership skills; political communication and problem-­solving; power and leadership in political theory; presidential politics; creation and implementation of domestic and international law and public policy, and the like.

Political Change and Advocacy

This concentration prepares students for careers in nonprofit organizations, campaign management, community organizing and/or political lobbying, as students learn about political systems and institutions so that they can become more effective in advocating for change. This track is appropriate for students interested in domestic or international affairs. Students might explore the following topics: creation of persuasive campaigns; political psychology; political messages and elections; dynamics of public opinion; analysis of gender, race, class, and other inequalities. 

International and Regional Security

This concentration focuses mainly on international affairs, although students could choose to emphasize U.S. national security. With this emphasis, students will gain a greater understanding of global security and the roles of international organizations, state and non-­state actors in facilitating stability or inciting conflict. Students might explore the following topics: international and regional security; diplomacy, conflict resolution; globalization; human rights; terrorism and counter terrorism; cyber security; transnational crime, and the like.


Senior Capstone

Choose one of the following:

One Internship Experience in Political Science

This requirement can be fulfilled by completing a political science LEAP course, individual internship, or an internship as part of the Senior Practicum. This may also include study abroad if the program includes an internship or volunteer component.

NOTE: Students who use PSCI 5100 to fulfill both the Capstone and Internship requirements must take an additional 3000-level elective to ensure completion of 10 courses for the major.

Interdisciplinary Experience

Students must complete one course related to politics that is offered by a department outside of Political Science. We recommend that students choose one of the following interdisciplinary courses based on their concentration in the major.

Thematic Concentration

Students must take four Political Science elective courses with at least two at the 3000 ­level or above. Students must choose courses that form a cohesive thematic concentration (options listed below) or students may “build their own” approach in consultation with their major advisor and with approval of the department chair.

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