Mar 31, 2023  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, B.A.

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Political Science

   Member of the Division of Social Studies


Barbara Trish


Leif Brottem
Barry Driscoll
Robert Grey - Senior Faculty Status
Doug Hess
Peter Hanson
Danielle Lussier
Wayne Moyer
Gemma Sala
Johanna Solomon
Eliza Willis - Senior Faculty Status

Political science courses focus on how societies make decisions affecting the lives of their citizens. Questions raised by political science include: Who has power, how is it acquired, and how is it used? What produces stability and what produces change in societies? What is political leadership, and what forces shape the relations between leaders and the led? How do societies utilize their governments to deal with basic problems? Political science offers students both a grasp of the various answers provided for these questions and a sophisticated sense of how to choose among these answers.

Since a core of central questions is common to virtually all the department’s courses, students of political science are expected to begin with the introductory course, POL 101 , in which these questions are pointedly raised. This course provides the necessary background for further work in various subfields of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, and international politics.

Political science majors should take statistics and other courses from across the curriculum to enhance their understanding of the politicial world. Appropriate internships, research projects and experiences off campus enrich the major.

Recent graduates in political science have undertaken careers in a number of different fields, including law, journalism, teaching and business. Work in politics and public policy - in government, policy and electoral campaigns, and NGOs - in both domestic and international realms is especially attractive to majors in political science.

Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits

Required are: POL 101  (4 credits) and one course in each of the following areas:

Additional requirements

  • 8 credits must be taken at the 300-level after having completed the appropriate 200-level prerequisite.
  • POL 320  or PST 320  will count toward the 300-level requirement if it is taught by a political scientist and if 200-level prerequisite for the course is met. 
  • Preferably students will complete all of their 200-level work before undertaking 300-level courses. Third or fourth-year status is a prerequisite for the 300-level courses.
  • In addition to the required 32 credits, students are required to take statistics (MAT 115 SST 115 , or MAT 209 
  • With permission, up to eight of the 32 credits may be taken in related studies, at the 200-level or above, outside the department. 

Schedule of Prerequisites:

A given 200-level course can be used as a prerequisite for only one of the two 300-level courses required for the major.


To be considered for honors in political science, graduating seniors, must achieve a G.P.A. of 3.75 in the major and a G.P.A. of 3.6 overall.

Political Science Course Descriptions


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