Feb 03, 2023  
2019 - 2020 Academic Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, B.A.

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Political Science

   Member of the Division of Social Studies


Gemma Sala


Nick Barnes
Leif Brottem
Barry Driscoll
Doug Hess
Peter Hanson
Danielle Lussier
Wayne Moyer
Barbara Trish
Eliza Willis - Senior Faculty Status

The aim of political science is to decipher simplified, systematic and generalizable patterns in political processes.  Our courses address questions regarding:  Who has power, how is it acquired, and how is it used? What produces stability and what produces political change? What is political leadership, what forces shape the relations between leaders and citizens? What are the interests, opportunities and constraints that shape political outcomes?  Political science courses expose students to the leading conversations and findings that answer these questions and provides them with sophisticated reasoning and data analysis skills to assess the strength of those answers and to choose among them.

Since a core of central concepts and theories is common to virtually all the department’s courses, students of political science are required to take  the introductory course, POL 101 , where they will explore not only the themes but also disciplinary approaches to political questions. This course provides the necessary background for further work in various subfields of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, and international relations.  From there, students will develop their own research projects in two different seminars.

Political science majors must take statistics and other courses from across the curriculum to enhance their understanding of the political world from multidisciplinary perspectives. 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, education, academics or  business, but also medicine, engineering or theater.  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 the formal 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 STA 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.

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