Feb 22, 2024  
2012-2013 Academic Catalog 
2012-2013 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, B.A.

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Political Science

   Member of the Division of Social Studies


Barb Trish


Robert Grey
Rebecca Hamlin
Cara Jones
Helen Knowles
Danielle Lussier
Wayne Moyer
Gemma Sala
Ira Strauber

Political science courses focus on the processes by which societies make decisions affecting the lives of their citizens. Questions raised by political science include: Who has the 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 the various fields of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, and international politics.

Political science majors should take statistics and courses in related social studies— anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, and sociology. They are encouraged to undertake interdisciplinary study combining social studies with the humanities. Appropriate internships and experience off campus enhance the major. Students will find courses in mathematics valuable to their major program in political science.

Recent graduates in political science have undertaken careers in a number of different fields. Law, government service, teaching, journalism, and social work have proven especially attractive.

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 prerequisite at the 200-level.
  • It is preferred that students complete all of their 200-level work before undertaking 300-level courses, so students should try to reserve 300-level work for third and fourth years.
  • With permission 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. 


* Varying content requires permission from the Department to count this course toward distribution in American Politics.

In addition, eight credits of coursework are to be taken at the 300 level after having completed the prerequisite at the 200 level. It is preferred that students complete all of their 200-level work before undertaking 300-level courses, so students should try to reserve 300-level work for the third and fourth years.

Schedule of Prerequisites:

A 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, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, 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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