Students of political science study governments: how they evolve, why they exist, the forms and social functions they assume, why they change, and who controls them. To understand governments, students of political science also study politics: how people behave in their relationship to government, what they do to influence government, how government attempts to influence people's behavior and beliefs about what it does. Students of politics also must appreciate how cultural, historical, and economic forces affect the evolution of governments and mass political behavior.
Political Science is one of the largest programs in the College of Liberal Arts. After completing core courses in American Government, Political Life and International Relations, students choose their direction by selecting advanced courses in a variety of areas, including American politics, public law, international relations, and comparative government.
The Bachelor of Arts program in political science focuses on three areas of instruction:
- Area 1 – American Government and Politics
American government, including legislative and executive institutions, political parties and interest groups, public administration, public opinion and elections, and state and urban government; African-American Politics, Black Women in Politics, Human Rights in USA, Gender Violence, Civil Rights Struggles & Politics & the Media; Campaign internships are recommended.
- Area 2 – International and Comparative Politics
International relations and comparative politics, including American foreign policy; Politics of Europe; Latin American governments; Contemporary Brazil; the Middle East, Contemporary African Politics, South Asia Politics, Chinese Foreign Policy; U.S.-India-Pak-Afghan Politics, national security policy; terrorism; developing political systems; Soviet Successor States; Politics of Intelligence, International Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy & Negotiations, Politics of Nationalism & Gender Violence in International Politics; Model UN is recommended.
- Area 3 – Public Law and Political Theory
Public law, including constitutional law, criminal justice, civil liberties, and environmental law and international law; law & society, Supreme Court in American Politics, Supreme Court & legal judging;
Political ideologies, the history of political thought, political theory, and political analysis; and quantitative methods of political research, political psychology, Sex & the Law, Moot Court, Politics & Ethics, Bioethics & Law, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Justice System, Advanced Criminal Investigation. Pre-law internships are recommended.
View Political Science Major program information and degree requirements in the University Catalog.