2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science Minor

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Political Science Overview

Why are some governments stable and others unstable? How do formal government institutions and informal political resources affect the ability of leaders to govern effectively? What factors cause wars or contribute to a peaceful resolution of conflicts? How do public policies affect citizens’ lives and how can citizens affect those policies? In what ways do differences in the social characteristics of people, such as their race, religion, gender, or ethnic background, affect their political attitudes and behavior? And most important, who gets to decide who will decide these and other matters when conflicts over them arise? The department offers courses that address these questions and others-in international relations, American politics and comparative politics. The curriculum provides theories and concepts, relevant information and tools for investigation for students to develop their own answers.

For more information, please see the Political Science Department’s website.

Internships and Study Abroad

Internships with local, state and federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, elected political officials, public-interest groups, and law firms can earn students Political Science major credit. Study abroad may also fulfill major requirements. To receive Political Science major or minor credit, a student must be supervised by their faculty adviser or another faculty member in the department.

Nonmajor Concentration and Minors

Certain fields of study can be taken as concentrations or minors in addition to and complementary to the Political Science major. Some concentration and minor requirements may also fulfill political science major requirements. (See specific catalog sections on these concentrations and minors.)

Student Handbook

The Political Science department publishes a handbook, which has a more extensive description of major requirements, programs, courses and faculty, as well as other information relevant to the major. This information can be found online on the department home page or a hard copy can be picked up in the Political Science department office, Jefferson 302.

Minor Requirements

The political science minor requires a minimum of six courses within the department. One must be an introductory course (PSCI 050, PSCI 069 or PSCI 070); one must be either in political theory (PSCI 155, PSCI 178, PSCI 203, PSCI 206, PSCI 207, PSCI 260 or in research methods (PSCI 107)); and four others can be in any assortment of subfield areas (including two at the 200 level). An internship supervised by a political science faculty member, as well as approved political-science courses taken as part of an accredited study-abroad program, may count toward the minor.

Political Science Faculty

Robert Boatright, Ph.D.
Michael Butler, Ph.D.
Paul W. Posner, Ph.D.
Heather Silber Mohamed, Ph.D.
Suzanne Scoggins, Ph.D.
Srinivasan Sitaraman, Ph.D.
Valerie Sperling, Ph.D.
Ora Szekely, Ph.D.
Kristen Williams, Ph.D.

Political Science Courses

Courses offered within the last 2 Academic Years


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