Department of Political Science

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Political Science - Related Programs

Political Economy & Public Policy

Our economic system does not operate in a vacuum. The issues we address as a society, such as taxation, environmental protection, regulation of business, and trade policy, are greatly influenced by the political interests of powerful constituencies. A variety of interest groups, including labor unions, businesses, taxpayers, consumers, environmentalists, and retired citizens, attempt to achieve economic ends at least in part by political means.

The Political Economy and Public Policy major emphasizes these interactions between the economic and political systems through course work in both economics and political science. It is excellent preparation for those interested in careers in the public policy arena or those who intend to pursue graduate study in economics, political science, public policy, or the law. Students in this major may not take any courses in economics or political science on a pass-fail basis. To continue as a major, the student must maintain a 2.000 grade point average in all course work in the program. Majors may satisfy the writing intensive course requirement for the major in economics or political science.

Political Philosophy

This interdisciplinary major focuses on American and Western European political philosophy, integrating appropriate political science and philosophy courses to permit a comprehensive examination of the Western state and its functions, justifications, and ideological foundations. Political theory courses are complemented by philosophy courses that examine the basic assumptions that underlie the concept of the state and society in Western history. The major is recommended to pre-law students and students interested in graduate study in this area. Students in this major may not take any courses in philosophy or political science on a pass/fail basis. To continue as a major the student must maintain a 2.000 grade point average in all courses attempted in the program. Majors may satisfy the writing intensive course requirement for the major in philosophy or political science.

Prelaw Program

American Studies Major

The discipline of American Studies is aimed at exploring American society and culture(s) from multiple disciplinary perspectives.  Students are invited to shape their majors by choosing, based on their interests and strengths, among courses in a variety of fields, for example history, literature, political science, anthropology, sociology, art, music, theatre, exonomics, religion, philosophy, communication, and women's studies.

Public Health Interdisciplinary Minor

Public Health is an interdisciplinary minor that focuses on the protection and improvement of health for individuals, communities, and populations at risk for injury and disease. The curriculum extends across the natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences and humanities to educate and empower students about health related issues from varying points of view.

Students who minor in Public Health will gain an understanding of behavioral, economic, historical, political, and social determinants of health, and of the important relationships that statistics and science have on the design of public health interventions. The core class, Issues in Public Health, is designed to introduce students to a wide variety of public health topics including historical perspectives, epidemiological principles and health intervention practices, health promotion and health communication, and global issues of health. The minor offers students flexibility to choose electives appropriate to their interests in public health that also compliment their respective majors.

The minor prepares students for graduate work and professional careers in public health. Students are encouraged to participate in public health related experiences including independent research study, service learning or other experiential learning connected to a course, internships within the community, and community service unconnected to a course.

Africana Studies Minor

The Africana Studies Program is committed to an interdisciplinary inquiry into the actions, events and phenomena that structure the historical and contemporary life experiences of people of African descent living on the African continent and in Black Atlantic societies including the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Latin American Studies Minor

The Latin American and Caribbean Studies minor is an interdisciplinary study of the history, literature, cultures, and languages across this region. The principal goals are to foster a comprehensive understanding of the human experience, an appreciation of the complex past and contemporary issues, and encourage proficiency through the study of language and literature on campus and abroad.

Sustainability Studies