BA in Political Science
Political science is the systematic study of politics and government and is widely recognized as one of the core disciplines within the liberal arts curriculum. The political science major provides a substantive and analytic preparation that can lead to a variety of professions, giving the students access to a vast array of future careers. For instance, this discipline often serves those with an interest in entering politics and government. Yet, political science majors equally go on to become civic leaders, town managers, city planners, budget specialists, foreign service officers, CIA analysts, FBI agents, policy researchers, and to hold a variety of management positions in local, state, national, and international organizations.
Beyond government, a political science degree leads naturally to graduate training, including law school. Similarly, teaching has been a traditional career for many political science students, who have combined their interest for domestic and international issues with a call to service in the community. Many journalists and broadcasters were political science majors. Business has also recognized the analytic and management skills obtained through training in political science. Other rapidly developing fields such as polling, communications, campaign management, consulting, private and public interest group activity, and data analysis also value a political science degree when making hiring decisions.
A political science degree opens therefore many doors in different professional directions.
The Honors Degree in Political Science
For a B.A. degree in political science with honors, a student must achieve a 3.7 GPA or higher in courses taken in the major.
The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University's Core curriculum) required for the major: 39.
Each major must complete POS 101, POS 104, POS 203, POS 205, and POS 290. Introducing ideas that are fundamental to the discipline, these required courses should be the first priority for students upon entering the major. Students may choose from any of the major's other offerings to fulfill remaining credit hours, with the requirement that at least 12 hours be completed at or above the 300-level. A grade of C- or better is required to receive major credit in the major.
Students interested in an international studies major should consult the International Studies Program section in this catalog.
The major administers an elaborate, carefully structured internship program, open to majors and non-majors alike. Political science majors are especially encouraged to take advantage of the variety of internship opportunities as part of their undergraduate program to help them establish a professional presence in the working community.
The Political Science faculty strongly urges its majors to take courses in economics, history, sociology, and computer science. For a number of majors, courses in geography-anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and communication would also be useful. All political science students are encouraged to undertake at least one year of university-level foreign language study. Additional language study is recommended for those majors with an interest in comparative or international politics and for those considering graduate school.
All students are reminded that, in addition to their meeting departmental requirements for a major leading to a baccalaureate degree, they must also meet the requirements of the school or college involved, as well as the Core curriculum requirements.
Political science courses are normally offered on the following schedule:
- Every semester: POS 101, 104, 203, 205, 290, and internships.
- Yearly: POS 361, 363, 365, 445 and 446
- Approximately once every two years: POS 102, 120, 234, 245, 256, 261, 262, 280, 310, 315, 333, 335, 336, 340, 342, 345, 347, 349, 360, 362, 374, 375, 385, 390, 391, 392, 393, 405, 406, 453, 463, and 464.
European Institutions: The European Union
Research in The European Union
With Study in Brussels and The Hague
May 18-June 2, 2013
POS 406: 3 credits (or 6 credits with instructor's permission)
The course is a great opportunity for USM students and for the general public to get direct access to the European Union institutions in Brussels and other international bodies in The Hague, such as the International Court of Justice for instance, as the best way to understand the complexity of international organizations. Participants will also be able to visit the main NATO headquarters in Brussels and attend presentations by NATO officials on current topics in the news with regards to foreign and military policy. Students will acquire a detailed knowledge of how the many bodies of the EU work together and how the EU itself has developed over timeLearn More