Overview

What do Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Peter Wentz, Elisabeth Shue, Rachel Maddow, Mia Hamm, Aisha Tyler and Rebecca Lobo all have in common? They studied political science.

The political science minor is a useful addition to any program of study for students wanting a better understanding of political processes and current events. What is political science? It is a study in liberal arts which incorporates a variety of areas such as history, religion, English, writing, philosophy and ethics. The study of political science is, at its most basic, concerned with the ways in which politics and power coincide, overlap and transform. While many people assume that political science is primarily concerned with governments, it can also address corporations, nonprofits, social groups and even individuals.

Minor

A minimum of 18 credit hours is required for the political science minor.

Required Courses

12 credit hours required; All courses listed.

GO 115 Science of Politics
Campus | 3 Credits
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Introduces the study of political science, demonstrating those aspects of human behavior which the political scientist examines and the research tools employed. Explores the nature and purpose of politics, and patterns of authority, citizenship and political change. The goal is a solid theoretical framework for use in studying both American institutions and processes and other political systems in the world today. As needed.

Campus 3 Credits
GO 215 American Federal System
Campus | 3 Credits
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Surveys the United States federal structure of government and the political processes which undergird and mold this structure. Emphasizes contemporary issues, policy-making and the relationship of the United States system to those of modern governments. As needed.

Campus 3 Credits
GO 318 State and Local Government
Campus | 3 Credits
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Studies the constitutional basis, organization and workings of state and local government. Emphasizes the interrelationships of states and their political subdivisions and the functioning of state and local politics. As needed.

Campus 3 Credits
GO/HI 418 The United States Constitution: Origin and Evolution
Campus | 3 Credits
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Study of the origin and development of the United States Constitution from the eighteenth century to the present; shows how the era and social and political conditions affected constitutional evolution; judicial appointments and their impact on Supreme Court decisions which shape contemporary and future society. Spring, odd years.

Campus 3 Credits

Required Electives

Choose two of the following courses.

GO 225 American Public Policy
Campus | 3 Credits
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Discusses and analyzes the processes of agenda setting, formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policies regarding selected issues such as housing, land use, health care and social services. As needed.

Campus 3 Credits
GO 280 Topics in Political Science
Campus | 1-4 Credit
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The study of designated or selected topics designed to serve special needs and interests not included in the regularly scheduled introductory courses. As needed.

Campus 1-4 Credit
GO/HI 317 Women in American Society
Campus | 3 Credits
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Investigation of the various legal, social and political factors that have determined the position of women at various periods in the nation’s history. Provides the student with the necessary historical and analytical tools to understand current themes and issues relating to the changing roles of women in contemporary society. Fall, odd years.

Campus 3 Credits
GO/HI 319 National Elections: History in the Making
Campus | 3 Credits
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Study of the presidential election process from convention to election and the appointment of cabinet members. Topics include primary and convention politics, campaign strategies and the political qualification of individual candidates. Fall semester of a presidential election year.

Campus 3 Credits
GO 340 Comparative Politics
Campus | 3 Credits
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Examines divergent governmental systems to gain an understanding of the various patterns of decision making in the world today and to evaluate the viability of alternative political processes. Emphasizes the relationship between politics, constitutions and foreign policy considerations in the determination of governmental action. As needed.

Campus 3 Credits
GO/SS 415 Research Methods in Social Science
Campus | 3 Credits
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Presents basic principles of research design and the primary techniques used by social scientists in the collection and analysis of data; e.g., surveys and polling, observation, experiment, case study and content analysis. Spring, odd years.

Campus 3 Credits
GO 480 Topics in Political Science
Campus | 1-4 Credit
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The study of designated or selected topics to serve special needs and interests not included in the regularly scheduled advanced courses. As needed.

Campus 1-4 Credit
GO 490 Internship
Campus | 1-6 Credit
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Work experience with firm or agency directly related to the student’s major area of study. The learning experience is structured within the College approved guidelines for the internship program. Through close supervision by the director of interns, faculty advisor and the worksite supervisor, the student works toward achieving goals outlined in the individual learning contract. Normally reserved for third and fourth year students. May be repeated with different topics. As needed.

Campus 1-6 Credit
GO 499 Independent Study
Campus | 3 Credits
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Individually supervised advanced study on a topic of scholarly and critical interest in government, political science or public policy. The topic should be one about which the student already has some knowledge and/or experience. As needed.

Campus 3 Credits

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog. Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

 

Career Paths

A rigorous scientific study of how politics operates has a wide range of applications.  This is why political science careers vary. Not only does the field seek to understand the relationships between governments, but it also studies the rights and responsibilities of the citizens themselves. Careers in public administration and political activity are available for graduates with knowledge of the discipline of political science.

Other employment opportunities might be in political campaigns, any branch of government, a non-profit organization, a politically-based website, government relations in for-profit or not-for-profit organizations, schools, magazines, political parties or teaching. These employers look for those who studied political science.

What can you do with a political science degree? You can combine your political science minor with other majors to prepare for employment in jobs that include but are not limited to:

Politics

  • Politician
  • Political Correspondent
  • Events Planner
  • Public Opinion Analyst
  • Diplomat
  • Policy Analyst
  • Executive Assistant
  • Campaign Worker
  • Political Consultant
  • Congressional Research

City, State, Federal Government

  • City Manager
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Executive Assistant
  • Public Relations Director
  • Parole/Probation Officer
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Urban Policy Planner
  • Intelligence Agent
  • Foreign Service Worker
  • Public Relations Director
  • Diplomat
  • Strategic Planning Consultant

Education 

  • Education/Teacher
  • Curriculum developer
  • Student Affairs administrator

Social Services

  • Human Rights Advocate
  • Social Worker

Business  

  • Business Administrator
  • Events Planner
  • Executive Search Consultant
  • Financial Planner
  • Public Relations Director
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Strategic Planning Consultant
  • Sales Manager

Law

  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • Legal Investigator
  • Lawyer
  • Parole/Probation Officer
  • Lobbyist/Organizer
  • Historical Archivist/Researcher
  • Congressional Research

Journalism/Media

  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Political Correspondent
  • Policy Analyst
  • Media Specialist
  • Historical Archivist/Researcher
  • International Market Researcher
  • Technical Writer