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Political Science BS
The bachelor of science degree in political science tightly integrates the traditional fields of American government and international relations in order to prepare students for a life and career in an increasingly globalized world. Moreover, the major includes three tracks for students to choose from: politics and life sciences, digital politics and organization, and political institutions. Through these tracks students can study the influence of recent advances in biology and biotechnology on how we understand ourselves as human beings and citizens, or the use of information technology for political organization and communication. There are few undergraduate political science majors in the country that so fully incorporate both these fields into their curricula, including the opportunity to take courses from the biology and information technology departments as part of their program requirements. The major prepares principled leaders and responsible citizens for fruitful careers in the public and private sectors.
The major consists of four core courses designed to introduce students to the general themes of political science. The program culminates in a capstone course, which ties together the themes of the program through a seminar and significant writing project.
The overarching goal of the political science program is to prepare undergraduates for the challenges of life and a career in a world that is increasingly globalized, where the application of biotechnology and biomedicine will become common, and where social computing will shape and influence democratic government and the wider community. Students are required to choose one track for in depth study on the political impact of modern biology and biotechnology, the changing role of political institutions in a globalized world, or the development and implementation of technologies that increasingly influence political organization and communication.
Politics and the life sciences
BIOL-201 Cell Biology and Molecular Biology
BIOL-265 Evolutionary Biology
BIOL-293 Evolution, Creationism and Intelligent Design
STSO-421 Environmental Policy
POLS-410 Evolutionary International Relations
POLS-415 Evolution and Law
POLS-420 Primate Politics
Digital politics and organization
MGIS-320 Database Management Systems
MGIS-425 Database Systems Development
POLS-305 Political Parties & Voting
COMM-410 Technology Mediated Communication
ISTE-140 Web I
ISTE-230 Introduction to Database and Data Modeling
ISTE-240 Web II
ISTE-305 Rapid Online Presence
ISTE-330 Database Connectivity and Access
IGME-431 Digital Video for the WWW
POLS-210 Comparative Politics
POLS-220 Global Political Economy
POLS-310 The Congress
POLS-315 The American Presidency
POLS-325 International Law and Organizations
POLS-425 Constitutional Law
Students are required to take six political science program electives from the department’s American politics and international relations/comparative government offerings with a minimum of three courses from each area. This requirement recognizes the increasing interdependence of domestic and international politics in this era of globalization. Students will focus their studies on American politics, international relations, and comparative politics to provide them with an integrated national and global political perspective.
Political science, BS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar||3|
|LAS Perspectives 1, 2, 6, 7A, 7B||15|
|POLS-120||Introduction to International Relations||3|
|Political Science Elective||3|
|ENGL-150||LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar||3|
|POLS-290||Politics and the Life Sciences||3|
|Political Science Electives||6|
|LAS Perspectives 3, 4, 5†||9|
|LAS Immersion 1, 2||6|
|Political Science Track Courses||6|
|Political Science Electives||6|
|LAS Immersion 3||3|
|POLS-530||Political Science Capstone (WI)||3|
|Political Science Track Course||3|
|Political Science Electives||6|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||120|
Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.
† Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3- or 4-credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, student must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement.
Students may pursue a double major in political science and a secondary area. Students have combined political science with a double major in diverse fields such as computer science, criminal justice, economics, and philosophy.
Accelerated 4+1 BS/MBA option
The E. Philip Saunders College of Business and the political science department offer a 4+1 BS/MBA option that permits qualified students who have earned a BS degree in political science to pursue an MBA. Selected MBA courses may be waived based upon completion of certain undergraduate courses.
Beginning in the third year, students may participate in optional learning experiences that may include an internship and/or cooperative education (co-op). An internship or co-op provides students with hands-on experience in a variety of environments, from government agencies, non-profits, nongovernmental agencies, to political campaigns. These opportunities provide students with employment experience as well as the opportunity to further develop skills in their chosen profession.
A study abroad opportunity provides students with a way to enhance their understanding of global politics and culture. They may study full time at a variety of host schools and are able to select courses in their major as well as liberal arts courses. To learn more about the Study Abroad program, please visit studyabroad.rit.edu.
A degree in political science prepares students for careers in law; local, state, and national government; foreign service; business; government relations; and other areas of the private and public sector in which knowledge of the political process and the strengths and limitations of modern democracy and modern society is appropriate. In addition, students are well-prepared for graduate study in a variety of fields, ranging from business and law to political science and public policy.
Each student is assigned a faculty adviser who will assist with registration, scheduling, course selection, academic concerns, and career counseling.
The political science faculty have extensive experience in the classroom and are well-published in their fields of expertise. Faculty members have broad backgrounds in addition to their political science training, including criminal justice, literature, philosophy, political campaigning, political polling, and public policy. Several members have worked for the United Nations and in Washington, D.C., think tanks.