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Political Science BS

Sean Sutton, Department Chairperson
(585) 475-4620, sdsqsm@rit.edu

http://www.rit.edu/cla/politicalscience

Program overview

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 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.

Curriculum

Core courses

The major consists of four core courses designed to introduce students to the general themes of political science. The major culminates in a capstone course, which ties together the themes of the program through a seminar and significant writing project.

Political science, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
POLS-110 American Politics 3
  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
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
POLS-290 Politics and the Life Sciences 3
  Political Science Electives 6
  LAS Perspectives 3, 4, 5‡ 9
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
POLS-295 Cyberpolitics 3
  Free Elective 3
Third Year
  Political Science Track Courses 6
  Political Science Electives 6
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  LAS Electives 9
Fourth Year
POLS-530 Political Science Capstone (WI) 3
  Political Science Track Course 3
  Political Science Electives 6
  LAS Electives 12
  Free 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 completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.
† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ 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.

Program tracks

The overarching goal of the political science major is to prepare students for the challenges of a life and a career in a world that is increasingly globalized, where the application of biotechnology and biomedicine become common, and where social computing 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
BIOL-321 Genetics
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 and 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
Political institutions
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

Program electives

Students are required to take seven political science 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 focus their studies on American politics, international relations, and comparative politics to provide an integrated national and global political perspective.

Additional information

Double majors

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 MBA option

An accelerated 4+1 option is available for students who wish to earn a BS in political science and an MBA. The option is offered in conjunction with Saunders College of Business and allows students to obtain both degrees in five years of study.

Experiential education

Beginning in the third year, students may participate in optional learning experiences that may include an internship and/or cooperative education (co-op), which provides students with hands-on experience in a variety of environments, from government agencies, non-profits, nongovernmental agencies, to political campaigns. Through these experiences, students gain employment experience as well as the opportunity to further develop skills in their chosen profession.

Study abroad

A study abroad opportunity enhances student's understanding of global politics and culture. Students 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.

Career opportunities

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.

Advising

Each student is assigned a faculty adviser who assists with course registration, scheduling, course selection, academic concerns, and career counseling.

Faculty

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.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

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 program includes tracks of courses in three areas: politics and life sciences, digital politics and the information age, 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 programs 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 program prepares principled leaders and responsible citizens for fruitful careers in the public and private sectors.

Curriculum

Core courses

The program 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.

Program tracks

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

1001-421 Genetics
1001-311 Cell Biology
1001-365 Evolutionary Biology
1001-359 Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
0508-484 Environmental Policy
0509-473 Technology and Embodiment
0513-427 Evolutionary International Relations
0513-428 Evolution and Law
0513-429 Primate Politics

Digital politics and the information age

0112-340 Database Management Systems
0112-440 Database Systems Development
0509-217 Ethics and the Information Age
0513-454 Political Parties and Voting
0535-410 Computer Mediated Communication
4002-320 Introduction to Multimedia: Internet and the Web
4002-310 Digital Video for the WWW
4002-360 Introduction to Database and Data Modeling
4002-409 Website Design and Implementation
4002-535 Network-Based Multimedia
4002-484 Fundamentals of Database Client/Server Connectivity

Political institutions

0513-451 Congress 
0513-452 The American Presidency
0513-456 Judicial Process
0513-487 International Law and Organizations
0513-461 Comparative Politics
0513-490 International Political Economy

Electives

Students are required to take eight courses 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 (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
0513-211 American Politics 4
0513-214 Introduction to International Relations 4
0513-425 Politics and the Life Sciences 4
  Liberal Arts* 20
  Math and Science Requirements‡ 16
  First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
0513-426 Cyberpolitics 4
  Political Science Program Electives 12
  Liberal Arts* 16
  Math and Science Requirements‡ 8
  Free Electives 8
  Wellness Education† 0
Third Year
  Political Science Track 12
  Political Science Program Electives 12
  Liberal Arts 16
  Free Electives 8
  Cooperative Education (optional) Co-op
Fourth Year
  Political Science Track 4
  Political Science Program Electives 12
0513-500 Political Science Capstone 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Free Elective 4
Total Quarter Credit Hours 182

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ Please see Mathematics and Science General Education Requirements for more information. Students are encouraged to take the general biology sequence in preparation for the program’s emphasis on politics and the life sciences.

Additional information

Double majors

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 dual degree 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. Students may be able to complete the MBA program in as few as four or five academic quarters.

Experiential education

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.

Study abroad

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 the program's website at studyabroad.rit.edu.

Career opportunities

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.

Advising

Each student is assigned a faculty adviser who will assist with registration, scheduling, course selection, academic concerns, and career counseling.

Faculty

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.