Department of Political Science

Overview

The Department of Political Science offers coursework and programs that are unique and innovative, integrating the traditional fields of American government, legal studies, and international relations in order to prepare you for a life and a career in an increasingly globalized world. You will study the ways in which governments address fundamental issues of power, justice, liberty, and order, as well as examine the impact of advances in science and technology on these themes. The department teaches not only the mechanics and strategies of the political process, but also examines limitations on government authority, and responsibilities of citizens.

45

political science courses

26

average class size

3

degree tracks: politics and the life sciences, digital politics and organization, and political institutions

Latest News

  • July 29, 2020

    aerial view of buildings on RIT campus.

    RIT and Syracuse University College of Law enter into 3+3 admissions agreement

    RIT has partnered with Syracuse University College of Law to establish a “3+3” program for students interested in earning a law degree. A memorandum of understanding between the two universities was recently signed to allow students to complete three years of liberal arts and other studies at RIT, then transfer to the College of Law for three years to complete their doctorate in law.

  • May 18, 2020

    LaVerne McQuiller Williams, interim dean, College of Liberal Arts.

    LaVerne McQuiller Williams named COLA interim dean

    LaVerne McQuiller Williams, senior associate dean of RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, has been named interim COLA dean effective June 1. McQuiller Williams succeeds Dean James Winebrake, who is leaving RIT on June 30 to become provost and vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. 

Undergraduate Programs

Students take coursework that examines the general themes of political science and explores the impact of globalization, advances in the life sciences, and the use of information technology in today’s political arena. Program electives allow you to further examine American politics, international relations, and comparative politics, which provides an integrated national and global political perspective. The degree program is flexible enough to accommodate a double major and offers options for a 4+1 BS/MS in science, technology and public policy or a 4+1 BS/MBA through Saunders College of Business.

A political science major that integrates the fields of American government and international relations to prepare students to become principled leaders and responsible citizens in public and private sector careers.

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Minors and Immersions

Students are introduced to the fundamental principles, institutions, and issues of American government. In addition, the strengths and limitations of American constitutionalism are emphasized throughout and current political and policy questions facing the country are examined. The overarching intention of the immersion is to give students the necessary tools to deliberate upon the political questions of the day and to actively participate in the political process.

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Study the basic principles and institutions of the American political order and their implications for current political practice. The strengths and limitations of American constitutionalism are emphasized throughout and contemporary political and policy questions facing the country are examined.

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The international relations immersion combines the study of the complexities and shifting trends of international politics with the study of the global system. Particular emphasis is placed on the interactions and interconnectedness of nation-states at the international level and other participants in international affairs, such as international organizations, non-governmental organizations, sub-national entities, and individual citizens. Global issues studied include democratization, international and regional conflicts, terrorism, international trade and economic integration, economic development, international law and organizations, and human rights.

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The international relations minor helps students to make sense of the world through exploring ideas that have shaped it. Students explore the thoughts of various thinkers and approaches to international relations and use these perspectives to understand key themes in world politics. Important topics include democratization, globalization, terrorism, war and peace, human rights, and international law. Students reflect upon the interplay between domestic and international politics and how changes in the world order affect the internal politics of various countries.

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The political science immersion emphasizes the interdependence of domestic politics and international relations in the age of globalization. The immersion brings together components of American politics, international relations, and comparative politics to provide students with both national and global perspectives on politics. Perhaps most important, the political science immersion seeks to help students make sense of the increasingly complicated political environment that confronts them in their role as citizens.

Learn More about Political Science Immersion 

The political science minor emphasizes the interdependence of domestic politics and international relations in the age of globalization. The minor brings together components of American politics, international relations, and comparative politics to provide students with both national and global perspectives on politics. Perhaps most important, the political science minor seeks to help students make sense of the increasingly complicated political environment that confronts them in their role as citizens. 

Learn More about Political Science Minor 

Student Resources

Here you will find additional resources for the Department of Political Science, such as degree options and research links

See Resourcesfor the Department of Political Science