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

  • May 2, 2019

    Student poses sitting at table with notebook and laptop.

    RIT graduate on her way to Kosovo to teach English

    Growing up in Youngstown, N.Y., near Niagara Falls, Alessandra Santarosa always had the urge to explore. As she readies to graduate this month from RIT with a bachelor’s degree in political science and minors in German, and sociology and anthropology, Santarosa is ready for more adventures: joining the Peace Corps and teaching English in Kosovo for two years.

  • April 19, 2019

    Two men in suits sit in arm chairs listening to audience members' questions.

    Can we bridge the divide of bitter partisanship?

    The Rochester Beacon writes about a presentation titled “An Antidote to Today’s Partisanship: How to Agree to Disagree,” organized by RIT’s Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty.

  • April 1, 2019

    Large group of students stands with dean.

    RIT’s College of Liberal Arts honors students for writing excellence

    RIT’s College of Liberal Arts honored student achievement in writing on Friday with the presentation of more than a dozen writing awards for essays varying from sanctuary cities, how democracies can withstand outside meddling, and the excavation, preservation and reconstruction of a London theater where Shakespearian plays debuted.

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.

Integrating the traditional fields of American government and international relations to create principled leaders and responsible citizens for careers in public service and the private sector.

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Minors and Immersions

The American politics immersion introduces students 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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The purpose of the American politics minor is to 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. This immersion is closed to students majoring in political science.

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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