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Political Science embraces the study of politics and government. This includes not only the study of national, state and local government, but also the study of all governments worldwide and the international relations among those governing bodies. Further, political science is concerned with ideas, concepts and theories about governments and the role of individuals organizations and the political parties within governmental systems.
A major in political science becomes a good foundation for a variety of fields, including law, government service, politics, journalism, mass communications, teaching, community service, planning and even private business. With the help of an adviser, students create concentrations that further expand opportunities for post-graduate careers and studies.
Some students use political science as a second major or a minor to complement majors in economics, mass communications, geography and English, while others are attracted to a political science emphasis in the comprehensive social studies program leading to a degree in secondary education.
The department offers courses in all the major fields of political science for students who wish to acquire a thorough understanding of the art, science, theories, processes and structures of governments and politics.
Introductory courses are designed for both majors and non-majors. The importance of government and politics (locally, nationally and internationally) clearly points to political science as a critical element in the liberal education of any university student.
Advanced courses are offered for students who wish to pursue in-depth study and specialized subject matter to serve as a foundation for careers in politics, law, public administration, community service, international relations, criminal justice, communications or teaching.
All courses attempt to develop the student's ability to read carefully, communicate effectively, think critically, analyze logically and research thoroughly. A balance is sought between abstract concepts on the one hand and concrete applications on the other. Field work and internships give students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the realities of everyday work.
The legal studies option provides students interested in the law with an opportunity to explore legal problems and institutions, the content and processes of the law and the practice of law from both an academic and practical standpoint. It helps students who are considering law school, paralegal work, quasi-judicial or legislative research careers, as well as other specialized legal positions in business, politics, government service or social welfare or for graduate study.
Public Administration Concentration
The department also offers a career concentration in Public Administration, which prepares students for entry-level managerial positions in the public sector. This career concentration is interdisciplinary and students need not be political science majors to enroll. Details