Professor Dennis Ippolito, Department Chair
Professors: James Hollifield, Dennis Ippolito, Calvin Jillson, Michael Lusztig, Harold Stanley, Stephen Wegren
Associate Professors: Karisa Cloward, Pamela Corley, Joseph Kobylka, Luigi Manzetti, Hiroki Takeuchi, Matthew Wilson
Assistant Professor: Gianna Englert, Justin Reeves
Lecturers: Victoria Farrar-Myers
The Political Science Department offers a curriculum that addresses political ideas, institutions and processes in such regional settings as Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S., and in such problem settings such as international relations, economic and social policies, and constitutional and public law. Students study with nationally visible faculty, have the opportunity to become involved in significant research projects and are eligible for summer or term internships in Washington, D.C.
The department offers a B.A. and a minor in political science, with four available concentrations. Undergraduate courses include introductory courses (at the 1000 level) which survey each of the broad fields of study in the discipline. Advanced courses (at the 3000 and 4000 levels) explore more closely defined topics within each of those fields: 3000-level courses examine relatively broad subjects; 4000-level courses examine more specific topics but are not inherently more demanding than 3000-level courses. Introductory-level preparation or at least sophomore standing is recommended for students undertaking these advanced courses. Independent study courses (at the 4000 level) are offered to majors with sophomore or higher standing; prerequisites for these courses are stated in the course descriptions that follow.
Note: Offerings for internships, independent study, and research and study abroad (PLSC 4102 , PLSC 4202 , PLSC 4301 , PLSC 4302 , PLSC 4306 , PLSC 4307 , PLSC 4401 , PLSC 4402 , PLSC 4403 , PLSC 4404 ) are available to majors in political science. Students must have departmental approval prior to registering for these courses. Such courses may not be counted toward departmental subfield requirements.
Students must receive at least a C- in all classes counting toward the major or minor. No course may be counted more than once toward meeting departmental major or minor requirements. In unusual circumstances, a student may petition, through his or her adviser, to the department chair for exceptions to the above requirements. Only the department chair may grant such a written waiver.
The department offers graduation with distinction to select majors of high academic achievement. Interested students may consult with an appropriate faculty member and apply to the director of undergraduate studies for admission to the distinction track. Eligible students must have completed two introductory departmental courses and 24 hours of departmental credit before applying for candidacy. Criteria for graduating with departmental distinction include the following:
- A minimum 3.000 overall GPA at graduation.
- A minimum 3.500 average in courses taken for the political science major.
- Preparation for a departmental distinction thesis under the supervision of a faculty thesis adviser. The faculty adviser’s grade for the thesis must be A- or higher. This work will be accomplished by taking PLSC 4307 .
- Passing with distinction an oral examination of at least one hour, conducted by a faculty distinction examination committee, which reviews the candidate’s thesis and major curriculum.
- A minimum 3.500 average in at least two advanced courses related to the topic of the thesis; one of these may, but need not, be a course taken outside the requirements of the political science major.
Eligible students will be admitted to the distinction track upon recommendation of the director of undergraduate studies in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to chair the distinction committee and oversee the student’s research and writing. The department does not require candidates for distinction to take PLSC 4304 , but strongly advises students interested in empirical research to do so.
Students advanced to the distinction track must write a substantial piece of independent and original research (PLSC 4307 ) and present it to a distinction committee composed of faculty selected by the distinction adviser in consultation with the student. Upon positive recommendation of this committee, the department will award the student graduation with distinction.
For purposes of distribution and concentration, courses are grouped in their broad fields in the listings below, as indicated by the last two digits of their course numbers:
|American Government and Politics (20–39)
||PLSC 1320, PLSC 3124, PLSC 3224, PLSC 3320, PLSC 3321, PLSC 3322, PLSC 3323, PLSC 3324, PLSC 3325, PLSC 3327, PLSC 3330, PLSC 3331, PLSC 3333, PLSC 3334, PLSC 3335, PLSC 3336, PLSC 3424, PLSC 4320, PLSC 4321, PLSC 4322, PLSC 4323, PLSC 4324, PLSC 4325, PLSC 4326, PLSC 4328, PLSC 4330, PLSC 4331, PLSC 4332, PLSC 4333, PLSC 4334, PLSC 4335, PLSC 4336, PLSC 4337, PLSC 4338, PLSC 4339
|Comparative Politics (40–59)
PLSC 1340, PLSC 3144, PLSC 3244, PLSC 3340, PLSC 3341, PLSC 3342, PLSC 3344, PLSC 3345, PLSC 3346, PLSC 3347, PLSC 3348, PLSC 3349, PLSC 3352, PLSC 3358, PLSC 3359, PLSC 3444, PLSC 4340, PLSC 4341, PLSC 4342, PLSC 4344, PLSC 4345, PLSC 4346, PLSC 4348, PLSC 4349, PLSC 4350, PLSC 4353, PLSC 4354, PLSC 4355, PLSC 4356, PLSC 5341
|Political Theory (60–79)
||PLSC 1360, PLSC 3164, PLSC 3264, PLSC 3360, PLSC 3361, PLSC 3362, PLSC 3363, PLSC 3364, PLSC 3365, PLSC 3370, PLSC 3464, PLSC 4360, PLSC 4363, PLSC 4368, PLSC 4369, PLSC 4371, PLSC 4375
|International Relations (80–99)
||PLSC 1380, PLSC 3184, PLSC 3284, PLSC 3382, PLSC 3383, PLSC 3384, PLSC 3387, PLSC 3389, PLSC 3484, INTL 3381, INTL 4388