What is Political Science?

Who gets what; when, and how?

That is truly the question; for our common life together requires politics and thus requires an answer to the question: who gets what; when, how? For those among us who like politics and who know politics is important, political science develops skills needed to answer the question: the ability to think abstractly and to analyze, to sort through information, to investigate cause and effect, and to look beyond the shallow, beyond the popular and beyond the cynical explanations of social problems -- and to envision solutions.

Political scientists study the ideologies, processes and policies of governments. These include government at the local, state, and national level, as well as foreign governments and international relations. Our studies include legislatures, regulatory agencies and courts: police departments and armed forces, criminals and terrorists, the media and voters, Presidents and Prime Ministers. Our studies also include ideas: who ought to get what?

 

Subfields of Political Science

Political Science is divided into several subfields and we offer three "tracks" within the Political Science Major in order to accomodate a variety of interests and career goals. All three tracks require a grounding in political theory and methods.

The Traditional Political Science track allows a range of courses within the several subfields of political science and is usually favored by students preparing for law school who wish to emphasize studies in criminal justice, constitutional law, and judicial politics. It is most appropriate for those who want to work for interest groups, go to law school, or continue studies in political science at the graduate level.

The Public Administration track concentrates on understanding and effective direction of routinized government duties. This track emphasizes coursework in the management of government at the municipal, state and federal levels for those who wish to prepare for a career in the permanent machinery of public affairs--including the criminal justice system.

 The International Relations track focuses on regional politics and the analysis of global problems: it is most appropriate for those who want to enter one of the many foreign services (State, CIA, DIA, etc.) or international trade.

 

Also Note:

We encourage all of our majors to take a semester abroad at our campus in Wroxton, Oxfordshire and/or one semester as an intern in national or local government. Students find the semester in Europe to be an indispensable help to their understanding of history, global influences, and political economy. The semester-long work internship leads directly to a good grasp of the many opportunities in politics and to gainful employment. Consequently, our political science majors are well prepared for a variety of careers -- and there are careers in politics to fit every interest. See below for more information on Wroxton and Internships.

 

Jobs for Political Science Majors

There are, first, tens of thousands of private and public interest groups whose leadership and staff participate directly in politics on behalf of their membership. There are also hundreds of thousands of civil service jobs in the myriad executive departments and agencies of government. In the final tally, one can work as a city administrator or as an intelligence analyst or as a campaign manager; for there is a government office to fit every interest.

There is also law school and the entire criminal justice system. America has an insatiable appetite for legal disputes (and there is a law school somewhere available to every graduate). The complicated criminal justice system provides rewarding jobs in law enforcement, adjudication and correction.

 

 Requirements for Traditional Political Science Majors

To major in political science you must complete between 30 and 42 credits in politics and government. College and university core courses comprise an additional 57-60 credits. The remaining credits (26-41) are free electives.

If you plan to minor in Pre-Law or Criminology, remember that several of the requirements for these minors overlap with the major, so you will still have a number of free electives.

For the most ambitious, an honors program in political science is available. We encourage you to pursue an internship at the state or federal level and to spend at least a semester at our Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England.

 

COURSE OFFERINGS AT FDU - MADISON: 

Foundation Courses

POLS1201 American Government

POLS1220 Comparative Government

POLS2230 International Relations

POLS2240 Political Theory

POLS2250 Political Methodology

 

American Politics, Criminal Justice, and Public Administration

POLS2206 American Minority Politics

POLS2207 Women and Politics

POLS2208 President and Congress

POLS2313 Intergovernmental Relations

POLS3302 The American Presidency

POLS3303 Congressional Politics

POLS3304 Criminal Justice

POLS3305 Federal Judicial Process

POLS3306 American Constitutional Law

POLS3307 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

POLS3308 Law and Society

POLS3309 American Public Policy

POLS3310 Political Parties and Interest Groups

POLS3314 Criminal Justice Administration

POLS3316 Political Behavior

POLS3317 Public Administration

 

Comparative and International Politics

POLS3320 Chinese Politics

POLS3321 Russian Politics

POLS3322 African Politics

POLS3323 Middle Eastern Politics

POLS3326 British Politics

POLS3328 West European Politics

POLS3329 Japanese Politics

POLS3330 American Foreign Policy

POLS3332 Russian Foreign Policy

POLS3335 Political Geography

POLS3336 War, Peace, and Arms

POLS3337 Low Intensity Warfare

 

Requirements for Political Science: Public Administration majors

 

MAJOR COURSES (33-42 credits)

 

Foundation Courses (15 credits)

POLS1201 American Government

POLS1220 Comparative Government

POLS2230 International Relations

POLS2240 Political Theory

POLS2250 Political Methodology

 

Public Administration Courses (18 credits)

see: American Politics, Criminal Justice, and Public Administration course listing above

also POLS4801 Internship*

*A senior thesis may be substituted, with an advisor's approval, for students unable to complete an internship.

 

Major Elective Courses (0-9 Credits)

POLS____, _______________

POLS____, _______________

POLS____, _______________

 

Additional Recommendation: Public Administration students should take ECON1101 Microeconomics and ECON1102 Macroeconomics as their social and behavioral science core courses.

 

Requirements for Political Science: International Relations majors

 

MAJOR COURSES (33-42 credits)

 

Foundation Courses (15 credits)

POLS1201 American Government

POLS1220 Comparative Government

POLS2230 International Relations

POLS2240 Political Theory

POLS2250 Political Methodology

 

International Relations and Comparative Politics Courses (18 credits)

A. 5 courses from POLS3320 - 3339

POLS____, ______________________

POLS____, ______________________

POLS____, ______________________

POLS____, ______________________

POLS____, ______________________

 

B. Semester Abroad, Internship, or Thesis (3 credits)

 

POLS____ course at Wroxton Campus, Oxfordshire or

POLS4801 Internship or

POLS4802 Senior Thesis

 

Major Elective Courses (0-9 Credits)

POLS____ _______________

POLS____ _______________

POLS____ _______________

 

Additional Recommendations: International Relations students should take (1) ECON1102 Macroeconomics as one of their social and behavioral science core courses, and (2) ECON2208 International Trade and/or FIN3371 International Business Finance as free electives.

 

Last revised: 1.6.98