Political Science Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Why do we pay taxes? Why do wars happen? Is democracy the best form of government? Should government regulate the economy? Is public coordination needed for environmental protection? Is the UN relevant to America? What is justice? These are among the questions that political science and its subfields (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory) address.
The mission of political science program is to help students examine and understand the complex forces -- local, national and global -- that define our collective lives. Political regimes shape the lives and opportunities of their citizenry. Properly ordered regimes can provide a shared values, prosperity, and security for their citizens, while disordered political societies perpetuate injustice and insecurity, both economic and civil. Democratic societies generally share a consensus about constitutional norms, the structure of power, and societal objectives. Yet there may be legitimate disagreements about the proper role of government in society, and the rights and obligations of citizenship. The central tasks of the political science program at the College of Staten Island is to equip students with the analytic tools, both empirical and normative, to pursue a professional career and to become informed and responsible citizens as well as active participants in their political community.
The study of politics can also be rewarding in practical terms. Political Science is a useful preparation for a number of professions such as Foreign Service, campaign and political management, work in state and local government, law, criminal justice, international trade, business and investment, publishing, journalism, teaching, and the non-profit sector. Such career possibilities can be further explored through internships in local, state, national, and international agencies offered by the program.
The Learning Goals of the Political Science Program
Students graduating with a degree in political science will have the opportunity to:
1. Develop an understanding of the theories, methods and controversies that inform analysis in the discipline's subfields, including American, comparative and international politics, and political theory;
2. Develop a capacity to write and speak about politics in a sophisticated and intellectually-informed manner;
3. Develop an appreciation for democratic citizenship, and consider the degree and terms of their participation in it;
4. Conduct research within a subfield of interest;
5. Engage in experiential learning through domestic and international politics internships and study abroad programs;
6. Be exposed to various careers and graduate-training that majors in the discipline often pursue.
Major Requirements: 31-32 credits
Thirty-one credits in political science courses including POL 100 American Government and Politics or POL 235 the American Political System, and at least one course above the 100 level in each of the following areas:
- American Politics (POL 220-239, 320-339)
- Political Theory (POL 200-219, 300-319)
- Comparative Politics (POL 240-259, 340-359)
- International Politics (POL 260-279, 360-394)
At least 28 credits must be at or above the 200 level and, of these, at least 12 credits must be at or above the 300 level.
In addition, students must take 12 credits in social science courses other than political science chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser.
Electives: 30-49 credits
Total Credits Required: 120
Honors - To graduate with honors in Political Science a student must have a 3.5 grade point average in political science courses and must complete POL/ECO/PHL 490 Senior Seminar in Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy, and a thesis or project determined by the student and his or her faculty sponsor.
Political Science Minor
Minor Requirements: 15-16 credits
a. Either POL 100 American Government and Politics OR POL 235 The American Political System
b. At least one course in the following: Political Theory, Comparative Politics or International Relations
c. At least one 300-level course
d. Any additional course at the 200-level or above