Background Image

B.S. in Political Science

In this Section

Program Chair: Bill Vitek

Program Goals

Political Science investigates the institutions, practices, traditions, concepts and rules by means of which human beings organize their lives in common and govern themselves.

Courses in Political Science enable students to use empirical analyses and theoretical constructs to understand political aspects of their world, both in the United States and in other parts of the globe.

Students majoring in Political Science will acquire:

  • a comprehensive understanding of politics, political institutions, and the processes involved in translating values and information into public policy and legislation.
  • a grasp of the leading theories and disputes animating the various subfields of Political Science.
  • an appreciation of the facets of citizenship needed to participate fully in political life.

Through their Political Science major at Clarkson, students will also gain the ability to:

  • Write clearly and persuasively
  • Speak effectively in a group setting
  • Think critically
  • Understand and analyze complex problems
  • Examine and interpret evidence
  • Organize and synthesize large amounts of information

Program Requirements*

120 credit hours, comprising:

  • 1 credit Introduction to the Liberal Arts pre-seminar
  • 8 courses in political science ideally including one each in
    • American Politics
    • Political Theory
    • International Politics
    • Law and Public Policy
  • The Humanities/Social Sciences Research Seminar
  • 5 courses in a pre-professional concentration
  • Fulfillment of the requirements of the Clarkson Common Experience

Political Science majors will take POL 220, American Politics and a series of courses chosen in consultation with their advisors to develop a coherent program of study. Students have the opportunity to develop areas of expertise in American Politics, Public Policy, Political Theory or Environmental Politics.

Students majoring in Political Science are required to take a concentration of at least five courses in a pre-professional field, such as pre-law, pre-med, pre-physical therapy, business or communications and media. This concentration provides students with opportunities to increase career choices, while at the same time exploring a wide variety of interests through their major.

* Courses taken to fulfill requirements for a Humanities/Social Science Major cannot be used to fulfill requirements for a Humanities and Social Science Minor.

Political Science Courses    
POL210 Introduction to Politics & Politics POL350 (SOC350) International
POL220 American Politics   Development and Social Change
POL250 Politics in Cross-National Perspective POL351 (SOC351) Globalization
POL251 Introduction to International Politics POL362 Human Rights, Law and Politics
POL301 Political Theory POL371 Environmental Law
POL302 Social & Political Thought in the POL380 (PHIL380) The Law
  20th Century   and Bioethics
POL320 The American Political Tradition POL390-99 Special Topics in
      Political Science
    POL400 Constitutional Law
    POL470 (SOC470/570) Environmental
      Policy
Cognate Philosophy Courses    
PHIL200 Introduction to Philosophy PHIL320 Citizenship and the
PHIL240 Contemporary Moral Issues   American Tradition
PHIL241 Medical Ethics PHIL341 Professional Ethics
PHIL243 Business Ethics PHIL370 Environmental Ethics
PHIL270 American Environmentalism PHIL420 Philosophy of the
      American Founding
 Curriculum
line
FIRST YEAR
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
UNIV190 Clarkson Seminar
3
    PSCI MAJOR COURSE
3
Hu/SS/120 Introduction to
    Statistics
3
  Liberal Arts
1
    Common Experience
  Common Experience
    Science Requirement
3
  Math Requirement       Common Experience
  (MA 180 recommended)
4
    Knowledge Area Course
3
  PSCI MAJOR COURSE
    Pre-professional
  at 200 Level
3
    Concentration or  
  Free Elective
3
    Free Elective
3
FY100 First-Year Seminar
1
     
line
   
line
     
15
   
15
       
line
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  PSCI MAJOR COURSE
3
    PSCI MAJOR COURSE
3
  Common Experience
    Common Experience
  Knowledge Area Course
3
    Knowledge Area Course
3
  Pre-professional
    Pre-professional
  Concentration
3
    Concentration
3
  Free Elective
3
    Free Elective
3
  Common Experience
    Free Elective
3
  Science Requirement
4
     
line
   
line
     
15
   
16
       
line
JUNIOR YEAR
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  Course Title
Cr. Hrs.
  PSCI MAJOR COURSE
3
  PSCI MAJOR COURSES
  PSCI MAJOR COURSE
    or Free Electives
6
  or Free Elective
3
    Common Experience
  Common Experience
    Knowledge Area or  
  Knowledge Area or
    University Course
3
  University Course
3
    Pre-professional
  Pre-professional
    Concentration
3
  Concentration
3
    Free Elective or
  Free Elective or
    Common Experience  
  Common Experience
    Technology and
  Technology and
    Humanity Course
3
  Humanity Course
3
     
line
   
line
     
15
   
15
       
line
SENIOR YEAR
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title Cr. Hrs.   Course Title Cr. Hrs.
  H/SS RESEARCH
    H/SS RESEARCH SEMINAR
  SEMINAR (C2) or
    (C2) or MAJOR COURSE
3
  MAJOR COURSE
3
    Free Electives
12
  Pre-professional
     
line
  Concentration or        
15
  Free Elective
3
       
  Knowledge Area or
       
  University Course
3
       
  Free Electives
6
       
   
line
       
   
15
       

Students in the Class of 2010 and later — see academic requirements for details of the Clarkson Common Experience including the First-Year Seminar, the Clarkson Seminar, Knowledge Area (KA) courses, University Courses (UC), and related requirements.

Knight