Political Science Major / Minor Requirements

Declaration in or after Fall 2012

Last update: August 2016

Major Coordinator

Masaki Kakizaki (masaki.kakizaki@tuj.temple.edu)

Major Overview

The Political Science major and minor provide a systematic study of politics in the United States (federal, state, and local) and foreign countries. Students will have an opportunity to compare United States politics and policy to those of other nations and to study the relationship among states within the international system. Special emphasis will be placed on using theoretical tools to study the role institutions and social relations play in shaping political outcomes, as well as the relationship between politics and economics (political economy).

The key educational goal for political science students is analytical thinking. Students will recognize and understand various patterns in the distribution of political power and recurrent models of political behavior. Students will also gain insight into the relationship between the distribution of resources and power within society and political outcomes. As politics inherently involves how societies distribute life opportunities, students will also reflect upon the moral choices involved in political life. The department teaches students how to develop the capacity to conduct empirical research in order to illuminate and revise theoretical models of politics. Students will be expected to use a full range of data and to write clearly.

Political Science graduates pursue a wide range of careers. They may work in government offices (at all levels), political campaigns, private voluntary organizations, unions and community organizations, as well as the private sector. Some pursue teaching careers. A degree in Political Science is also excellent preparation for law school.

The department can arrange internships, which are typically linked to academic study.

University and College of Liberal Arts Requirements

Students will follow College of Liberal Arts Baccalaureate (B.A.) Degree Requirements.

Course Sequencing

Students begin the major by taking four introductory courses: POLS 1101, POLS 1201, POLS 1301, and POLS 2496.

Courses should be sequenced so that students take the introductory courses before the upper-level courses. POLS 1101 is an introduction to U.S. politics and should be taken before upper-level courses in this area. Similarly, POLS 1201 introduces foreign governments and precedes upper-level courses in this field. POLS 1301 introduces international politics and is a prerequisite for upper-level courses in this subject matter. POLS 2496 introduces political theory and should be taken after a student has had several Political Science courses and should precede upper-level theory courses.

Once the introductory courses are completed, students can move on to the electives at the upper level (numbered 2000-4999), of which 3 are needed. Students should pay particular attention to the order in which they take the research methods-capstone sequence (which is taken concurrent with the electives; see notes below). The first course in this sequence is POLS 2503 Evidence and Knowledge, a research design course that teaches students how to conduct empirical research, an essential skill for successfully completing the upper-level courses.

Evidence and Knowledge will lay the foundation for the next two capstone preparation courses (numbered 3501 through 3599). These research-intensive courses focus on an advanced topic, like other upper level courses, but they also place an emphasis on sharpening the research skills covered in the first course. The department recommends taking these research prep courses prior to taking the Capstone, the culminating experience of the Political Science major.

Major Requirements

Required Courses

  Course Title Credits
Political Science 1101 The American Political System 3
Political Science 1201 Foreign Governments and Politics 3
Political Science 1301 International Politics 3
Political Science 2496 Introduction to Political Philosophy 3
Political Science 2503 Evidence and Knowledge 3

3 upper-level Political Science courses numbered 2000-4999

With the exception of Political Science 2496.

  Course Title Credits
Political Science 2000+   3
Political Science 2000+   3
Political Science 2000+   3

2 Research Preparatory courses numbered 3501-3599

  Course Title Credits
Political Science 3501-3599   3
Political Science 3501-3599   3

Capstone Course

  Course Title Credits
Political Science 4896 Capstone Seminar in Political Science 3

Prerequisite: Senior standing

Highly recommended prior course work: C- or higher in Pol Sci 2503, 2496, and research preparatory courses (Pol Sci 3501 - 3599)

Minor Requirements

Introduction

  Course Title Credits
Select two of the following: 6
Political Science 1101 The American Political System  
Political Science 1201 Foreign Governments and Politics  
Political Science 1301 International Politics  
Political Science 2496 Introduction to Political Philosophy  

4 2000+ Political Science Courses

With the exception of Political Science 2496

  Course Title Credits
Political Science 2000+   3
Political Science 2000+   3
Political Science 2000+   3
Political Science 2000+   3