Jul 20, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science

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Political Science


Michael E. Allison, Ph.D., Chair
Jean Wahl Harris, Ph.D.
JoyAnna S. Hopper, Ph.D.
Daniel R. Sweeney, S.J., Ph.D.
Gretchen J. Van Dyke, Ph.D.


Political science explores how governments are structured and how they resolve societal conflicts and provide for the public good. Political science also explores the roles that people can play in their governments and the actions people take to influence public policy to serve them and their communities.

Graduates have career options in fields as varied as government, nonprofit management, international affairs, campaigns, special and public interest lobbying, journalism, law, and teaching. With its mix of theoretical and empirical approaches to studying politics, the field of political science prepares women and men for fulfilling careers, lifelong learning, and active and effective citizenship.

The Bachelor of Science program in Political Science imparts to students an understanding of:

  1. The scope and purpose of governments in civil society;
  2. The origins, goals, and limitations of democratic governments;
  3. The structure and functions of the institutions of American governments;
  4. The similarities and differences in the structures and functions of the governments of other countries;
  5. The nature of the relationships among the many governments in the international community; and
  6. The rights and responsibilities of citizens in a variety of governmental systems and as members of the global community.

The Political Science Department offers courses in the major subfields of political science: political institutions, political theory, international relations, comparative politics, public policy, and political science research methods. In addition to the major in Political Science, the department offers a track in Public Administration and Public Affairs and a minor in Political Science.

Students in the major must take PS 120 , PS 121 , PS 212 , PS 217 , PS 210 , and either PS 313  or PS 314 . The remaining 18 Political Science credits required for the major are selected by the student.

Public Administration and Public Affairs (PAPA) Track

For more information, visit


Affiliated Programs

For information on agreements with Villanova University School of Law, Duquesne University School of Law, and Boston College Law School, please visit our Law School Affiliation Agreements page.

For information on the CAS/MBA Five-Year Program, visit our CAS/MBA Five-Year Program  page.

Course Information

Courses for Political Science are listed under the prefixes IS and PS.  For more information on these courses visit the Political Science Department Courses  page.  For more information on all courses offered, visit our Course Descriptions  page.

For more information about the Political Science department, visit its website.

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