Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

Program Contact: Scott McLean   203-582-8686

The major in Political Science fulfills the department’s mission by providing courses that balance social scientific analysis with a focus on the politics and values of community. Through their course work and activities, students develop foundational knowledge regarding the causes and consequences of socioeconomic inequalities in the United States and around the world; the rise of the U.S. as a global power and how that power is used; the major environmental, political and socioeconomic threats facing the global community; and the historical development of American democracy and its application to contemporary political challenges.

Political Science students also develop the ability to engage in normative and empirical forms of inquiry: they can explain how different subfields in the discipline approach the study of politics scientifically, and they can critically analyze the justifications for individual political actions and governmental policies using normative and ethical reasoning. Students complete the major with a senior seminar in which they engage major questions in political science and develop a sustained, independently conceived contribution to these questions in the form of a senior thesis. Upon graduation, political science majors have the tools necessary for active, informed and sustained engagement with the political process.

Within the Political Science major, a student may choose to pursue a focus on public policy and leadership or global affairs. The track in public policy and leadership provides students with the opportunity to undertake an academic and experiential program that will develop the intellectual tools for leadership and public service in government and nongovernmental organizations. Courses and experiential programs within this concentration emphasize the study of civic engagement, leadership skills, institutional design, the policymaking process and the ethical responsibilities of leadership within an increasingly diverse community. This track is distinctive in how it combines the study of public policy with analysis of the increasingly important ethical dilemmas of public leadership in issues of gender, race and ethnicity. The department strongly advises students as they design their academic and professional development outside the Political Science major. Extracurricular leadership activities, courses in diversity, and a background in statistics and economics are encouraged as ways to support learning in the public policy and leadership track.

The global affairs track provides students with the experience and intellectual tools for service and leadership in governmental and nongovernmental organizations that operate in the international/global realm. The program of study emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of politics and organization at the international level; in addition to work in political science, a student following this track is encouraged to pursue upper-level courses in anthropology, sociology, history, economics, language and management. Students may choose to further specialize with a geographic region of focus based around the study of comparative politics or an institutional focus based around the study of international law and organizations.

The BA in Political Science requires the completion of 36 credits, with a minimum grade of C in all courses. No more than 6 credits of internship (PO 295, PO 395) may count toward completion of the major.

Experiential Requirement

PO 395, PO 365, or equivalent approved by the department. Students should plan with their academic advisers early to complete this requirement before the start of their senior year. With department approval, this requirement may be completed with one of the following:

  • A political science course taken in a study abroad program;
  • A political science course taken in the Washington, D.C., program;
  • A service learning course in any discipline (must have “SL” designation).

Portfolio Requirement

In their senior year, students assemble a portfolio of representative academic work done in political science. This portfolio includes the senior thesis, an internship paper (or equivalent), and other key assignments.

Tracks in Political Science

In addition to the core requirements common to all political science majors, those choosing to focus their studies in either the public policy and leadership track or the global affairs track.

BA in Political Science Curriculum

In addition to the University Curriculum and the College of Arts and Sciences Liberal Arts Track requirements, students majoring in Political Science must meet the following requirements for graduation:

Political Science Core Requirements
PO 101Issues in Politics3
PO 131Introduction to American Government and Politics3
PO 211Introduction to International Relations3
PO 215Political Theory3
PO 225American Political Movements3
PO 401Political Inquiry3
PO 408Senior Seminar3
Electives
Select five political science or cognate courses:15
Political sciences courses:
Public Policy and Administration
Ethics and Public Leadership
American Political Thought
Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy (PL 217)
Women in Political Thought (WS219)
Introduction to Latin America
The Politics of Intimacy
Elections and Political Parties (SL: Service Learning)
International Political Economy
Actors and Processes in U.S. Foreign Policy
State and Local Government
Topics in International Relations
Philosophy of War and Peace (PL 312)
Democratic Theory and Practice
International Law (LE 317)
International Interventions
Comparative Government
Political Psychology and Public Opinion
Topics in Comparative Government
Topics in African Politics
Human Rights: Theory and Practice (PL 337)
Comparative Constitutional Law (LE 342)
Political Communication
American Constitutional Law (LE340)
Topics in American Politics
Presidential Election Campaigns (SL: Service Learning)
Inside Washington, D.C.
Women and Public Policy (WS 387)
Intermediate Independent Study in Political Science
Cognate courses: 1
Globalization and International Business
Social Psychology
Social Welfare Institutions
Total Credits36
1

In addition to political science courses, a student may count up to two of the cognate courses toward completion of the political science major.

Experiential Requirement

PO 395, PO 365 or equivalent approved by the department. Students should plan with their academic advisers early to complete this requirement before the start of their senior year. With department approval, this requirement may be completed with one of the following:

  • A political science course taken in a study abroad program;
  • A political science course taken in the Washington, D.C., program;
  • A service learning course in any discipline (must have “SL” designation).

Portfolio Requirement

In their senior year, students assemble a portfolio of representative academic work done in political science. This portfolio includes the senior thesis, an internship paper (or equivalent), and other key assignments.

Tracks in Political Science

Students choosing to focus their studies in either the public policy and leadership track or the global affairs track may choose from among the following electives beyond the core required courses:

Public Policy and Leadership Track

Select 15 credits of the following:15
Public Policy and Administration
Ethics and Public Leadership
The Politics of Intimacy
Elections and Political Parties (SL: Service Learning)
Actors and Processes in U.S. Foreign Policy
State and Local Government
Democratic Theory and Practice
Political Psychology and Public Opinion
Politics of Race and Ethnicity
Political Communication
American Constitutional Law (LE340)
Topics in American Politics
Presidential Election Campaigns (SL: Service Learning)
Inside Washington, D.C.
Women and Public Policy (WS 387)
Total Credits15

Global Affairs Track 

Select 15 credits of the following:15
Introduction to Latin America
International Political Economy
Actors and Processes in U.S. Foreign Policy
Topics in International Relations
Philosophy of War and Peace (PL 312)
International Law (LE 317)
International Interventions
Comparative Government
Topics in African Politics
Politics of Race and Ethnicity
Human Rights: Theory and Practice (PL 337)
Comparative Constitutional Law (LE 342)
Total Credits15

Admission Requirements: College of Arts and Sciences

The requirements for admission into the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences programs are the same as those for admission to Quinnipiac University.

Admission to the university is competitive, and applicants are expected to present a strong college prep program in high school. Prospective freshmen are strongly encouraged to file an application as early in the senior year as possible, and arrange to have first quarter grades sent from their high school counselor as soon as they are available.

For detailed admission requirements, including required documents, please visit the Admissions page of this catalog.