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Political Science (B.A.)

Political scientists study the authoritative allocation of values in society. Programs in the political science department focus on accomplishing this task within the context of a liberal arts education.

A student who graduates from Thiel College with a major in political science will:

  • be able to clearly state and comprehensively describe an issue/problem, delivering all relevant information necessary for full understanding.
  • be able to develop a comprehensive analysis of an issue/problem that integrates information from multiple sources and questions them thoroughly.
  • be able to thoroughly analyze own and others' assumptions and carefully evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.
  • be able to take into account the complexities of an issue while acknowledging the limits of a position.
  • be able to draw conclusions that are logical and reflect student’s informed evaluation and ability to place evidence and perspectives in priority order.

Major Requirements

The major in political science shall successfully complete a total of 46 CH, with 37 CH in political science course work and 9 CH in other areas (see below).

Students are required to take each of the following courses (for a total of 22 CH of the 37 CH):

  • POSC 116 American Government in Politics
  • POSC 146 Introduction to Comparative Politics 
  • POSC 156 Introduction to International Relations
  • POSC 236 Public Policy
  • POSC 300 Introduction to Legal Studies
  • POSC 286 Political Analysis
  • POSC 496 Senior Seminar

The additional 15 CH (of the 37 CH) will be taken from political science electives; 9 CH of which must come from 3 different subfields of the following 5. The remaining 6 CH can be fulfilled with coursework from the list below, an internship or independent study within political science:

American Politics:

  • POSC 225 Gender and Politics
  • POSC 297 Political Parties and Elections in the United States
  • POSC 315 Political Psychology
  • POSC 335 The American Presidency

Public Policy and Public Administration:

  • POSC 226 State and Local Politics
  • POSC 336 Public Administration
  • POSC 385 The Law of Families
  • POSC 388 The Death Penalty
  • POSC 456 American Foreign Policy

Formulation Public Law:

  • POSC 436 Constitutional Law
  • POSC 437 First Amendment
  • POSC 438 Criminal Due Process
  • POSC 439 Criminal Law
  • POSC 445 The Great American Trial

International Relations:

  • POSC 312 International Security
  • POSC 405 Terrorism
  • POSC 410 International Law and Organization
  • POSC 466 International Relations: Selected Issues

Selected Problems Comparative Politics:

  • POSC 230 Globalization
  • POSC 310 International Political Economy
  • POSC 327 Politics of Developing Societies
  • POSC 347 Politics of Industrial Societies

The major in political science shall also successfully complete 9 CH in the following programs:

  • ENG 120 Introduction to Literature

and a total of two additional courses selected from any of the following programs:

  • economics
  • history
  • psychology
  • sociology 

Political science majors are strongly advised to complete at least one of the following courses by the end of the sophomore year:

  • MATH 125 Quantitative Reasoning
  • MATH 211 Elementary Statistics

Majors who intend to pursue graduate study in political science and related disciplines should consult with departmental faculty concerning preparation for graduate school.