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Political Science

  • Why Study Political Science

    Are you interested in American politics? Do you follow current events? Do political campaigns excite you? Are you passionate about critical issues such as civil rights and civil liberties, justice, the environment, healthcare, education, and national finances? Do you wonder about the ideal form of government? Are you curious about how power and resources are distributed in society? Do you wonder why some ideas become law and others do not? Do the legal system and the practice of law intrigue you?

    Does all of this sound fascinating? If so, then political science may be for you.

    Formally, political science is the study of political processes and political systems, the political behavior of individuals and groups, the structures of governments, public policy, theories of good government and political ethics. Political science employs both humanistic and scientific methods to understand the interrelationship of politics, the economy and society.

    At its heart political science is about how people work together, balancing the common good and their individual interests. Political science has much to say about how people work together in politics, the economy and society.

    Degree Options

    Majors

    • Political Science (B.A.) - Download Paradigm
      • Our curriculum will enrich your interests and skills in politics help you develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, and provide you with a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in your later lives as citizens.
    • Pre-Law Concentration (B.A. in Political Science)
      • This curriculum integrates courses in philosophy, business, and history with political science, and is a great option for students pursuing a law school degree or graduate studies in the legal field, including paralegal studies.
    • American Studies (B.A.)
      • This interdisciplinary perspective allows students to pursue a variety of options, including graduate studies in History, Literature, Politics, or related fields; law school or similar pursuits; and careers in sectors including government, private, and non-profit.

    See requirements: Visit the academic catalog and scroll to the School of Arts & Letters to view degree requirements.

    Minor

    • Political Science, Minor   
    • American Studies, Minor

    See requirements: Visit the academic catalog and scroll to the School of Arts & Letters to view degree requirements.

    Political Science at SFU

    Our program is designed to help you develop to your full potential and these are some of the
    reasons why you should study political science at SFU:
    Experiential learning: Our political science program is built around experiential learning. Tying
    academic knowledge to real world experiences is vital to future career success. You will have
    opportunities to pursue internships from Harrisburg, PA to Washington, DC; study abroad in
    France, Mexico, Italy and elsewhere; independent research; and on-campus leadership.
    Active learning: You should be engaged in your learning, not passive note-takers. The lecture
    has its place, but active learning is crucial to your development and growth. As such many of
    our classes emphasize classroom discussions, role-playing, simulations, debates, research
    presentations, moot courts, the use of social media, and field trips.
    Curriculum flexibility: The program requirements are flexible enough to permit you the
    opportunity to combine the political science major with a second major or minors from other
    disciplines, developing a coherent program of study, preparing you for graduate school, law
    school or the workplace.

    Political Science Major Learning Objectives

    Our program is designed to help you develop to your full potential and these are some of the reasons why you should study political science at SFU:

    1. Critical Thinking: Students will develop the ability to think critically about information (e.g.,
    data or texts), theories, concepts, problems, issues, institutions and processes of American
    Politics and Government, World Politics and Political Theory before accepting or formulating a
    position or conclusion or proposing a solution to a problem.
    2. Citizenship: Students will develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes,
    acquiring a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in their lives as citizens.
    3. Research Methods: Students will be able to use and explain research methods used in the
    discipline of political science and evaluate conclusions derived from these methods. Students
    will develop skills that include the ability to identify, locate and access sources of information,
    the ability to critically evaluate information, the ability to organize information to present a
    sound central idea in a logical order, and the ability to use the work of others accurately and
    ethically.
    4. Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate the necessary oral and written skills
    (English and Public Speaking) to convey their knowledge to others about political science or
    other appropriate topics.
    5. Ethics: Students will demonstrate familiarity with theorists and ethical frameworks that can
    help them make hard decisions, evaluate the policy decisions that public officials make on their
    behalf, and recognize the implications of these choices; Knowledge of reliable frameworks of
    principles will help students evaluate ambiguous facts and define behavior as “right” or “good.”

    Career Opportunities

    Majoring in political science at SFU can help you stand out in the job market and/or as you apply to graduate school or law school. Your research experience,internships, and skills will help to build career contacts and gain real-world experience. The political science major at SFU is a gateway to a variety of careers in law, government, politics, the non-profit sector, and the private sector including:

    • Law and legal affairs
    • Campaigns and elections
    • Political parties
    • Legislative affairs
    • Community organizing
    • Issue advocacy
    • Interest group lobbying
    • Public policy research & analysis
    • Political research and analysis
    • Federal law enforcement and homeland security
    • Political journalism and media relation
    • Executive management
    • Marketing, survey research and public opinion polling

    Did you know that according to a Georgetown University study of census data on the
    workforce, the median earnings of workers who had graduated with a B.A. degree in
    Political Science was $59,000?