School of Humanities and Sciences

Department of Politics

Bachelor of Arts

Chip Gagnon, Associate Professor and Chair

The curriculum is designed to give students an understanding of political organization and political forces in modern society and to provide knowledge and a basis for insight and judgment on the problems involved in the relationships of the individual to government, the economy to government, and governments to one another, both nationally and globally. Students are prepared for intelligent performance of the functions of citizenship, for careers in public service and foreign relations, the study of law, and study at the graduate level. Politics majors who wish to focus their study of politics on issues and topics specifically connected to global matters can declare a concentration in international studies. The department also offers two minors: politics and international politics.

Politics, B.A.
Politics Minor
International Politics Minor

Requirements for the Major in Politics -- B.A.

Credits in the major

Three courses at level 1:
POLT 10100 U.S. Politics
One course in the subfield political theory, and
One course in the subfield comparative and international studies

9

Six courses at level 3 or above, with a minimum of one course in each of the four subfields that constitute the major program - U.S. politics, political theory, public policy, and comparative and international.

18

Two courses at level 4 -- seminars, tutorials, internships, or directed studies -- with at least one course in this series to be a seminar.

6

One additional course at any level. Majors with senior standing may not fulfill this requirement with a level-1 course. All majors must take at least three courses in comparative/international studies.

3

Total, credits in the major

36

A grade of C is the minimum required in major field courses.

Credits outside the major

Foreign language competence up to and including the intermediate level

0-12

Additional credits for the optional international studies concentration

(Pending NYSED approval)

Note: Students choosing the concentration option are restricted in the way in which they satisfy the requirements at levels 1, 3, and 4; see below for details.

 

One additional POLT course at level 1

3

ANTH 10400

Cultural Anthropology or

 

HIST 18200

World Civilizations II

3

 

Additional foreign language study of 6 credits beyond the intermediate

 

 Summary

             

Credits in the major

36-42

 

Credits outside the major

0-18

 

Free electives

60-84

 

Total, B.A. in politics

120

International studies concentration

The international studies concentration is intended for students who wish to focus their study of politics on issues and topics specifically connected to global matters. In addition to requiring two additional courses beyond the general politics B.A. degree, the concentration restricts the way in which students satisfy the requirements at each level by limiting choices to courses that are designated as comparative and international (as listed above).

Additional requirements and restrictions

  • An additional level-1 politics course (four courses, 12 credits total)
  • Either ANTH 10400 Cultural Anthropology or HIST 18200 World Civilizations II (3 credits)
  • Language competence at least 6 credits beyond the intermediate level; students can petition the chair to have equivalent experience (e.g., a semester abroad) count for this additional competence.

To satisfy the level-1 requirement, students must take (in addition to POLT 10100 and a course in political theory) two courses in comparative and international studies, as follows:

  • POLT 12800 Introduction to International Relations or POLT 12900 Introduction to Global Studies; and
  • POLT 12200 Politics and Society or POLT 12300 Political Justice

To satisfy the level-3 requirement (18 credits), students must choose (in addition to one course each in U.S. politics and political theory) three courses in comparative and international studies, one of which must be designated as a "place" course (15 credits), and POLT 30600 U.S. Foreign Policy.

To satisfy the level-4 requirement (6 credits), all seminars and tutorials must be designated comparative and international, and internships or directed studies courses must be approved by the chair who will determine whether the topic falls within the field of comparative and international studies.

Minors

Requirements for the Minor in Politics

Two courses at level 1, one of which must be POLT 10100 U.S. Politics

6

Four courses at level 3 or above

12

One course at level 4, either a seminar or tutorial or internship

3

Total, minor in politics

21

A minimum grade of C is required for courses to count toward the minor.

Requirements for the Minor in International Politics

Select two courses at level 1, both in comparative and international studies:

POLT 12800 Introduction to International Relations or  
POLT 12900 Introduction to Global Studies 3
POLT 12200 Politics and Society or  
POLT 12300 Political Justice 3
POLT 30600 U.S. Foreign Policy 3
  Three additional courses at level 3 or above in the subfield of comparative and international studies (POLT 32100 through POLT 34099); at least one of those three must be designated as a "place" course. 9
  One course at level 4 in the subfield of comparative and international studies: POLT 401xx Seminar in Comparative and International Studies; POLT 403xx Tutorial in Comparative and International Studies; or an internship if the chair or director of internships determines that the internship falls within the field of comparative and international studies.  3
  Total, minor in international politics 21

 A minimum grade of C is required for courses to count toward the minor.

Course Levels and Subfields

Politics courses are divided into three levels: introductory, intermediate, and advanced.

Introductory courses are divided into three subfields -- U.S. politics, political theory, and comparative and international studies -- and students in the major must take at least one course in each area. Courses in this area range from POLT 10100 to POLT 29900.

Intermediate courses include four subfields -- U.S. politics, political theory, public policy, and comparative and international studies. Students in the major must take at least one course in each of the subfields and at least two in comparative and international studies. Courses in this area range from POLT 30100 to POLT 37000.

Advanced courses are seminars, tutorials, internships, or directed studies. Students in the major must take two advanced-level courses, at least one of which must be a seminar. Courses in this area range from POLT 40100 to POLT 49900.

U.S. Politics

Emphasis in the field of U.S. politics is placed on the organizations, institutions, and processes of U.S. political life at both the national and subnational level, including the study of U.S. leadership patterns, legislative politics, legal systems and their social implications, partisan competition, and fundamental social and economic forces that structure U.S. politics.

Introductory-level courses in U.S. politics:

  • POLT 10100, U.S. Politics
  • POLT 10200, Media and Politics
  • POLT 10300, The United States and the World

Intermediate-level courses in U.S. politics:

  • POLT 30100, Legislative Behavior
  • POLT 30300, Constitutional Law
  • POLT 30400, U.S. Party Politics
  • POLT 30500, Urban Politics
  • POLT 30600, U.S. Foreign Policy
  • POLT 30900, Personality and Politics
  • POLT 31000, Supreme Court in U.S. Politics
  • POLT 31900, POLT 32000, Selected Topics in U.S. Politics

Comparative and International Studies

The field of comparative and international studies encompasses the comparative study of political institutions, processes, and sociocultural bases of political systems, along with patterns of international conflict and cooperation. It is intended to expose students to careful examination of a broad range of political phenomena, such as revolution, war, imperialism, styles of leadership, processes of political change, and systems maintenance.

Introductory-level courses in comparative and international studies:

  • POLT 12200, Politics and Society
  • POLT 12300, Political Justice
  • POLT 12500, Politics of Deviance
  • POLT 12800, Introduction to International Relations
  • POLT 12900, Introduction to Global Studies
  • POLT 23000, The Holocaust (this course does not fulfill the 100-level comparative and international studies requirement for politics majors)

Intermediate-level courses in comparative and international studies:

  • POLT 32100, Contemporary British Politics
  • POLT 32200, British Foreign Policy
  • POLT 32400, Communist and Post-Communist Societies
  • POLT 32500, Chinese Politics
  • POLT 32600, Russian Politics
  • POLT 32700, The Politics of Development
  • POLT 32800, International Conflict
  • POLT 32900, Third World Politics
  • POLT 33000, European Politics
  • POLT 33100, Latin American Politics
  • POLT 33200, Africa through Film
  • POLT 33300, Understanding Islam
  • POLT 33400, Politics of Rights and Culture
  • POLT 33500, Crossing Borders/Global Migration
  • POLT 33600, Whiteness and Multiculturalism
  • POLT 33700, Politics of Memory
  • POLT 33900, Political Economy of the Middle East
  • POLT 34000-34099, Selected Topics in Comparative and International Studies

Political Theory

Courses in the field of political theory concentrate on philosophical and conceptual concerns that appear throughout the discipline and merit emphasis in specific courses. Theories are explored through the study of the basic interconnections between facts and values in politics. Included are general courses in empirical and normative political thought, specific courses that center on particular theorists or theoretical constructions, and courses on the scope and methods of political analysis.

Introductory-level courses in political theory:

  • POLT 14100, Power: Race, Sex, and Class
  • POLT 14200, Ideas and Ideologies
  • POLT 14500, Politics of Identity: Race, Ethnicity, Culture
  • POLT 29900, Field Study

Intermediate-level courses in political theory:

  • POLT 34100, U.S. Political Thought
  • POLT 34200, Liberalism and Marxism
  • POLT 34300, Feminist Theory
  • POLT 34400, Contemporary British Political Theory
  • POLT 35000, Selected Topics in Political Theory

Public Policy

Courses in the field of public policy provide students with analytical approaches to the study of public policy making and application. Particular emphasis is given to understanding the complexities of modern problems and the limitations and potential of public policy to intervene effectively in the interest of the common good. This field in particular is recommended for students interested in careers in the management of public affairs.

Intermediate-level courses in public policy:

  • POLT 36200, Theory and Politics of Public Policy
  • POLT 36300, Politics of Equality
  • POLT 36400, Law and Public Policy
  • POLT 36500, The Politics of Health
  • POLT 36600, Environmental Politics
  • POLT 37000, Selected Topics in Public Policy