Aug 16, 2018  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science - Major

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Political Science is the study of justice and power. Political scientists study power relationships the way economists study markets.

The purpose of the PSC major at Nazareth College is to prepare students for active citizenship and for careers in politics, government service, law, diplomacy, and education. Our primary educational goal is to provide our majors with a solid grounding in the principal subfields of the discipline, namely, Political Philosophy, U.S. Government,  Comparative Politics and International Relations.

The goal of Political Philosophy is to define justice and design political systems which embody it. In this subfield we study normative theories focused on justice which make recommendations about how political power is and ought to be distributed. In our courses we study the work of major political philosophers from the classical Greek period to contemporary times. Students in U.S. Government courses examine the structure of national, state and local governments, campaigns and elections as well as social, economic and foreign policies.

Comparative Politics entails the study of foreign governments in their internal composition. Because we learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of governments by comparing them to one another, in these courses we engage in the analysis of European, Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Latin American states. In International Politics, scholars analyze the ways in which countries and international organizations deal with each other. Courses  examine theories of international relations, U.S. foreign policy, international law and contemporary problems in international politics across the globe.

As in all Nazareth programs, PSC majors receive instruction and must demonstrate proficiency in analyzing primary texts and applying theories to new situations. We also teach critical writing and oral presentation skills in our courses.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate an appropriate level of understanding of key concepts and theories in the subfields of political science
  2. Demonstrate an appropriate level of understanding of qualitative and quantitative methods used in social sciences and general professional research and writing
  3. Demonstrate an appropriate skill level in discipline-specific and general professional writing
  4. Demonstrate an appropriate skill level in discipline-specific and general professional research
  5. Demonstrate an appropriate level of critical understanding of politics and citizenship

Core Curriculum Requirements

All Nazareth students complete Core Curriculum coursework as part of their degree requirements. The Core provides a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences while guiding students to pose and explore their own intellectual questions. See Academic Policies and Procedures  for specific core curriculum requirements. 

Political Science Core

The Political Science major has a total of 36 required credit hours. In addition to the core courses listed below, all Political Science majors are required to take at least one course in each of the subfields of the discipline (Political Philosphy, U.S. Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations), three other upper division PSC electives, and an internship in Political Science.

Political Science Courses

Students take one course each in Political Philosophy, U.S. Government, Comparative Politics, and International Relations, three additional PSC courses of their choice (300 or 400 level), and an internship in Political Science. Students cannot use the same course to fulfull a requirement in more than one category.

Internships in Political Science

Political Science majors are required to complete an internship. There are many internships available locally, in city, county and New York State government offices. Students can also intern in the offices of legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that are located in the city of Rochester.

In addition, Nazareth offers semester long internships (15 credits) at the New York State Legislature in Albany and in Washington, D.C.

PSC internship offerings include:

Required Electives in Political Science

Political Science majors choose any three additional 3-credit upper level (300-400) PSC courses from those not already taken.

Senior Experience for Political Science

The senior experience has two parts. 

  involves a comprehensive overview of political science as a discipline.  Throughout the semester students are required to apply what they have learned about the four subfields of political science.   provides an opportunity for senior political science majors to demonstrate, in both oral and written demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of political science by applying the skills of analysis and synthesis to a specific event or question.

Political Science Sample Program

Freshman Year

  • Perspectives - Enduring Questions (PEQ) Credits: 3
  • Foreign Language 101 Credits: 3
  • Foreign Language 102 Credits: 3
  • Perspectives - Enduring Questions (PEQ) Math and Science with Lab Credits: 7 
  • Health/Wellness Credits: 0

As well as:

Sophomore Year

  • Perspectives - Enduring Questions (PEQ) Credits: 9
  • Integrated Studies (IS) Credits: 9
  • Political Science Subfield Credits: 6

As well as: 

Junior Year

  • Core Milestone Experience (CME)  Credits: 0
  • Liberal Arts Elective Credits: 9
  • Political Science Subfield Credits: 6
  • Political Science Elective Credits: 3
  • Electives Credits: 6
  • Political Science Internship (PSC 480, 481, 482, or 483) Credits: 3
    • Internship fulfills the Experiential Learning (EL) Pathway of the Core Curriculum

Senior Year

  • Elective Credits: 21
  • Political Science Elective Credits: 6

As well as:

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