May 29, 2024  
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2015-2016 
Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG] See drop-down menu above to access other catalogs.

Political Science

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Chairperson: Associate Professor Brian Frederick

Graduate Program Coordinator: Assistant Professor Kevin Donnelly

Professors: Deniz Leuenberger, Shaheen Mozaffar, George Serra

Associate Professor: Mark Kemper

Assistant Professors: Jordon Barkalow, Melinda Tarsi

Department Telephone Number: 508.531.1387
Location: Summer Street House, Room 100

Degree Programs

  • BA in Political Science
    Concentrations: American Politics, International Affairs, Legal Studies, Public Administration
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
    Concentrations: Civic and Nonprofit Leadership and Administration

Graduate Certificate Program

  • Certified Public Managers

Undergraduate Minors

  • Civic Education and Community Leadership*
  • Political Science

* Interdisciplinary minor


The following program is currently inactive:

Public Administration, Sustainable Community Development Concentration, MPA

Click on Academic Programs  for program information and requirements.

Bachelor of Arts

The department offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science including five programs of study in political science: a political science major (no concentration), a political science major (American politics concentration), a political science major (international affairs concentration), a political science major (legal studies concentration) and a political science major (public administration concentration).

The political science major (no concentration) offers students an understanding of governmental structures and political processes in their own country and in other parts of the world. This program provides a foundation for graduate work in political science, public administration and international affairs, for the study of law, and for professional careers in teaching and in the public and private sectors.

The political science major (international affairs concentration) offers students an understanding of the structures and processes that govern political and economic relations among global actors. This program provides a foundation for graduate work in international politics, international business and economics, international law and organization, and for a professional career in these fields.

The political science major (legal studies concentration) offers students a background for professional careers in the field of law. This program provides a foundation for law school and for paralegal studies.

The political science major (American politics concentration) offers students a broad understanding of American politics. The concentration is designed to provide strong undergraduate scientific education in preparation for entry into advanced degree programs and professional careers in public service, private institutions and political organizations in the United States.

The political science major (public administration concentration) prepares students for a career focus in the public and nonprofit sectors at the federal, state, and local levels. The concentration is designed for those students who wish to pursue a Master of Public Administration degree and/or a career in this field.

Double Major with Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education or Special Education

Students may choose a double major in political science and elementary education, early childhood education or special education for licensure purposes. Appropriate advising materials with suggested course sequences are available.

Internship Program

An internship program in political science is available to all students, majors and non majors, who meet the program criteria. A wide range of assignments are available with federal, state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. Assignment to the internship program is based on application to and subsequent selection by the internship supervisor. Application procedures follow university policy (see section on “Internships ” in the “Undergraduate Academic Experience ” section of this catalog ). To be eligible for an internship, a political science major or minor must have completed POLI 172 - Introduction to American Government  and a 300-level political science course and must receive the consent of the internship supervisor. Non-political science majors and minors must have the approval of their major advisor and the political science internship supervisor and must have taken one political science course. Interns must have achieved at least a junior standing. Credits shall be limited to three unless more are approved by the Department of Political Science. However, only three credits may apply to the major or minor. It is recommended that those students with an interest in the program confer with the internship supervisor as soon as possible in the semester before their proposed internship.

Honors Program

The honors program in political science provides highly motivated political science majors with opportunities to enhance their academic program through intensive scholarly study and research designed to be of assistance in postgraduate employment or in the pursuit of an advanced degree in political science. Contact the Department of Political Science for further information concerning eligibility and application.

Pi Sigma Alpha

The Department of Political Science has a chapter (the Pi Upsilon Chapter) of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Each year, the political science faculty selects and invites political science majors who are juniors and seniors and who have demonstrated outstanding academic accomplishments to join. Each initiate receives an inscribed certificate of membership.

Master of Public Administration

The Department of Political Science offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The MPA program provides professional education to prepare persons for leadership roles in public administration and public affairs at the federal, state and local levels with flexible career opportunities in both the public and nonprofit sectors.

The MPA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

Concentration or Generalist Track

MPA candidates may select a generalist track or a concentration in Civic and Nonprofit Leadership and Administration. For students seeking to earn a degree with a concentration, a minimum of two elective courses must be taken in the substantive area. The concentration also carries two additional required courses.

An additional three hours must be taken in three one-credit professional development modules.

 Distinctive Features of the Program

  • Professional Development Modules
    The program requires that students register for a minimum of three one-credit modules, offered each semester on topics of special relevance to public service. Normally these modules are taught on Saturdays during the semester.
  • Internships
    A six-credit internship experience (depending upon professional experience) at the local, state or federal level is required for all preprofessional students and will be available as an elective for those professionals who wish to enhance their background.

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