2011 - 2012 Political Science Program (PLSC)

Program Goals | Objectives | Requirements | Academic Major | Political Science Minor (PLSC) | Pre-Law Emphasis | Course Descriptions

Faculty: Charles Tripp (Chair), Michael Zarkin

Political Studies (PLSCS)

Program Goals

Objectives

Political Studies offers an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts academic major. With political science as its core focus, the major includes relevant courses from a number of disciplines, including communication, economics, environmental studies, globalization, history, management, philosophy and pre-law. The curriculum stresses student mastery of a variety of allied subjects covered within such fields to enhance understanding of the historical, philosophical, methodological, environmental, economic, legal, geographic, linguistic, organizational, international and domestic contexts of politics. The major prepares students for further study in law or graduate school; to enter public service careers in government; to work in the private sector, the policy arena, and/or the political/legislative process; or to conduct research.

Requirements

The Political Studies academic major requires completion of 48 credit hours selected from a common core of required political science courses and one of the eight major emphasis fields, all of which are discussed below. Students must maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA in courses required to complete any one of the eight major emphases. Additional recommended coursework may be taken in a number of disciplines, depending upon approved student interests. It is strongly recommended that students take MATH 150 (Elementary Statistics); and 16 hours (two full years, four semesters, or equivalent preparation) of a foreign language, eight of which are required.

Students choosing a double major or minor in any of the fields included within the political studies major may not apply a course to more than one major or minor.

The courses listed below are required of all political studies majors, regardless of their chosen emphasis.

For course prerequisites please refer to the course descriptions.

Academic Major

Liberal Education Courses Credit Hours
The following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, are required for the Political Studies major.

PLSC 101 Introduction to Political Science, LE
PLSC 121 American National Government, LE

Note: Additional LE courses are required depending on the chosen emphasis.
4
4

Requirement Description Credit Hours
I. Foreign Language Requirement 8
  Political Studies majors must complete eight credit hours in a single foreign language. 8
II. Lower Division Political Science Courses 8
  PLSC 101 Introduction to Political Science, LE
PLSC 121 American National Government, LE
4
4
III. Upper Division Political Science Courses 20
  PLSC 303 Public Administration and Bureaucracy (4)
or
PLSC 348 Congress and the Presidency (4)

PLSC 306 Comparative Political Systems (4)
or
PLSC 414 International Relations (4)

PLSC 355 Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties
PLSC 440 Internship in Political Science
PLSC 490 Research Seminar in Political Studies
4



4

4
4
4
IV. Emphasis 20
  Students must complete 20 hours of coursework from their chosen emphasis. The following are possible emphases: Communication, Economics, Environmental Studies, Globalization, History, Management, Philosophy, and Pre-Law. See listing below for classes included in an emphasis.  
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE ACADEMIC MAJOR 56

Recommended Plan of Study for Political Studies

  Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year PLSC 121
Language I
PLSC 101
Language II
Sophomore Year PLSC 367
Four (4) hours in emphasis
Four (4) hours in emphasis
Junior Year PLSC 327
PLSC 303 or PLSC 348
Four (4) hours in emphasis
PLSC 355
Four (4) hours in emphasis
Senior Year PLSC 490
Four (4) hours in emphasis
PLSC 440
PLSC 306 or PLSC 414

The courses listed below are those from which a student can select the remaining 20 hours needed to complete one of the political studies major emphases.

Communication Emphasis

 
COMM 201 Principles of Editing 4
COMM 203 Writing for the Mass Media 4
COMM 240 Introduction to the Mass Media 4
COMM 306 Principles of Layout and Design 4
*COMM 310 Professional Writing 4
COMM 326 Introduction to Web Writing and Design 4
COMM 336 Public Relations Principles 3
COMM 337 Public Relations Writing and Campaign Planning 3
COMM 338 Principles of Advertising 4
*COMM 340 Communication Theory and Persuasion 3
COMM 350 Business and Professional Communication 3
   
*COMM 201 and/or 203 are prerequisites for these courses  
   

Economics Emphasis

ECON 105 Introduction to Economics as a Social Science, LE 4
ECON 253 Elementary Macroeconomics, LE 4
ECON 263 Elementary Microeconomics 4
ECON 311 History of Economic Thought 4
ECON 321 Political Economy 4
ECON 325 Environmental Economics 4
ECON 418 Economics and the Law 4
ECON 420 Labor Relations Economics 4
ECON 449 American Economic Development 4
PHIL 201 History of Philosophy I (4)
or
PHIL 202 History of Philosophy II (4)


4
*PLSC 367 Contemporary Political Philosophy 4
   

Environmental Studies Emphasis

ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology, LE 4
ANTH 390 Qualitative Research Methods 4
BIOL 345 Environmental Science and Lab, LE 4
ECON 325 Environmental Economics 4
ENGL 357 Environmental Literature 3
ESS 101 Introduction to Geography 3
ESS 205 Environmental Earth Sciences 4
HIST 320 Environmental History of the United States 4
PHIL 307 Environmental Ethics 3
*PLSC 327 Environmental Politics and Policy 4
   

Globalization Emphasis

 
ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology, LE 4
ANTH 355 Indian Peoples in the U.S. 4
ANTH 366 Political Anthropology 4
ANTH 390 Qualitative Research Methods 4
*PLSC 306 Comparative Political Systems 4
PLSC 414 International Relations 4
SOC 350 Gender in Society 4
SOC 372 Race, Ethnicity, and Class 4
   

History Emphasis

ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology, LE 4
HIST 113 Western Civilization, LE 3
HIST 212 World History to 1500, LE 4
HIST 213 Modern World History, LE 4
HIST 220 United States History, LE 3
HIST 301 Early Modern Europe: Renaissance and Reformation as Gateways to the Modern Era 3
HIST 302 Modern Europe: Revolution and Reaction in Modern Europe 3
HIST 313 United States History Since 1945 3
HIST 330 Middle Eastern History 3
HIST 341 Latin American Hist: Revolution in the Americas 3
HIST 343 History of Mexico: The Quest for Stability 3
HIST 381 History of Russia 4
*PLSC 367 Contemporary Political Philosophy 4
   

Management Emphasis

ACCT 213 Accounting Principles 4
ECON 253 Elementary Macroeconomics, LE 4
ECON 263 Elementary Microeconomics 4
MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE 4
MGMT 305 Principles of Management 4
MGMT 325 Business and Employment Law 4
MGMT 433 Organizational Behavior 4
*PLSC 303 Public Administration and Bureaucracy 4
   

Philosophy Emphasis

PHIL 100/100D Introduction to Philosophy, LE 3
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking, LE 4
PHIL 201 History of Philosophy I (4)
or
PHIL 202 History of Philosophy II (4)


4
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE 3
PHIL 300 Special Topics in Philosophy 1 - 4
PHIL 302 Great Philosophers 3
PHIL 307 Environmental Ethics 3
*PLSC 367 Contemporary Political Philosophy 4
   

Pre-Law Emphasis

 
COMM 310 Professional Writing 4
ECON 418 Economics and the Law 4
ENGL 371 Advanced Expository Writing 3
JUST 350 Criminal Law 4
MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE 4
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking, LE 4
PHIL 303 Formal Logic 3
PHIL 312 Applied Ethics 4
*PLSC 327 Environmental Politics and Policy 4
PLSC 367 Contemporary Political Philosophy 4
SOC 305 Contemporary Issues 4
SOC 372 Race, Ethnicity, and Class 4

*Indicates a required class.

Political Science Minor (PLSC)

Objectives

Political Science offers an academic minor focused on the study of political behavior, organizations, theories, research methodologies, and governmental institutions. The curriculum prepares students to enter public service, graduate school, law school, the corporate world, the political campaign process or the legislative process. The minor stresses understanding and analysis of the American political system as well as the examination of changing global political conditions.

Program Requirements

Students must maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA in courses required for the political science minor. Students choosing a double major or minor within the Social Science Program may not apply a class to more than one major or minor except in the case of core requirements.

For course prerequisites, please refer to the course description.

Academic Minor

Requirement Description
Credit Hours
I. Required Courses 8
  PLSC 101 Introduction to Political Science, LE
PLSC 121 American National Government, LE
4
4
II. Electives 12
 

Eight hours of upper division PLSC course work

Four hours of additional political science coursework or coursework in a related field approved by political science faculty

8

4

TOTAL HOURS FOR THE ACADEMIC MINOR 20

Recommended Plan of Study for Political Science Minor

  Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year PLSC 121, LE PLSC 101, LE
Sophomore Year Four (4) hours upper-
division PLSC coursework
 
Junior Year Four (4) hours upper-
division PLSC coursework
Four (4) hours upper-
division PLSC coursework
Senior Year    

Pre-Law Emphasis

The term "Pre-Law" does not designate a specific major or preferred undergraduate program at Westminster College as law schools do not favor one major over another. While it is possible to prepare for law school while fulfilling the requirements for any academic major, it is important to take courses that are intellectually demanding and substantive.

Students planning to enter the legal profession should obtain a broad liberal arts foundation. Law schools today are adopting entrance requirements which emphasize the ability to think and write clearly and to read and speak the English language proficiently. Students also need to develop the capacity to think analytically and creatively as well as to understand human values and institutions.

Most students are best advised to pursue a rigorous program that will be challenging and demanding as well as interesting. A double major or a major and minor are recommended. The career plans of some students can affect their choice of major and minor. Preparation for tax law, for example, would be facilitated by an accounting background. Students planning to practice in criminal or family law should concentrate on class work in the social sciences. International law students should master one or more foreign languages. Those interested in corporate law could major in business or management.

During the first semester after admission to Westminster, pre-law students are responsible for requesting from the law school(s) of their choice a list of courses required for admission so they may plan their programs accordingly with the pre-law director in the Social Science Program.

Students who intend to apply for admission to law school should consider the courses listed below to develop skills in areas important for law school success.

Education for Comprehension and Expression in Words
Credit Hours
I. Recommended Courses
The purpose here is to gain both perception and skill in the English language. Language is the lawyer's working tool. In the drafting of legal instruments, students must be able to convey meaning clearly and effectively.

In oral and written advocacy, students must also be capable of communicating ideas convincingly and concisely. In reception no less than in expression, language is fundamental as the lawyer's medium of communication.
COMM 310 Professional Writing 4
ENGL 230 Introduction to Creative Writing, LE 3
ENGL 320 Creative Writing: Fiction 3
ENGL 371 Advanced Expository Writing 3
PSYC 330 Interpersonal Communication Skills, LE 3
SPCH 111 Public Presentations, LE 3
SPCH 205 Business and Professional Communication 2

Education for Critical Understanding of Human Institutions and Values
Credit Hours
I. Recommended Courses
The purpose here is to develop insight into, rather than merely provide information about, the institutions and values with which man is concerned. Students pursuing a legal career encounter all sorts of these institutions under circumstances in which their conduct necessarily affects the conduct of others in their value choices.
MGMT 325 Business and Employment Law 4
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE 3
PLSC 121 American National Government, LE 4
PLSC 303 Public Administration and Bureaucracy 4
PLSC 327 Environmental Politics and Policy 4
PLSC 355 Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties 4
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology, LE 4
PSYC 216 Social Psychology 4
SOC 105 Introduction to Sociology, LE 4
SOC 313 Social Theory 4
SOC 372 Race and Ethnicity 4

Education for Clear and Creative Thinking
Credit Hours
I. Recommended Courses
The purpose here is to develop a power to think clearly, carefully, and independently. A large part of the work law-trained people are called upon to do calls for problem solving and sound judgment. This is true regardless of whether they devote their lives to the practice of law, to governmental administration, or to some other endeavor.
ACCT 213 Accounting Principles 4
ACCT 374 Managerial and Cost Accounting 4
MATH 120 Quantitative Reasoning, LE 4
MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE 4
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking, LE 4
PHIL 303 Formal Logic 3
PSYC 390 Research Methods 4