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Department of Political Science

Dr. Kay Knickrehm, Head
Phone: (540) 568-6149
E-mail: knickrkm@jmu.edu
Web site: www.jmu.edu/polisci/

Professors
J. Adolino, C. Blake, A. Eksterowicz, S. Hammond, K. Knickrehm, R. Roberts, D. Skelley, R. Teske

Associate Professors
D. Jones, H. Lubert, V. Sulfaro

Assistant Professors
M. Adams, A. Broscheild, J. Byrne, M. Cohen, K. Ferraiolo, M. Jamal, J. Keller, G. Kirk, N. Kistner, C. Koski,
J. Scherpereel, Y. Yang

 

Mission Statement
Career Opportunities
Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
Special Admission Requirements
Majors in the Department of Political Science
Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs
Political Communication Minor
Political Science Minor
Public Policy and Administration Minor
The Washington Semester Program

 

Mission Statement

The Department of Political Science offers strong major and minor programs sharing a focus on public concerns. We are committed to providing our students with the tools and competence to succeed in their lives, their graduate education and their careers by instilling academic rigor, information access and research skills, dedication to life-long learning and respect for diversity in cultures, nations and institutions of democracy.

 

Goals

To carry out the above mission, the Department of Political Science seeks to:

  • offer strong major programs: the B.A. in political science; the B.S. in public policy and administration and the B.A. in international affairs (interdisciplinary). (See “Interdisciplinary Programs.”)
  • offer strong minor programs: political science, public policy and administration and political communication (interdisciplinary).
  • enhance critical thinking, communication and information gathering skills.
  • foster active learning through research, simulations and internships.

 

Career Opportunities

The political science department offers programs that lead students to careers in the following fields:

  • Administration and management
  • Federal, state and local government
  • International organizations
  • Law
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Politics
  • Private sector

To enhance the marketability of its students, the political science department supports career-related internships. For information contact the political science office, Maury Hall 118, (540) 568-6149 or contact the internship coordinator, Dr. Skelley at skellebd@jmu.edu.

 

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

  • Pi Alpha Alpha: public administration honor society
  • Pi Sigma Alpha: political science honor society
  • Pre-Law Society
  • Sigma Iota Rho: international affairs honor society
  • Political Science Club

 

Special Admission Requirements

Students wishing to major in political science, international affairs, or public policy and administration must complete four preparation courses to progress in the major.

Required pre-major courses and the procedures for becoming a major are available on the department Web site at http://www.jmu.edu/polisci/newstudent.html.

 

Majors in the Department of Political Science

The Department of Political Science offers the B. A. degree with a major in political science, the B.S. degree with a major in public policy and administration and the B.A. degree with a major in international affairs.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

For a major in political science, the student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 33 credit hours, including

  • A 14-hour core introducing students to the conduct of political inquiry in the major areas of the discipline, an awareness of global issues and cultural diversity and the techniques of original research.
  • A 15-hour depth requirement in which students take at least one course from three of the major areas of political inquiry and acquire additional experience in the application of research techniques.
  • A four-hour capstone experience designed to bring together knowledge gained in different courses into a coherent whole, to foster a capacity for lifelong learning, to connect the major to experiences outside the university, and to provide the opportunity to work individually with a faculty member.

Please direct questions about the political science major to Dr. Scott Hammond, Maury Hall 219, (540) 568-6313, hammonsj@jmu.edu.

 

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education courses1
41
Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required)2
0-14
Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses)
3
University electives
28-39
Major requirements (listed below)
33

 
120
1The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student’s chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Language’s placement test.

 

Major Requirements

Core Requirements
Credit Hours
G POSC 225. U.S. Government
4
POSC 201. Introduction to Western Political Theory
3
POSC 295. Political Research Methods1
4
Choose one of the following:
3

G POSC 200. Global Politics
POSC 230. International Relations
POSC 240. Comparative Politics

1 MATH 220 is a prerequisite for POSC 295.

 

Electives

In addition to the core requirements, political science majors must elect 15 hours of approved courses from the 300 level or above and at least one from three major areas of political inquiry. Students are encouraged to complete the core requirements before taking any course above the level of POSC 301.

Choose one course from three of the following areas:
9
Comparative Politics

POSC 337. Russian Political System
POSC 339. Politics of Communist and Post-Communist Societies
POSC 340. Political Development in the Third World
POSC 344. Politics of European Union
POSC 345. Politics of Western Europe
POSC 346. Politics of Central and Eastern Europe
POSC 347. Comparative Public Policy
POSC 350. Latin American Politics
POSC 353. African Politics
POSC 355. East Asian Politics
POSC 371. Topics in Comparative Politics

International Relations
POSC 338. Russian Foreign Policy
POSC 361. Topics in International Relations
POSC 370. U.S. Foreign Policy
POSC/JUST 392. Peace Studies
POSC 395. International Law
POSC 396. International Organizations
POSC 397. Politics of International Economic Relations
POSC 435. Seminar in International Terrorism Theory

Political Theory

POSC 300. Political Analysis
POSC 310. Political Theory: Ancient to Early Modern
POSC 315. Political Theory: Early Modern to the 19th Century
POSC 316. Contemporary Political Theory
POSC 321. Political Theory and Ideology
POSC 330. American Political Thought
POSC 381. Topics in Political Theory

American Government

POSC 302. State and Local Government
POSC 325. Constitutional Law
POSC 326. Civil Rights
POSC 351. Topics in American Politics
POSC 358. Public Policymaking
POSC 360. Urban Politics
POSC 362. Political Behavior
POSC 365. American Political Campaigning
POSC 368. Interest Groups and Public Policy
POSC 369. Political Parties and Elections
POSC 380. The U.S. Presidency
POSC 383. Women and Politics
POSC 385. The U.S. Congress
POSC 386. The U.S. Judiciary
POSC 472. Media and Politics

Two additional electives chosen from the 300 or 400 level. For three of these credit hours, students may substitute one of the following 200 level courses:

6

POSC 210. Introduction to Law and Jurisprudence
PPA 265. Public Administration

Senior Capstone1

POSC 492. Senior Seminar in Political Science2

4

 
33

1 Student should fulfill the senior capstone requirement for each major and minor separately. This means that senior experiences completed for one major or minor cannot normally be counted for another. Students who have questions about a particular situation should see the academic unit head or appropriate academic unit coordinator for clarification.
2 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

 

Bachelor of Science in Public Policy and Administration

Dr. Ben D. Skelley, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-6832
E-mail: skellebd@jmu.edu

The major in public policy and administration provides students with a general foundation in the nature of public policy, the public workplace and its political, legal, and managerial environments. This program consists of a core of courses offering general knowledge essential for understanding and working in the public arena. This core provides students with an appreciation of the political culture of public work, the economic environment of public work, measurement techniques and a basic understanding of the policy process.

Students are offered a choice between two concentration options: public policy or public management. In the public policy concentration students acquire knowledge of the nature, dynamics, implementation and substance of public policy and its analysis. Courses address:

  • Policy processes
  • Techniques for analyzing policy options
  • The dynamics and substance of particular policy issues

The public management concentration emphasizes management and management-related skills. Courses address:

  • The legal environment of public work
  • Organization theories
  • Management theories and applications
  • Management best practices

In addition, courses in both concentrations heighten students’ critical, analytical and communication skills through case studies, exercises and the intensive writing requirement. The public policy concentration requires a senior capstone experience which seeks to bring policy theory and analytical skills to bear on a practical issue of public policy. Public management students must complete the dual capstone requirements of a public management seminar and an internship, requiring an integration of knowledge from both general studies and major studies by focusing students on specific cases and workplace applications.

Because the public policy and administration major develops techniques and skills applicable to varied career paths in public service, students are encouraged to choose a complementary minor with a narrower, substantive focus. The minors recommended for students’ consideration include criminal justice, environmental information systems, environmental management, environmental studies, family studies, gerontology, health information systems, nonprofit studies, political communication, substance abuse intervention, telecommunications, urban and regional studies, communication studies, conflict analysis and intervention, sociology, technical and scientific communication, economics, human resource development, computer science, public health, and integrated science and technology.

Interested students may apply to participate in the Fifth Year Master of Public Administration degree program, which allows qualified students to earn an M.P.A. degree with one additional year of study. Students should apply for this program in their sophomore year. See the JMU Graduate Catalog for more information.

 

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education courses1
41
Quantitative requirement2,3
3
Scientific Literacy requirement2
3-4
University electives
34
Major requirements (listed below)
39-40

 
120
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 In addition to course work taken to fulfill General Education requirements.
3 For this requirement, public policy and administration majors should take MATH 220, the prerequisite for POSC 295, a required core course in the major.

 

Major Requirements

Core Requirements
Credit Hours
G POSC 225. U.S. Government
4
G ECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics
3
PPA 200. Introduction to Public Policy
3
PPA 265. Public Administration
3
POSC 295. Political Research Methods1 Public Policy Concentration Requirements
4
   
Public Policy Concentration Requirements
POSC 358. Public Policymaking
3
PPA 359. Policy Analysis
3
Choose one of the following:
3

POSC 302. State and Local Government
POSC 368. Interest Groups and Public Policy
POSC 380. U.S. Presidency
POSC 385. U.S. Congress
POSC 386. The American Judiciary

Choose three substantive policy electives from the following:

POSC 347. Comparative Public Policy
POSC 360. Urban Politics
POSC 391. Topics in Public Policy
POSC 397. The Politics of International Economic Relations
Approved ISAT course3

Senior Capstone

PPA 492. Public Policy Senior Seminar4,5

   
Public Management Concentration Requirements
PPA 381. Budgetary Process
3
MGT 365. Human Resource Management
3
PPA 415. Legal Environment of Public Administration
3
Choose two courses, one from each list:
6-7

Institutional Courses

PPA 325. Regional Planning and Organization
PPA 412. Seminar in Intergovernmental Relations
PPA 483. Emerging Issues in Public Administration
POSC 302. State and Local Government
POSC 380. U.S. Presidency
POSC 385. U.S. Congress
POSC 396. International Organizations

Processes, Issue and Application Courses

COB 241. Financial Accounting
GEOG 310. Environmental Issues
GEOG 344. Economic Geography and Development Issues
GEOG 366. Geographic Information Science
NPS 300. Introduction to Nonprofit Studies
NPS 320. Nonprofit Management
SCOM 350. Organizational Communication
Approved TSC Course3

   

Required Capstone Courses

PPA 420. Public Management4,5
3
PPA 496. Internship in Public Management5
4

 
39-40

1 MATH 220 is a prerequisite for POSC 295.
2 POSC 351 may be taken when the course topic addresses a public policy issue.
3 Consult the public policy and administration coordinator.
4 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
5 Students should fulfill the senior capstone requirement for each major and minor separately. This means that senior experiences completed for one major or minor cannot normally be counted for another. Students who have questions about a particular situation should see the academic unit head or appropriate academic unit coordinator for clarification.

 

Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs

The major in international affairs provides an interdisciplinary understanding of foreign cultures and societies, the dynamics of world politics and how other nations perceive the world and why they act the way they do. For a full description of this interdisciplinary major, see “Interdisciplinary Programs.”

 

Political Communication Minor

The interdisciplinary minor in political communication is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in political management. For a full description of this minor, refer to “Interdisciplinary Programs.”

 

Political Science Minor

A student may minor in political science by completing 19 credit hours of approved courses from the following list. This minor is currently suspended. Check with the department office for department availability of the minor.

Courses
Credit Hours
G POSC 225. U.S. Government
4
POSC 201. Introduction to Western Political Theory
3
Choose one upper-level American government course
3

POSC 302. State and Local Government
POSC 325. Constitutional Law
POSC 326. Civil Rights
POSC 351. Topics in American Politics
POSC 358. Public Policymaking
POSC 360. Urban Politics
POSC 362. Political Behavior
POSC 365. American Political Campaigning
POSC 368. Interest Groups and Public Policy
POSC 369. Political Parties and Elections
POSC 380. The U.S. Presidency
POSC 383. Women and Politics
POSC 385. The U.S. Congress
POSC 358. Public Policymaking

Elective chosen from 300 level courses listed
above or from the following:

3

PPA 265. Public Administration
POSC 310. Political Theory: Ancient to Early Modern
POSC 415. Political Theory: Early Modern to the 19th Century
POSC 316. Contemporary Political Theory
POSC 321. Political Theory and Ideology
POSC 330. American Political Thought
POSC 381. Topics in Political Theory

 
Choose Option One or Option Two
6

Option One:

POSC 230. International Relations
Choose one of the following:

POSC 361. Topics in International Relations
POSC 370. U.S. Foreign Policy
POSC/JUST 392. Peace Studies
POSC 395. International Law
POSC 396. International Organizations
POSC 397. Politics of International Economic Relations
POSC 435. Seminar in International Terrorism

Option Two:

G POSC 200. Global Politics or POSC 240. Comparative Politics

Choose one of the following:

POSC 337. Russian Political System
POSC 339. Politics of Communist and Post-Communist Systems
POSC 340. Political Development in the Third World
POSC 345. Politics of Western Europe
POSC 347. Comparative Public Policy
POSC 350. Latin American Politics
POSC 353. African Politics
POSC 355. East Asian Politics
POSC 371. Topics in Comparative Politics


19

 

Public Policy and Administration Minor

The requirement for a minor in public policy and administration is 19 credit hours of courses from the following list. Check with the department office for availability of the minor.

Courses
Credit Hours
G POSC 225. U.S. Government
4
MGT 365. Human Resource Management
3
PPA 265. Public Administration
3
PPA 415. Legal Environment of Public Administration
3
PPA 381. Budgetary Process
3
PPA 420. Public Management
3

 
19

 

In addition to the core courses, the department encourages students to take PPA 496, Internship in Public Management.

 

The Washington Semester Program

The political science department offers a Washington Semester Program. In the fall semester the focus is on American politics. In the spring the focus is on global and international politics. In both semesters students have the opportunity to do a Washington-based internship and take a course from specialists in the field. Housing is arranged by JMU and JMU tuition is paid. The American politics program is especially designed for students who are majoring or minoring in programs associated with the political science department. The global semester encourages students from all majors that have an international or global focus to enroll.