Department of Political Science

 

 

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 (cross disciplinary).
  • Offer strong minor programs: political science, public
  • Policy and administration and political communication (cross disciplinary).
  • 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, Miller Hall, Room 2120, (540)568-6149 or contact the internship coordinator, Dr. Tim LaPira.

 

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
  • Madison PAC: political science and public affairs club

 

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.

 

For information about the political science major contact:
Dr. Scott Hammond

Miller Hall, Room 2127

(540) 568-6313

 

 

Degree Requirements

 

Required Courses Credit Hours
General Education 1 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

 

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 The 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
GPOSC 225. U.S. Government 4
POSC 201. Introduction to Western Political Theory 3
POSC 295. Political Research Methods 1 4
Choose one of the following: 3
GPOSC 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.

 

Elective Courses Credit Hours
Choose one course from three of the following areas: 9
Comparative Politics  
POSC 337. Politics of Russia and the Former Soviet Union  
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 348. The Politics of Cultural Pluralism  
POSC 349. Comparative Political Behavior  
POSC 350. Latin American Politics  
POSC 353. African Politics  
POSC 354. Politics of the Middle East  
POSC 355. East Asian Politics  
POSC 371. Topics in Comparative Politics  
POSC 383. Women in Politics  
POSC 440. Rebuilding Post-Conflict Societies  
POSC/HIST 457. Comparative Empires  
International Relations  
POSC 361. Topics in International Relations  
POSC 370. U.S. Foreign Policy  
POSC/JUST 372. Ethics and International Politics  
POSC/JUST 392. Peace Studies  
POSC 395. International Law  
POSC 396. International Organizations  
POSC 397. Politics of International Economic Relations  
POSC 430. International Security and Conflict Management  
POSC 435. International Terrorism  
POSC 458. International Political Analysis  
Political Theory  
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 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 382. Religion and Politics  
POSC 384. Minority Group Politics  
POSC 385. The U.S. Congress  
POSC 386. The U.S. Judiciary  
POSC 391. Topics in Public Policy (when topic is appropriate)  
POSC 472. Media and Politics  
Two additional electives chosen from the 300 or 400 level 6
For three of these credit hours, students may also take  
one of the following courses:  
PPA 265. Public Administration  
POSC 300. Politics and Film  
POSC 301W. The Washington Semester Experience  
POSC 493. Political Communication Internship  
POSC 493W. Political Communication Internship in Washington  
POSC 495. Internship in Political Science  
POSC 495W. Washington Semester Internship in Political Science  
Senior Capstone 1  
POSC 492. Senior Seminar in Political Science 2 4

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1 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.
2 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

 

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Bachelor of Science in Public Policy and Administration

 

Coordinator: Dr. Robert N. Roberts

Miller Hall, Room 2133

(540) 568-6323

 

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 major prepares students for professional employment and leadership in government and nonprofit organizations. The 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 and 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 seminar experience that 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 prevention, 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 1 41
Quantitative requirement 2, 3 3
Scientific Literacy requirement 2 3
University electives 34
Major requirements (listed below) 39

  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
GPOSC 225. U.S. Government 4
GECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics 3
PPA 200. Introduction to Public Policy 3
PPA 265. Public Administration 3
POSC 295. Political Research Methods 1 4

  17

 

Public Policy Concentration Requirements Credit Hours
Core Requirements 17
PPA 359. Policy Analysis 3
Choose two of the following: 6
POSC 302. State and Local Government  
POSC 358. Public Policymaking  
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: 9
POSC 347. Comparative Public Policy  
POSC 367. Immigration Politics and Policy  
POSC 391. Topics in Public Policy  
POSC 397. The Politics of International Economic Relations  
PPA 460. Regionalism and Urban Policy  
PPA 461. Education and Social Policy  
PPA 462. Social Welfare and Local Government Policy  
PPA 483. Emerging Issues in Public Administration 2  
PPA 484. Environmental Regulatory Politics and Policy  
Approved ISAT course 3  
Senior Capstone 4
PPA 492. Public Policy Senior Seminar 4, 5  

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Public Management Concentration Requirements  
Core Requirements 17
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  
Process, Issue and Application Courses  
COB 241. Financial Accounting  
GEOG 215. Geospatial Tools I Cartography and GIS  
GEOG 311. Endangered Environments  
GEOG 344. Economic Geography and Development Issues  
GEOG 345. Geography of Poverty  
NPS 300. Introduction to Nonprofit Studies  
NPS 320. Nonprofit Management  
PPA 460. Regionalism and Urban Policy  
PPA 461. Education and Social Policy  
PPA 462. Social Welfare and Local Government Policy  
PPA 484. Environmental Regulatory Policy  
SCOM 350. Organizational Communication  
Approved WRTC course 3  
Required Capstone Courses  
PPA 420. Seminar in Public Management 4, 5 3
PPA 496. Internship in Public Management 5 4

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1 MATH 220 is a prerequisite for POSC 295.
2 PPA 483 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 department head or appropriate department coordinator for clarification.

 

Cross Disciplinary Major

 

Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs

The major in international affairs provides a cross disciplinary 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 major, see International Affairs.

 

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Minor Requirements

 

Political Communication Minor

The cross disciplinary minor in political communication is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in political management. For a full description of this minor, see Cross Disciplinary Studies.

 

Political Science Minor
A student may minor in political science by completing 19 credit hours of approved courses from the following list. Check with the department office for department availability of the minor.

 

Courses Credit Hours
GPOSC 225. U.S. Government 4
POSC 201. Introduction to Western Political Theory 3
Choose one upper-level American government course 3
POSC 300. Politics and Film  
POSC 301W. The Washington Semester Experience  
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 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 384. Minority Group Politics  
POSC 386. The U.S. Judiciary  
POSC/SCOM/SMAD 472. Media and Politics  
Elective chosen from 300 level courses listed above 3
or from the following:  
PPA 265. Public Administration  
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  
Choose Option One or Option Two 6
Option One:  
POSC 230. International Relations  
Choose one of the following:  
POSC/JUST 331. Human Rights in Theory and Practice  
POSC 361. Topics in International Relations  
POSC 370. U.S. Foreign Policy  
POSC/JUST 372. Ethics and International Politics  
POSC/JUST 392. Peace Studies  
POSC 395. International Law  
POSC 396. International Organizations  
POSC 397. Politics of International Economic Relations  
POSC 430. International Security and Conflict Management  
POSC 435. International Terrorism  
POSC 458. International Political Analysis  
Option Two:  
GPOSC 200. Global Politics or  
POSC 240. Comparative Politics  
Choose one of the following:  
POSC 337. Politics of Russia and the Former Soviet Union  
POSC 340. Political Development in the Third World  
POSC 344. Politics of the European Union  
POSC 345. Politics of Western Europe  
POSC 346. Politics of Central and Eastern Europe  
POSC 347. Comparative Public Policy  
POSC 348. The Politics of Cultural Pluralism  
POSC 349. Comparative Political Behavior  
POSC 350. Latin American Politics  
POSC 353. African Politics  
POSC 354. Politics of the Middle East  
POSC 355. East Asian Politics  
POSC 371. Topics in Comparative Politics  
POSC 383. Women and Politics  
POSC 440. Rebuilding Post-Conflict Societies  

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Public Policy and Administration Minor
The minor in public policy and administration seeks to give students a foundation in the nature and practice of public policy and public administration. Students get exposure to the application of policy and administration by doing an internship capstone course. The minor in public policy and administration requires 20 credit hours of course work.

 

Courses Credit Hours
GPOSC 225. U.S. Government 4
PPA 200. Introduction to Public Policy 3
PPA 265. Public Administration 3
Public Policy (Choose one) 3
POSC 367. U.S. Immigration Politics and Policy  
PPA 460. Regionalism and Urban Policy  
PPA 461. Education and Social Policy  
PPA 462. Social Welfare and Local Government Policy  
PPA 483. Emerging Issues in Public Administration 1  
PPA 484. Environmental Regulatory Policy  
Public Administration (choose one of the following) 3
MGT 365. Human Resource Management  
PPA 381. Public Budgeting  
PPA 415. Legal Environment of Public Administration  
PPA 420. Public Management  
PPA 483. Emerging Issues in Public Administration 2  
Required Capstone 4
PPA 496. Internship in Public Policy and Administration  

  20

 

1 When PPA 483 is a policy-related course.

2 When PPA 483 is an administration-related course.

 

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. If you have questions about the Washington Semester, contact the program director, Dr. David Jones.

 

 

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