American Government/Law Concentration, Political Science, BA/BS

Major
On Campus, Day
Economics, History & Political Science
Dr. Spero lecturing to class

In Short

The American Government/Law concentration will help you understand the balance between freedom and law, between the three branches of government, between federal and state systems, and the welfare and safety of our nation.

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What will I do?
  • Develop key understandings about legal and constitutional principles, American institutions, elections, and public policy as well as research methodology.
  • Acquire critical reading, researching, argumentation, and analysis of scholarly/theoretical political trends essential to and sought by all employers.
  • Work closely with faculty to conduct in small classes to explore real-world situations that are translatable to in-demand job skills.
  • Earn a distinctive political science degree for unlimited job possibilities.

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Program Overview

Understanding your government is critical to good citizenship.  For better or worse, government plays a significant role in our daily lives, ranging from the amount you pay in taxes, the price of gas, to when and where you can but alcohol. Beyond these daily concerns, there are also much larger issues from the security of the nation to your freedom to protest when you disagree with the current administration. Given that government impacts the various choices available to us, this major will help you understand how the process works and how you can more fully participate in democratic self-determination.

The American Government and Law concentration will help you understand the balance between freedom and law, between the three branches of government, between federal and state systems, and the welfare and safety of our nation.

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Experiential Opportunities

Moot Court

Like generations of our Political Science graduates, our current and future generations of leaders learn and hone their skills in a broad-based curriculum and co-curricular events, especially in the award-winning Moot Court program. Moot court will teach you valuable life and legal skills and is a great opportunity to put into practice what you are learning.
Read more about: Moot Court

Internships

Internships with government agencies, elected officials, law firms/offices, non-governmental or international organizations, including through our Washington Center (Washington, DC) internship program, provide hands-on learning which leads to career opportunities.
Read more about: Internships

Study Abroad

Faculty-led study abroad course opportunities also increase student life-transforming experiences, as do student/faculty cooperative research projects.
Read more about: Study Abroad

Curriculum and Other Information

POLITICAL SCIENCE KNOWLEDGE

Objective: Demonstrates evidence of comprehension of Political Science knowledge

Graduates should have the ability to demonstrate comprehension of the political beliefs and values that have shaped Western or non-Western politics, demonstrating mastery of course materials (2000+ level) for the:

  • Ability to make coherent arguments about political beliefs and values that have shaped Western or non-Western politics;
  • Ability to write cogently on the political beliefs and values that have shaped Western or non-Western politics;
  • Ability to debate different points of view on the political beliefs and values that have shaped Western or non-Western politics.

In demonstrating comprehension of Political Science Knowledge, graduates demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • The political structure, operations, processes, and ideologies of American government, comparative foreign governments, or international political institutions (elections, parties, interest groups, or public opinion, etc.);
  • A comprehension of constitutional principles, including the separation of powers, federalism, civil liberties, civil rights, due process, or comparative foreign governmental separation of powers of similar or differing constitutional or non-constitutional governing systems;
  • The substance and controversies of domestic American public policy (education, health care, criminal justice, etc.) or comparative governmental systems of public policy and international political institutions (homeland security, international trade and commerce, military and defense, environment, globalized ethics, standards, and cultures, etc.).

POLITICAL SCIENCE REASONING AND ARGUMENTATION

Objective: Demonstrates evidence of comprehension about Political Science reasoning and argumentation

Graduates should have the ability to make arguments coherently, write cogently, and debate different points of view effectively on some of the major political/political science issues of the times, demonstrating mastery of course materials (2000+ level).

POLITICAL SCIENCE METHODOLOGY

Objective: Demonstrates evidence of comprehension in Political Science methodology

Graduates should have the ability and knowledge to utilize Political Science methodology to research and interpret political data, including statistical data, demonstrating mastery of course materials (2000+ level), for the:

  • Ability to employ methods of data collection for survey research, documented analysis, and observation;
  • Ability to understand methodological measurement concepts and limits, demonstrating an understanding of the scientific process as applied to the study of government and politics;
  • Ability to interpret and calculate basic statistics for correctly choosing, calculating, and interpreting statistical data at the introductory level.

POLITICAL SCIENCE THEORY

Objective: Demonstrates evidence of comprehension of Political Science theories Graduates should apply by explaining how a specific American domestic or International Political Science theories get put into practice within or across a political system or political systems at local, regional, national, or international levels of governments or international institutions, demonstrating mastery of course materials (2000+ level), for the:

  • Ability to grasp the theoretical Political Science literature and theoretical debates of the discipline (elections, political parties, public sector roles, private sector influences, international organizational or institutional approaches/impact);
  • The application of theoretical principles to the daily functioning of American government at the local, regional, state-wide, national or federal level; comparative foreign governments at the country-wide level; or international political organizational and institutional levels.
  • Civil Servant
  • Executive
  • Judge
  • Lawyer
  • Lobbyist
  • Manager
  • Probation Officer
  • Teacher/Educator