Department of Political Science, Legal, and Urban Studies

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The Department of Political Science, Legal, and Urban Studies explores governmental structures, and the behaviors and institutions which affect lawmaking and the implementation of public policy in democratic and nondemocratic societies. 

The Department offers a variety of programs in the areas of government, law, urban science, and Latin America and Latino/a studies:  

  • Political Science provides students with the tools and knowledge necessary for effective citizenship in a diverse and global community. Students learn about the U.S. political system, the politics, and cultures of other regions of the world, as well as how to critically evaluate systems of authority and power.
  • Legal Studies focuses on law and the courts and is highly recommended for students wishing to pursue a pre-law course of study. The Department offers a Major and Minor in Legal Studies, as well as a Minor in Forensic Studies.
  • Urban Science and Society focuses on an interdisciplinary analysis and understanding of urban growth processes and dynamics, the critical role of cities in society, the causes, prevalence, and consequences of urban challenges, and the practice of addressing these challenges.
  • Latin American and Latino/a studies prepare students to develop a multidisciplinary understanding of the politics, economics, geography, culture, and history of Latin America and of Latinos and Latinas in the United States. Our graduates go on to work in education, business, government, and not-for-profit organizations, and others go on to pursue a Ph.D., or other advanced degrees.  
  • BA/MA – at the graduate level, we offer a dual BA/MA degree in Political Science with a master’s in public policy (MPP).

 

  • Our diverse faculty hold degrees from several well-known U.S. and international universities. They are specialists in local, national, and international politics, and have published peer-reviewed articles and books with many respected academic publishers.  Our faculty offer courses across a wide range of subjects, including:  political theory, American government, public policy, comparative politics, international relations, constitutional law, Latin American politics, research methods, urban science, and forensic studies.   
  • Our graduates have built successful careers at the city, county, state and federal government levels, as well as, in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.Many of our former students work in Washington D.C. or in government offices around the world.  Some have been elected or appointed to public office themselves.  Our department also maintains a high success rate of placing students in prestigious graduate and law school programs, including doctoral programs in political science. 
  • The department hosts two internship programs, one in Political Science and another in Urban Science, which give students valuable work experience and career guidance. Placements for the Political Science internship include government offices, political campaigns, law offices and non-profits. The department also participates in a Washington, D.C. internship program where students complete an internship and earn up to 15 credits while in D.C. for a semester. 
  • We offer a bachelor’s degree in political Science and Masters in Public Policy (MPP) degree. Our students have done internships in Washington DC, with several state and national representatives and have built careers in city, county, state and the federal government and have followed a variety of career paths in public, private and non-profit sectors. Many now work in the nation’s capital or around the world. Several have been elected or appointed to public office while others have gone to law school and doctoral programs in political science. 

 

Majors

  • BA in Latin American and Latinx Studies
  • BA in Legal Studies
  • BA in Political Science
  • BA in Urban Science and Society
  • Accelerated 5-Year BA/MA in Political Science & Public Policy

Minors

  • Minor in Forensic Studies
  • Minor in International Studies
  • Minor in Latin American and Latinx Studies
  • Minor in Legal Studies
  • Minor in Middle East Studies
  • Minor in Political Science
  • Minor in Public Policy and Administration
  • Minor in Urban Studies

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)

BA in Latin American and Latino Studies
A major in Latin American and Latino studies enhances student awareness of the variety of systems and cultures within Latin America and the political economy of the Americas. Students will gain knowledge and skills to pursue career paths in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors that require specialized knowledge of Latin America. The major will also increase undergraduate student preparation for possible graduate study in political science and international affairs.

BA in Legal Studies
The program in legal studies prepares students for law school or graduate school. Additionally, the program prepares students for careers in court administration, law office management, human resources management, dispute resolution, business, local, state, or federal government, and nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.

BA in Political Science
The program in political science offers valuable preparation for a wide variety of careers in the public sector, non-profit sector, and the private sector. Students obtain skills that will prepare them to enter electoral politics, education, business, law, journalism, government service, and nonprofit service. Additionally, students gain knowledge and skills for successful entry into graduate school or law school.

BA/MA in Political Science
In the addition to the academic and professional preparation students gain during the undergraduate portion of the program, the MA portion prepares students for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, and the private sector. Examples of career opportunities include policy analysts, program managers, legislative aides, researchers, public relations officers, lobbyists, human rights workers, security personnel, social studies teachers, and political journalists.

MA in Public Policy and International Affairs
The master of arts program in public policy and international affairs prepares graduates to pursue successful careers in government, the nonprofit sector, and the private sector. Examples of career opportunities include policy analysts, program managers, legislative aides, researchers, public relations officers, lobbyists, human rights workers, security personnel, social studies teachers, and political journalists.

The Department mission is structured around experiential-learning opportunities that underscore a need for multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches to social problems, governance and policy, cultural identity and building diverse communities, conflict negotiation and participative democracy.  We aim

  1. to enable students to gain critical skills in order to analyze society and imagine and develop a praxis for social change, and
  2. to empower students to craft professional careers that enable the flourishing of commitments to public service, community leadership, and social justice.

Minor in International Studies
A minor in international studies will enhance student awareness of a variety of systems and cultures, international political economy, and a variety of career paths in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. The minor will increase undergraduate student preparation for entering such careers and enhance student preparation for possible graduate study in political science, international affairs, or related fields.

Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies
A minor in Latin American and Latino studies will enhance student awareness of the variety of systems and cultures within Latin America and the political economy of the Americas. Students will gain knowledge and skills they can use to pursue career opportunities that expect some specialized knowledge of Latin America. The minor will also increase undergraduate student preparation for possible graduate study in political science, international affairs, or related fields.

Minor in Legal Studies
A minor in legal studies will enhance student awareness and identification of career paths in law and the public sector; increase undergraduate student preparation for entering such careers; and enhance student preparation for possible graduate study in law.

Minor in Middle East Studies
A minor in Middle East studies will enhance student awareness of a variety of systems and cultures within the region. Students will gain knowledge and skills they can use to pursue career opportunities that expect some specialized knowledge of the Middle East. The minor will also increase undergraduate student preparation for possible graduate study in political science, international affairs, or related fields.

Minor in Political Science
A minor in political science will enhance student awareness and identification of career paths in the public and nonprofit sectors; increase undergraduate student preparation for entering such careers; and enhance student preparation for possible graduate study in political science and related fields.

Minor in Public Policy and Administration
A minor in public policy and administration will enhance student awareness and identification of career paths in the public sector; increase undergraduate student preparation for entering such careers; and enhance student preparation for possible graduate study in public policy and administration.