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Program Details

Political Science [POL] (Major)

This major in the Political Science Department examines the broad range of concerns surrounding people and the power of government; it provides a strong grounding in American government, comparative/international politics and political theory.

Political science majors are expected to complete a core curriculum covering the basics of U.S. and world politics, research techniques and political theory. In addition, students are expected to explore the different fields of political science through upper division course work. Finally, all students must complete a capstone course either through a seminar or internship experience.

Career Potential

  • State or federal legislative aide
  • Campaign manager
  • Local, state or federal elected representative
  • Journalist/reporter
  • Federal Agent

A. Required Courses: 12 credit hours
  • POL 100 - Introduction to American Government and Politics (3 cr. hr.) (GE categories 3 and 4)
  • POL 101 - Introduction to World Politics (3 cr. hr.) (GE categories 3 and 6)
  • POL 112 - Introduction to Political Research (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 270 - Introduction to Political Theory (3 cr. hr.) (GE 5)
B. Other: 24 credit hours
Comparative Politics or International Relations: Three credit hours

Select one course from the following:

  • POL 160 - Model European Union (1-2 cr. hr.)
  • POL 162 - Soccer: Politics, Law and Culture (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 250 - International Relations (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 260 - Comparative Politics: Europe (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 262 - Comparative Politics: Asia (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 264 - Comparative Politics: Latin America (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 290 - Introduction to African Politics and Society (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 350 - American Foreign Policy (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 362 - Politics of Developing Nation States (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 376 - Asian Political Thought (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 441 - Comparative Public Policy (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 450 - International Law (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 454 - International Politics in Asia (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 455 - International Politics in Latin America (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 456 - International Politics in the Middle East (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 461 - Europe Today: People and Politics (3 cr. hr.)
American Government or Political Theory: Three credit hours

Select one course from the following:

  • POL 111 - Politics and Film (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 202 - Introduction to Law and the Judicial Process (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 240 - Introduction to Public Administration and Public Policy (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 242 - Environmental Policy (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 292 - Race and Politics in America (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 302 - Law and Politics (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 303 - The Criminal Justice System (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 304 - Constitutional Law I - Powers (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 307 - The Internet and the Law (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 308 - Environmental Law (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 312 - Methods of Political Analysis (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 320 - The Legislative Process (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 326 - State and Local Government (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 330 - Political Parties and Social Movements (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 332 - Elections In America (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 338 - Media and Politics (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 341 - Current Issues in Public Policy (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 342 - Environmental Policy and Biodiversity (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 347 - The Politics of Education Policy (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 348 - Gun Control: Crime, Law, Policy (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 372 - American Political Thought (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 404 - Constitutional Law II: Civil Liberties (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 405 - Discrimination Law (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 420 - The American Presidency (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 440 - Law and Politics in the Administrative Process (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 489 - Moot Court
Political Science Elective Courses: 18 credit hours

At least 15 credit hours of Political Science courses must be at the 300 level and above.

Capstone Experience Requirement - select one of the following:
  • POL 470 - Justice and Society: Theory and Practice (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 471 - Legal Theory (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 480 - Washington Semester (16 cr. hr.)
  • POL 482 - New York State Legislative Internship (15 cr. hr.)
  • POL 483 - Public Administration and Policy Internship (3 cr. hr.)
  • POL 484 - Prelaw Internship (3 cr. hr.)
    Other POL capstone course with consent of department.    
Total Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 120

Example of the B.A. in Political Science over four years

This chart is simply a model and does not reflect the expectations for all political science programs.

First Year
Fall Total credit hours: 16-17
  • Foreign language 101
  • GE 1: Quantitative Skills (e.g. POL 112)
  • COR 101 - The Cortland Experience: A First Year Seminar (1 cr. hr.)
  • CPN 100 - Writing Studies I (3 cr. hr.)
    or
  • CPN 102 - Writing Studies in the Community I (4 cr. hr.)
  • POL 100 - Introduction to American Government and Politics (3 cr. hr.) (GE categories 3 and 4)
  • POL 101 - Introduction to World Politics (3 cr. hr.) (GE categories 3 and 6)
Spring Total credit hours: 15-16
  • Foreign language 102
  • POL elective/concentration
  • GE elective
  • GE elective
  • PN 101 - Writing Studies II (3 cr. hr.) or
  • CPN 103 - Writing Studies in the Community II (4 cr. hr.)
Second Year
Fall Total credit hours: 15
  • Foreign language 201
  • POL elective/concentration
  • GE elective
  • GE elective
  • GE elective
Spring Total credit hours: 18
  • Foreign language 202
  • GE elective
  • GE elective
  • POL elective/concentration
  • POL elective/concentration
  • Free elective/minor
Third Year
Fall Total credit hours: 15
  • POL elective/concentration
  • Free elective/minor
  • Free elective/minor
  • Free elective
  • POL 270 - Introduction to Political Theory (3 cr. hr.)
Spring Total credit hours: 15
  • POL elective/concentration (WI)
  • POL elective/concentration
  • Free elective/minor
  • Free elective/minor
  • Free elective
Fourth Year
Fall Total credit hours: 15
  • POL elective/concentration
  • POL elective/concentration
  • Free elective/minor
  • Free elective
  • Free elective
Spring Total credit hours: 15
  • POL elective/concentration (WI)
  • POL elective/concentration
  • Free elective
  • Free elective
  • Free elective