The department offers minor programs in Political Science, International Affairs, Political Thought, Applied Politics, Legal Policy, and Public Administration as well as a certificate in Public Administration and Policy. Each minor has its own requirements and no grade lower than a "C" in any course may count toward the minor.
Political science is an important component of a liberal arts education. An understanding of government and politics is essential to be an engaged citizen and an effective contributor to one's community. The political science minor is designed to permit students to pursue a specialization within political science not covered by the department's other minor programs or to gain a broad understanding of political science concepts and theories. The minor is available only to those who are not majoring in political science.
This minor is designed for students in any major who may want to concentrate in the study of international affairs. Students are required to acquire a significant language capability and an in-depth knowledge of one region of the world or of a policy area. The concentration provided a good foundation for further graduate study and careers in international affairs (e.g., international business, intelligence analysis, U.S. State Department, international development, international organizations, international private voluntary organizations, etc.)
The Political Thought minor allows students to acquire expertise on philosophical issues and themes that may have important implications for their major course of study. Those who undertake the program in political thought will complete a survey of the history of political philosophy and engage in a careful examination of various thinkers on a common theme. A course of independent study is required in which students combine topics from their majors with those of political philosophy. The intention of the minor program is to give students the ability to apply political-philosophical theories to topics in their major course of study and to prepare them for ethical debate in their area of expertise.
The minor in Applied Politics is designed for students in any major who are interested in careers in government and politics that do not fall within the traditional rubric of public administration. In particular, the program will provide a strong foundation for students interested in careers as legislative aides, lobbyists, party and campaign professionals, political affairs specialists and analysts for such agencies as the Congressional Research Service. This minor also provides a solid background for graduate study in American politics.
The minor in Legal Policy is offered to students who wish to gain an understanding of law as an adjunct to their primary interests. Many fields, ranging from engineering to the arts, require an understanding of the law. An understanding of law and legal issues is necessary to understand contemporary social issues and to be an effective advocate in the policy debates related to these issues. The legal policy minor will provide especially useful experiences and credentials for students in all majors who plan to attend law school. Core courses in the minor introduce students to the fundamentals of the study of American law, while the elective courses permit specialization appropriate to a student's intellectual interests or professional goals.
Students interested in pursuing a career in public administration or other government service should consider completing the requirements for the minor in public administration, or, if qualified, the certificate in public administration and policy, in addition to completing the requirements for their chosen major.