Political Science (POL)

Political Science is the study of how societies make collective decisions through politics and government. It is subdivided into the following areas: American politics (study of American institutions and practices); comparative politics (study of foreign governments); international relations (study of war, international organization, and foreign policies); political theory (study of the bases of legitimate political authority); political behavior (study of why people vote and act as they do in political matters); and public policy (study of organizational decision-making and the consequences of government action).

The objective of the Political Science major is to give the student a general introduction to all the major subfields of the discipline and an in-depth exposure to one or two of them. Students study not only the major literature of the subfields, but also learn research methods and become familiar with ongoing research. Internships in Long Island, Albany, and Washington offer selected students the opportunity to gain practical experience.

The Political Science major provides a strong liberal arts background for students who may enter such fields as journalism, business, public administration, social welfare, teaching, and law. Those who graduate from law school go on to work in law firms, in businesses, and in government agencies at all levels. Most Political Science majors who apply to law school are admitted, many of them to top-ranking institutions. Some Political Science majors attend graduate school in the field, leading to careers as teachers and researchers of politics at colleges and universities.