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  Academic Programs / Liberal Arts

Political Science

408 Gladfelter Hall
215-204-7796
www.cla.temple.edu/politicalscience/

 

Richard Deeg, Chair
409 Gladfelter Hall
215-204-6195
rdeeg@temple.edu

Orfeo Fioretos, Undergraduate Chair
456 Gladfelter Hall
215-204-8919

kof@temple.edu

Alistair Howard, Undergraduate Faculty Advisor and Internship Coordinator
424 Gladfelter Hall
alistair@temple.edu

Belinda Wilson, Administrator

338A Gladfelter Hall

215-204-0472

bwilson@temple.edu

 

The Political Science major and minor provide a systematic study of politics in the United States (federal, state, and local) and foreign countries.  Students will have an opportunity to compare United States politics and policy to those of other nations and to study the relationship among states within the international system.  Special emphasis will be placed on using theoretical tools to study the role institutions and social relations play in shaping political outcomes, as well as the relationship between politics and economics (political economy).

The key educational goal for political science students is analytical thinking.  Students will recognize and understand various patterns in the distribution of political power and recurrent models of political behavior. Students will also gain insight into the relationship between the distribution of resources and power within society and political outcomes. As politics inherently involves how societies distribute life opportunities, students will also reflect upon the moral choices involved in political life. The department teaches students how to develop the capacity to conduct empirical research in order to illuminate and revise theoretical models of politics. Students will be expected to use a full range of data and to write clearly.

Political Science graduates pursue a wide range of careers.  They may work in government offices (at all levels), political campaigns, private voluntary organizations, unions and community organizations, as well as the private sector.  Some pursue teaching careers.  A degree in Political Science is also excellent preparation for law school.

The department can arrange internships, which are typically linked to academic study. In addition, our Experiential Learning Program offers internships combined with academic seminars every term.

The department has two important student organizations:  the Political Science Majors Association and the Political Science Honor Society - Pi Sigma Alpha, Temple Chapter.

Course sequencing for Political Science Majors

Students begin the major by taking four introductory courses (Political Science 1101: The American Political System, Political Science 1201: Foreign Government and Politics, Political Science 1301: International Politics, and Political Science 2496: Introduction to Political Philosophy).  Courses should be sequenced so that students take the introductory courses before the upper-level courses.  Political Science 1101 is an introduction to U.S. politics and should be taken before upper-level courses in this area. Similarly, Political Science 1201 introduces foreign governments and precedes upper-level courses in this field.  Political Science 1301 introduces international politics and is a prerequisite for upper-level courses in this subject matter.  Political Science 2496 introduces political theory and should be taken after a student has had several Political Science courses and should precede upper-level theory courses.

Once the introductory courses are completed, students can move on to the electives at the upper level (numbered 2000-4999), of which 3 are needed.   Students should pay particular attention to the order in which they take the research methods-capstone sequence (which is taken concurrent with the electives; see notes below).  The first course in this sequence is Evidence and Knowledge (Political Science 2503), a research design course that teaches students how to conduct empirical research, an essential skill for successfully completing the upper-level courses.  Evidence and Knowledge will lay the foundation for the next two capstone preparation courses (Political Science 3501-3599). These research-intensive courses focus on an advanced topic, like other upper level courses, but they also place an emphasis on sharpening the research skills covered in the first course.  Once two capstone prep/research intensive courses are completed, the student enrolls in a capstone seminar, the culminating experience of the Political Science major.


Summary of Degree Requirements

1. University Requirements:

  • Mathematics 0701 (4 s.h.) and/or English 0701 (4 s.h.), if required by placement testing.
  • All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses as part of the major. See below for a list of the specific courses required for your major.
  • Students must complete requirements of the General Education (GenEd) Program. See the General Education section of the Undergraduate Bulletin for more details.

2. College of Liberal Arts Requirements:

  • Completion of a minimum of 123 credits, including: 90 credits in CLA/CST courses, 45 credits of which must be at the upper level (numbered 2000-4999). For Social Science majors, 6 upper level credits must be taken in the Humanities Departments (English, French, German, Greek and Roman Classics, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese (only available at our Japan campus), Philosophy, Religion, Russian, and Spanish), Art History, or any department in the College of Science and Technology.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0, cumulatively, in CLA/CST coursework, and in the major.
  • Only courses in which a student receives a grade of at least C- can satisfy GenEd, major, minor, or CLA Foreign Language and Global Studies requirements.

3. Foreign Language/Global Studies Requirements:

1) All students must complete the second level of a foreign language;

2) All students must complete at least one course from the GenEd Global/World Society category; and

3) All students must complete one of the following options:

  • Third level of a foreign language;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language;
  • A second General Education Global/World Society course;
  • Study Abroad at an approved program; or
  • Take one Global Studies course from the list on the CLA College Graduation Requirements page.

4. Major Requirements (33 s.h.)

Specifically Required courses:

  • Political Science 1101, 1201, 1301, 2496
  • Political Science 2503
  • Two Research Preparatory courses numbered Political Science 3501-3599
  • Political Science 4896

Electives in Major

  • 3 courses in Political Science numbered 2000-4999, that are not used for any of the above requirements.

5. General electives vary according to a student's individual program of study. Consult your academic advisor for more information.

 

Requirements for the Major

 

Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
Political Science 1101 The American Political System (Honor Students take 1911) 3  
Political Science 1201 Foreign Governments & Politics (Honor Students take 1921) 3  
Political Science 1301 International Politics (Honor Students take 1931) 3  
Political Science 2496 Introduction to Political Philosophy 3 WI
Political Science 2503 Evidence and Knowledge 3  
Political Science 4896 Capstone Seminar in Political Science 3 WI
Political Science   Select 2 Research Preparatory courses numbered 3501-3599 6  
         
Political Science Electives Select 3 upper-level courses numbered 2000-4999 (with the exception of 2496) 9  
         
Total     33  

 

Note:  Political Science 4896 is the Capstone course for the major and should be taken in the senior year after the completion of Political Science 1101, 1201, 1301, 2496, 2503, three additional Political Science courses numbered 2000-4999, and two Research Preparatory courses numbered Political Science 3501-3599.  Not all courses are offered every semester.  Please check the Class Schedule for actual course offerings each semester.

Note:  All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses. The specific writing-intensive courses required for this major are listed above and are identified by "WI" in the Attribute column.

Requirements for the Minor

 

Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
Introduction - select two  
   6
 
Political Science
Political Science
Political Science
Political Science
1101
1201
1301
2496
The American Political System (Honor Students take 1911)
Foreign Governments & Politics (Honor Students take 1921)
International Politics (Honor Students take 1931)
Introduction to Political Philosophy

 




WI
         
Political Science Electives Select 4 upper-level courses numbered 2000-4999 (with the exception of 2496)   12  
         
Total       18  

 

Special Programs

Political Science Honors Program: The Political Science Honors Program is designed to give highly motivated Political Science students the opportunity to take academically rigorous honors seminars with other honors students, and to acquire the skills necessary to undertake in-depth independent research on topics of interest. The Department's Honors Program is excellent preparation for graduate school, and deepens the information literacy goals of the General Education requirement.

Political Science majors who have completed their sophomore year with a 3.6 GPA or above are eligible to be a member of the Departmental Honors Program in Political Science.  Departmental Honors students are allowed to take the junior (Political Science 3996) and senior (Political Science 4996) capstones.  Students who pass both capstones with a B or better will graduate with Distinction in the Major.  In addition, Political Science 3996 counts as an upper-level elective and writing intensive course and Political Science 4996 counts as the senior capstone requirement. 

Admission into the Departmental Honors Program
Eligible students will be contacted via e-mail in the spring semester.  Students who believe they are eligible for the program but who were not contacted are encouraged to contact the Political Science Honors Director, Dr. Orfeo Fioretos, kof@temple.edu.

Funding and Support: Honors Program students may apply for financial support to cover research-related activities, such as visits to archives, travel to present a scholarly paper, etc., through the Creative Arts, Research and Scholarship (CARAS) Program: www.temple.edu/vpus/opportunities/CARAS.htm.

Funding is also available through the Diamond Research Scholars Program: www.temple.edu/vpus/opportunities/ResearchScholars.htm.

Honors students are also encouraged to submit their completed senior thesis to the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research: http://guides.temple.edu/libraryprize.


Internship/Experiential Learning: The internship experience provides students the opportunity to learn more about the discipline in an actual work placement. Students may count up to 6 credits towards the requirements of the major (major electives) in approved, unpaid internship placements. (Additional credits may count toward free electives; check with your academic advisor.) Interested students should write to Dr. Orfeo Fioretos, Undergraduate Chairperson, kof@temple.edu, for more information.

The Pennsylvania Capital Semester: Open to students in any major, the Pennsylvania Capital Semester is an internship semester in Harrisburg where juniors and seniors have the opportunity to explore government affairs, policy making and implementation first-hand while earning full-time credits and staying on track to graduation.  Internships are customized for the student, as Temple makes the initial contacts and sets up interviews.  Students take two required courses including an internship seminar, and State Politics and Policy, in addition to the internship experience and any other courses.  For further information go to www.cla.temple.edu/ipa/, or contact: Michelle J. Atherton, Assistant Director, Institute for Public Affairs, 840 Anderson Hall, 215-204-9074, mjather@temple.edu.

Pre-Law Studies:  Political Science is one of the most popular majors for pre-law students. Although law schools neither give preference to any particular major nor require any specific undergraduate courses, they do make some general recommendations about getting a sound Liberal Arts education. Students should visit the CLA web site, www.temple.edu/claprelaw/, for more information.

In general, pre-law students should develop skills in communicating ideas in both written and spoken form.  In addition, pre-law students should sharpen their analytical abilities and ability to think logically. Law schools also recommend that pre-law students acquire in-depth understanding of at least one social science (such as Political Science).  Finally, some knowledge of business structure and terminology may be useful in law school.  For further information, students interested in pre-law studies should contact Dr. Paul Crowe in the Philosophy Department, pcrowe@temple.edu or Ms. Elizabeth Reynard, ereynard@temple.edu in the Academic Advising Center.


Study Abroad
:  Temple provides a number of opportunities for students to study abroad; and the experience of living in, and meeting people from, other cultures; seeing different countries; and learning a foreign language can greatly enrich the undergraduate experience.  The Office of Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses (200 Tuttleman Learning Center; phone: 215-204-0720; www.temple.edu/studyabroad/) has information on a variety of programs abroad.  Temple study abroad locations include Tokyo, Rome, London, Paris, Germany, and Mexico.


The Political Economy Certificate Program
: The Department of Political Science and the Department of Economics offer an interdisciplinary program leading to a Certificate in Political Economy. The program focuses on the interaction between government and the economy and is ideal preparation for students planning careers in either the public or private sector. It also provides an excellent foundation for graduate studies in law, the social sciences, and public administration. The program is open to all matriculated students in the university. Contact Dr. Richard Deeg, rdeeg@temple.edu, for specific details and requirements.


Student Organizations

The Political Science Majors Association is the organization of all Political Science majors at Temple University. The primary purpose of the association is to represent the opinions and interests of undergraduate majors within the Political Science Department.  The association sponsors activities for undergraduate majors, including career forums, lectures, student and faculty mixers, law and graduate forums, seminars on popular topics, and trips to Harrisburg.

Pi Sigma Alpha is the national Political Science Honor Society, into which students who have distinguished themselves in the field of political science are inducted. Inquiries about membership should be directed to the faculty advisor of Pi Sigma Alpha, Dr. Robin Kolodny, rkolodny@temple.edu.

 


 

Suggested Semester-by-Semester Plan

 

Freshman Year – 1st Semester  
Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
English 0802, 0812 or 0902 Analytical Reading & Writing 4 GW
GenEd 08xx or 09xx Quantitative Literacy 4 GQ
Foreign Language 1001 Foreign Language (first level) 4  
GenEd 08xx or 09xx Science & Technology I 3 GS
Subtotal      15  
   
Freshman Year – 2nd Semester  
Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
Intellectual Heritage 0851 or 0951 Mosaic: Humanities Seminar I 3 GY
Foreign Language 1002 Foreign Language (second level) 4  
GenEd 08xx or 09xx Science & Technology II 3 GS
Political Science 1101 The American Political System 3  
Political Science 1201 Foreign Governments & Politics 3  
Subtotal      16  
 
Sophomore Year – 1st Semester  
Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
Foreign Language/
GenEd
0800+ Foreign Language (third level) or
GenEd Global/World Society course or
Internationally Focused Course From Approved List
3
GG
Intellectual Heritage 0852 or 0952 Mosaic: Humanities Seminar II 3 GZ
GenEd 08xx or 09xx U.S. Society 3 GU
GenEd 08xx or 09xx Human Behavior 3 GB
Political Science 1301 International Politics 3  
Any 0800-4999 One Elective in Any School or College 2  
Subtotal      17  
 
Sophomore Year – 2nd Semester  
Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
GenEd 08xx or 09xx Arts 3-4 GA
GenEd 08xx or 09xx Diversity and Race 3 GD
GenEd 08xx or 09xx Global/World Society 3 GG
Political Science 2000+ One 2000+ Political Science Course 3  
Political Science 2496 Introduction to Political Philosophy 3 WI
Subtotal      15-16  
 
Junior Year – 1st Semester  
Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
CLA/CST 2000+ One 2000+ Humanities/CST Course 3  
Political Science 2503 Evidence and Knowledge 3  
Political Science 2000+ One 2000+ Political Science Course 3  
CLA/CST 2000+ One 2000+ CLA/CST Course 3  
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Any CLA/CST Elective 3  
Subtotal     15  
 
Junior Year – 2nd Semester  
Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
CLA/CST 2000+ One 2000+ Humanities/CST Course 3  
Political Science 3501-3599 Capstone Preparation Course 3  
Political Science 2000+ One 2000+ Political Science Course 3  
CLA/CST 2000+ One 2000+ CLA/CST Course 3  
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Any CLA/CST Elective 3  
Subtotal      15  
 
Senior Year – 1st Semester  
Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
Political Science 3501-3599 Capstone Preparation Course 3  
CLA/CST 2000+ One 2000+ CLA/CST Course 3  
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Any CLA/CST Elective 3  
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Any CLA/CST Elective 3  
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Any CLA/CST Elective 3  
Subtotal      15  
 
Senior Year – 2nd Semester  
Subject Course # Course Title Hours Attribute
Political Science 4896 Capstone Seminar in Political Science 3 WI
CLA/CST 2000+ One 2000+ CLA/CST Course 3  
CLA/CST 2000+ One 2000+ CLA/CST Course 3  
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Any CLA/CST Elective 3  
Any 0800-4999 One Elective in Any School or College 3  
Subtotal      15  
         
Degree Total   123  
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