Feb 26, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, B.A.

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About the B.A. in Political Science

  • Preparation for graduate study in politics, peace and conflict resolution, international relations or law
  • 4+2 with Arcadia’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution master’s program
  • 3+3 accelerated program with Drexel University’s School of Law
  • Accelerated 3+2 with Arcadia’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution master’s program
  • Accelerated 3+2 with the American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy
  • Preparation for careers in government, foreign service, nongovernmental organizations, public service, education, or management
  • Concentration in international relations
  • Concentration in U.S. politics and policy
  • Concentration in pre-law and political theory
  • Opportunities to travel with Model UN team
  • Internships available in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C, and British, Scottish and Australian parliaments
  • Senior Capstone courses that integrate classroom learning with real world experiences
  • Opportunities to study at American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy in Paris, France
  • Opportunities to study at some of the top universities around the world

Political science focuses on the theory and practice of politics and the analysis of political systems and behavior. It explores who has power, how they acquire it, and what they do with it. Courses in international relations and comparative and domestic politics encourage students to think critically and to strengthen their skills in the oral and written presentation of ideas.

Since governmental decisions and the pursuit of power have relevancy to nearly all disciplines, the curriculum is designed for both Political Science majors and students from other programs.

Political Science majors can be recognized for developing expertise in one of three areas:

  • International Relations
  • U.S. Politics and Policy
  • Pre-Law and Political Theory

A concentration, however, is not required for the Political Science major.

Political Science graduates have entered the fields of government, law, foreign service and international affairs, social service, urban planning, public service, education, human resources, international business, and sports management.

Class activities include debates, simulations, student presentations, guest speakers and field trips. The program sponsors an award-winning Model UN team, which participates in an international Model UN simulation.

Students also study abroad through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies at sites in Europe, Asia, Africa, China and more. The Department helps students locate internships in foreign policy research, international affairs, victim assistance, legal research and writing, and political campaigning.

Exciting internship opportunities are available through the American University Washington Semester Program and the Washington Center.

Senior Capstone Experience: Political Science majors complete a two-semester Capstone course that challenges them to integrate their education, interests and career plans.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The Bachelor of Arts degree program prepares students to pursue careers in law, politics, international affairs, foreign policy, public administration, urban planning, public relations, trade associations, teaching or private industry. Although the program does not limit students to specific tracks, three optional concentrations are available that each require experiential learning via study abroad or an internship.

Pre-Professional Concentrations

The Political Science major offers students flexibility with optional concentrations in International Relations, U.S. Politics and Policy, and Pre-Law and Political Theory.

Students who want to pursue graduate study in peace studies, foreign policy or international affairs should pursue a concentration in international relations and add an intermediate Modern Language course. The U.S. Politics and Policy concentration provides a foundation for graduate study in public policy, public administration, urban planning and political science. The Pre-Law and Political Theory concentration offers preparation for paralegal positions and a foundation for law school. Political Science majors also can prepare to attend graduate programs in business administration, health administration, education or other fields by selecting appropriate courses in consultation with their adviser.

International Relations and Peace Studies

Students interested in international relations or peace studies should choose a Political Science major with the International Relations concentration. It is also possible to pursue the University’s 4+2 program, or an accelerated 3+2 option, to earn a Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

There are many other ways to prepare to play a role in international affairs, but the most important prerequisite for a successful career is study abroad for a semester or a full year.

Legal and Paralegal

Students interested in law often choose to major in Political Science—including the 3+3 accelerated program with Drexel University’s School of Law. Courses recommended for prelaw students are listed in the Pre-Law and Political Theory concentration and under the Pre-law Minor. Study abroad also is highly recommended for pre-law students.


The Department of Historical and Political Studies offers two internship programs designed to be taken during the summer (off campus) or during either the Fall or Spring semester, in addition to other coursework. (Refer to PS 324 Pre-Law Intern Program  and PS 380 Political Internship ). International internships are available through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies.

Political Science majors are urged to do an internship during either the junior year or the first or second semester of the senior year. This experience will help them in PS 490 /PS 491 Senior Thesis Seminar . It also will assist them in deciding what career to pursue after graduation and provide them with valuable personal and professional references.

Arcadia University participates in the Washington Semester Program and the Washington Center Program. Each offers an off-campus experience of seminars and internship, utilizing the resources of the Washington political community. For more information contact Dr. Angela Kachuyevski.

Requirements for the B.A. in Political Science

(44 credits as listed below, with Undergraduate Curriculum requirements and electives to total 128 credits)

Four political science electives

At least two of which must be at the 300 level or above. PS 330  can count as either a core course or a 300+-level elective, but not both. Internship courses (PS 324  and PS 380 ) count toward the major but do not count as 300+- level elective courses. Any of the political science courses that are offered through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies can be used as Political Science electives.

Additional Information

It is expected that students will complete the required 100-level courses in their first year, and the required 200-level courses in their second year. Students must be on campus for their senior year in order to complete the Senior Thesis sequence.

Students are strongly encouraged to take PL 155 Applied Logic  and MA 141 Elementary Statistics  before taking PS 490 Senior Thesis Seminar .

Requirements for the Three Optional Concentrations

Study Abroad

(At least one course/experience recommended)

U.S. Politics and Policy Concentration

(A minimum of 20 credits of the 44 credits required for the major from the list below or study abroad courses with prior approval)

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