About the Program
Politics, Government & Law Program Director: Dr. Amy Widestrom
Politics, Government, & Law focuses on the theory and practice of politics. This major challenges students to political systems, governmental institutions, political behavior, and the development of public policy and law. It explores who has power, how they acquire it, and what they do with it. Courses in international relations, comparative and domestic politics, American and international law, and public policy 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 relevance to nearly all disciplines, the curriculum is designed for both Politics, Government & Law majors and students from other programs.
The Bachelor of Arts degree program prepares students to pursue careers in law, politics, international affairs, domestic and foreign policy, public administration, public relations, consulting, education, or private industry.
All students in the Government, Politics, & Law major are required to select from among three concentrations: Political Science; International Relations, Diplomacy, & Law; and, Law & Public Policy. The purpose of these concentrations is to develop the knowledge base and skills of a subfield of Politics, Government, and Law so that students are prepared to pursue their interests reflected in these concentrations beyond Arcadia, in the workforce or in graduate school.
Students interested in a more liberal arts approach to Government, and Law, which allows you to learn about each subfield, can select the Political Science concentration.
Students who plan to pursue employment or graduate study in the fields of peace studies, foreign policy, or international affairs should pursue a concentration in International Relations and add an intermediate Modern Language course. The Law and Public Policy concentration provides a foundation for employment or graduate study in public policy, public administration, non-profit work/management, and politics. The Global Legal Studies concentration offers a legal course of study with an international focus and will prepare students for law school or public sector work in areas of international law. Politics, Government & Law majors may also find careers or pursue graduate programs in business administration, health administration, education or other fields by selecting appropriate courses in consultation with their adviser.
Students must take: 48-52 credits, depending on the chosen concentration, drawn from the courses listed below; at least three courses within the major must be at the 300 level or above; and, major requirements along with Undergraduate Curriculum requirements and electives that total 128 credits.
Three Research Writing Courses
Concentration Course Requirements
Political Science Concentration
Students must complete five Political Science electives. At least three of these courses must be at the 300 level or above. The Internship course (PS 380 ) may count toward the major but cannot count as a 300 level elective course. Courses completed abroad may satisfy major and concentration requirements with approval from the Politics, Government & Law program director or department chairperson.
Note: Courses completed abroad and/or electives not listed above may satisfy major and concentration requirements with approval from the Politics, Government & Law program director or department chairperson.
International Relations, Diplomacy, & Law Concentration
Students must complete five of the following courses. At least three of these courses must be at the 300 level or above.
Elective Course Requirement
Students must complete one 4-credit elective course offered in the Historical and Political Studies Department that will complement career goals or allow for intellectual exploration.
Cognate Course Requirement
Suggested Undergraduate Curriculum course
U.S Law & Public Policy Concentration
Concentration Course Requirements:
Elective Course Requirements:
Students must complete one 4-credit elective course offered in the Historical and Political Studies Department that will complement career goals or allow for intellectual exploration
Cognate Course Requirement:
Suggested Undergraduate Curriculum course:
Joint and Accelerated Programs
The Politics, Government & Law program offers several ways to pursue graduate school after completing or making significant progress toward a Politics, Government & Law major, including:
A 4+ 2 program with Arcadia’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution master’s program
An accelerated 3+2 with Arcadia’s International Peace and Conflict Resolution master’s program
An accelerated 3+3 program with Drexel University’s School of Law
An accelerated 3+2 program with the American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy
Study Abroad and Away
Politics, Government & Law majors are encouraged to study abroad for a semester, a year, or another time period that meets their curricular and personal needs. For example, the Department of Historical and Political Studies has global field study courses that combine traditional course work with a seven- to ten-day overseas travel component.
When studying abroad, students should try to enroll in politics, government & law courses that are not offered on the Glenside campus, giving students a unique opportunity to interact with other students, faculty and public officials from another culture and political system.
If studying abroad for a semester or a year, Government & Law majors can plan to study abroad during any semester except senior year due to the required Senior Thesis Seminar course sequence.
Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to the Director of the major and the Office of Study Away ((215) 572-8514).
Internships and Experiential Learning
Politics, Government & Law majors are strongly encouraged to pursue internship opportunities. The Department of Historical and Political Studies offers an internship course to encourage this, PS 380 (Political Internship), designed to be taken in either the Fall or Spring semester, in addition to other coursework.
Arcadia University also participates in the Washington Semester Program at American University and the Washington Center Program. Each offers an off-campus experience of seminars and internships, drawing on the resources of the Washington, D.C., political community. Internship experiences will assist students in deciding what career to pursue after graduation and provide them with valuable personal and professional experiences, connections, and references. Students may also pursue internships over the summer, though these typically do not come with academic credit.
Studying abroad is another way to supplement and expand upon learning that takes place in the classrooms in Glenside. Politics, Government & law majors study away through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies at sites in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and more. International internships are also available through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies; While abroad you may also do an internship in the British or Irish parliaments.
Finally, students have the opportunity to participate in and travel with an award-winning Model UN team. This allows studies to experience how the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization, works to address global issues.
The Senior Capstone Project is the opportunity for students to bring four years of coursework and academic and personal experiences together by engaging in an extended project. Politics, Government & Law majors complete a two-semester Capstone course that challenges them to integrate their education, interests, and career plans into producing a polished research-based thesis and poster presentation.
Secondary Education Certification in Social Studies
Students interested in secondary certification should consult with their disciplinary adviser and a School of Education adviser as early as possible, preferably in their first year. All Arcadia undergraduates seeking certification must have declared Education as a minor and formally apply into the teacher certification preparation program during the spring semester of their sophomore year. See the School of Education section of the catalog for Secondary Education certification requirements.
Related Graduate Study at Arcadia
- Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution (4+1.5 program; accelerated 4.5-year BA/MA program)
- Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy (4+1.5 program; accelerated 5-year BA/MA program) – American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy in Paris, France