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Political Science Major, B.A.

A major in political science prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the public or private sectors, such as law; public administration at local, state or federal levels; or community advocacy. Combined with study in related disciplines, the political science major is a strong liberal arts program. It also is suitable for a double major combined with economics, history, business administration or a similar discipline.

The political science courses cover four areas in the discipline: U.S. politics and policy, comparative politics and international relations, law and political theory. Students are encouraged to take courses in each of these concentrations. Students who plan to do graduate work in political science or public administration should take courses at the 300 and 400 level in as many of these concentrations as possible. In addition, they are encouraged to take statistics and economics in preparation for graduate study. Students interested in careers in public service or international relations are strongly encouraged to develop proficiency in at least one foreign language. Those who plan to enter law school should work closely with the College’s pre-law advisers and should also take courses in economics and logic to improve their research and writing skills.

Internships are recommended and are available at local, state and federal levels. Because of Hood’s location near Washington, D.C., and within reach of the state capital, students have an unparalleled opportunity to observe firsthand the workings of government. Hood cooperates with the Washington Semester Program at American University. The department also provides students with a number of opportunities to participate in simulations of political processes, including simulations of the European Union, the Maryland legislature and the United Nations. Political science faculty serve as advisers for these activities.

The political science major provides students with an introduction to decision making at various levels of government, an understanding of public policy formation and of the correlation between political and economic problems. It also provides experience in research and access to computer facilities both at the College and the Library of Congress, an exposure to the practical world of politics and an appreciation of the need for good writing skills.

Requirements for the Major

The major in political science requires a minimum of 36 credits of political science courses at the 200 level or above, including the following:

  • PSCI 203 Introduction to U.S. Politics
  • PSCI 205 Methods of Political Inquiry
  • PSCI 210 Comparative Politics or PSCI 215 International Relations
  • PSCI 303 Public Policy Analysis
  • PSCI 333 Modern Political Thought
  • PSCI 470 Seminar on Politics
Students are required to take one of the following courses:
  • PSCI 202 Women and Politics
  • PSCI 336 Gender and the Law
  • AFPS 240 African-American Politics
  • HSPS 345 Global Perspectives on Women, Power and Politics

It is recommended that political science majors take ECON 205 Principles of Macroeconomics.
In addition, competency in a foreign language is recommended.
15 additional credits in political science are required for the completion of the major.