Welcome to the World Wide Web site for the Political Science Department at Bridgewater State University. This web site includes information about the department, the degree programs, faculty members, and other information. It also includes information for political science students looking to access information resources for doing research in political science.
Political science in the broadest sense is the study of governments and the governing procedures - whether these "governments" are sovereign states, international entities, or sub-units of a political culture. Thus, political science has many facets. Political scientists are interested in the origins and preconditions for governments, the growth and evolution of governments, and the decline of governments. Political scientists are also interested in how governments are structured, how governments make decisions, as well as the content of those decisions, and how governments solve societal conflicts. In addition, true to their oldest academic traditions, political scientists retain their concern with the fundamental question of how governments ought to be constituted.
To translate these concerns into specific subfields, political scientists today study such phenomena as political parties and voting behavior, interest groups, bureaucracies and administrative procedure, national security and international organization, executive politics and legislative behavior, courts and the administration of justice, intergovernmental relations, political socialization and political recruitment, political personality, mass movements, revolution, ideologies, political philosophy, community organization and urban politics, and the expanding field of policy studies. As with any other field, the scope and emphasis of the discipline changes to some degree in response to the needs of the times and the interests of its students.
All students pursuing a major in political science are afforded various opportunities to develop their talents -- their capabilities -- their interests -- and to progress towards fulfillment of personal objectives and career goals. The major in political science is designed for those students who wish to gain a broadly based liberal arts education that concentrates on developing a better understanding of today's political world. The major in political science offers courses that will help the student to prepare not only for careers related to politics and government, but also will provide him/her with the necessary background in history, economics, mathematics, literature, the arts and the sciences that are so important in modern society.
The student majoring in political science is entering a fascinating and important field of study. As the problems faced by modern society, whether at the local, state, national or international level, increase and become more complicated, it is the governmental institutions and agencies and the people with an understanding and appreciation of politics that are being called upon to solve these problems.
The Political Science Department with this program seeks, therefore, to provide students with the proper academic environment so that they can better comprehend the political forces around them and better serve the needs of their community, their state, their nation and the world.
The political science major (American politics concentration) offers students a broad understanding of American politics. The concentration is designed to provide strong undergraduate scientific education in preparation for entry into advanced degree programs and professional careers in public service, private institutions, and political organizations in the United States.
The concentration in International Affairs is designed for those students who wish to pursue a graduate degree and/or a career in this field. An appropriate sequence of courses enables students to acquire a cross-cultural perspective and obtain a broader comprehension of the relations among nations in our complex and dynamic world. The growing interdependence of the global community has increased the importance of this field of special study. In addition, as the number of nation-states has multiplied and governmental and non-governmental international organizations continue to expand, so have opportunities for national, foreign and international service.
The political science major, with a concentration in legal studies, is designed for students who are considering law-related careers in the private or public sectors. Having taken several law-related courses as undergraduates, graduates may thereafter pursue further study in law school or an institution training them for paralegal work.
In today's society the legal profession and the number of sub-fields that have developed has grown dramatically. Moreover, a knowledge of the law and its application to everyday life is now essential. Students choosing the legal studies concentration will therefore not only gain a solid foundation in the various areas of the law, but will also gain a valuable preparation for the challenges that await in the professional world after graduation.
The concentration in Public Administration is designed for those students who wish to pursue a Master of Public Administration degree and/or a career in this field. The concentration prepares students for a career focus in the public and nonprofit sectors at the federal, state, and local levels.
Last Modified: September 8, 2010