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FAQs-Political Science

View the Political Science requirements in the official course catalog.

What is Political Science?
Political Science explores how people form governments, and how they influence the governments that have been formed. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) once said that Political Science was the most important subject to study because it teaches us how and why people join together in communities and make the choices that they do. This remains true today as we struggle to understand how to cope with many difficult problems in our society and in other countries. Political Science also helps us to become better citizens and to understand how our choices affect the world around us.

Please explain the Political Science Major.
Political Science is the study of the theory and practice of government and politics. Students who major in Political Science learn about the institutions, groups, leaders, policies and ideas that shape the American political system, including Congress, the president and the courts. We examine how elections, political parties, candidates, the media and technology and public opinion shape the policy process. We look at the governments of foreign countries and the interactions between nations. We examine how politics is practiced by citizens, social movements, non-governmental organizations and non-state actors. We study how human rights, democracy, war, terrorism, globalization and other themes shape and are shaped by a variety of political actors.

Why should I study Political Science?
The Political Science major is useful for students who are interested in working in all levels of government, or who are interested in working for non-governmental organizations, interest groups, media outlets, non profits and those who are interested in attending law school or working in the legal professions. Political Science helps students to develop writing, communication and analytical skills that are critical in a liberal arts education. Students have the opportunity to develop important skills through internships with members of Congress, other elected officials and government agencies in their local area or in Washington, D.C.

  • Understand the American political process, including campaigns and elections, the legislative process and the judicial system.
  • Explore how the media and new technologies are changing the political process.
  • Examine how our public policies are developed and how to advocate for policy change.
  • Learn about the role of law in U.S. society and internationally.
  • Examine different political systems throughout the world.
  • Explore the fundamentals of international relations.
  • Examine key contemporary issues, including issues of war and peace, the roots of terrorism, globalization and human rights.
  • Become a more informed citizen.

Are there special requirements for the Political Science Major?
No. Any student in good academic standing (an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher) may become a Political Science major.
What is Public Administration?
Public Administration is a sub-field of Political Science that studies how government resources can best be used while advancing laws, management and policies so that government can function. The minor in Public Administration prepares students who seek positions in federal, state and local government. The Public Administration Internship includes placements such as the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, the State Parole Board and other federal and state agencies.
I am interested in going to law school. What coursework will help me prepare?
The Political Science major is the most frequent major for Pre-Law students because of the relationship between government and law and the strong background in critical thinking that students receive, which prepares students for law school and their careers. You can enrich your Pre-Law preparation by combining your Political Science major with Jurisprudence, Law and Society or a Pre-Law minor.