Interested in politics and government?

As a political science major at FSC, you’ll study political processes both in the US and internationally, but you’ll also experience the world of politics first-hand through internships and partnerships that put you next to some of the nation’s leading policymakers.

Top Reasons Choose FSC for Political Science

  • Interdisciplinary curriculum combining history, communications, and philosophy.
  • Home to one of Florida’s finest pre-law program.
  • High standards for collaborative and original research.
  • Plenty of opportunities to intern.
    Intern with members of Congress, judges, public defenders, and political candidates--even in Washington, D.C.
  • Student have say in curriculum, projects, conferences, and use of departmental resources.

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

In FSC’s Political Science program you won’t find the usual lecture approach. Instead, most classes incorporate project work, in-class discussion and debate, guest speakers, video, and interactive strategies. Field trips to courtrooms and other off-campus venues are also common.

Course Information

Along with standard offerings in Policy Analysis, American Political Institutions, and Foreign Policy, we teach a range of innovative courses that include “War and Conflict”, “Southern Politics” (designed to create projects for presentation at a symposium at the Citadel), and “Revolutions.” During election years, we offer a critical course in campaigns and elections, in which you’re strongly encouraged to intern with a campaign.

Internships

From internships in Washington, DC to the Polk County Public Defender’s Office, to the Republican National Convention, our majors not only observe, but also take part in the processes that shape our society.

In a single year, our students interned at sites such as:

  • The Washington, DC; Offices of Representative Connie Mack and Representative Dennis Ross
  • Peterson and Myers, PA
  • Clements Elder Law
  • Miller, Crosby and Miller, PA
  • The Dennis Ross for Congress Campaign
  • The Lori Edwards for Congress Campaign
  • The Polk County Elected Public Defender’s Office
  • 10th Circuit Judge Catherine Green’s Office
  • Lilly, O’Toole and Brown
  • Auto-Owner’s Insurance
  • Smith, Feddeler, Smith and Miles, PA

Clubs & Organizations

Political Science sponsors Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary. We also have a Student Advisory Board, which provides student feedback regarding the major. Many of our majors are involved with the Young Republicans and the College Democrats.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates often pursue careers in law, government and public policy, business, journalism, foreign service, the military and intelligence services such as the CIA and the NSA. With a political science degree from FSC, almost any field is open to you.

Special Features

Project courses provide numerous opportunities for in-depth research. Our majors present their work at professional conferences across the country.

A generous grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and career grants from FSC make long-distance internships more affordable.

Intern for policymakers and study political science in action in Washington, DC, through our partnership with the Washington Center.

We offer first-year colloquia on such popular topics as “Hitler and Nazi Germany”, “Spies and the Intelligence community”, and “Immigration and Organized Crime.”


 

Program Requirements

The Department of Political Science offers the B.A. and B.S. degree in Political Science. Courses focus on American and International studies. You are encouraged to take a variety of courses in both areas and not become too specialized at the undergraduate level. The Department offers Honors in the major and internship opportunities for those who qualify.

Political Science Major Requirements

A. General Education Requirements 40 hours
B. Major Requirements 37-41 hours
POS 1125 The American Political System
POS 4960 Internship (1-5 hours)
POS 4999 Senior Seminar in Political Science
MAT 2022 Elementary Statistics

Majors must complete an additional 24 hours of course work in Political Science, subject to the distribution requirements below:

At least one course chosen from the following:

POS 2500 Law and the Courts
POS 3320 The Presidency and Congress
POS 3325 U.S. Campaigns and Elections
POS 3400 Political Parties and Interest Groups

At least one course from the following:

POS/HIS 3175 United States Foreign Policy
POS 3323 International Organizations
POS 3345 Conflict and War
POS 3500 The International Relations of the Developing World
POS 3600 Topics in International Relations

At least one course from the following:

HIS 3165 History of Modern Europe
HIS 3275 History of East Asia
HIS 3365 History of Modern Latin America
HIS 3415 History of the Middle East

Interested in minoring in Political Science?

To earn a minor in Political Science you must complete a minimum of twenty hours of coursework in Political Science.

Leslie Rath, Political Science student, in Washington DC with House Representative Dennis Ross

At least one course from the following:

American Politics Courses

POS 1005 Summer Odyssey 20XX: FSC in D.C.
POS 1125 The American Political System
POS 2500 Law and the Courts
POS 3100 Southern Politics
POS 3325 U.S. Campaigns and Elections
POS 3320 The Presidency and Congress
POS 3400 Political Parties and Interest Groups

International Relations Courses

POS 1005 Summer Odyssey 20XX: FSC in D.C.
POS 2400 National and International Political Economy
POS 2900 Introduction to International Relations
POS 3175 Foreign and Security Policy of the United States
POS 3323 International Organizations
POS 3345 Conflict and War
POS 3500 The International Relations of the Developing World
POS 3600 Topics in International Relations
C. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 20 hours
or  
D. Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements 12 hours
E. Electives 23-35 hours
E. Total 124 hours

For a complete listing of requirements, please refer to the
Academic Catalog  


 

Course Descriptions

POS 1005 SUMMER ODYSSEY 20XX: FSC IN D.C.
One hour. Pass/fail. Designated Junior Journey. This course is an exploration of the connections between the people, businesses and political networks of Florida with those of Washington, D.C, and represents an effort for Floridians and others to see Florida's political aspects in the national context. Through site visits, selected speakers, and formal and informal meetings with political, business and alumni figures associated with both, students will gain firsthand knowledge of the national contours of state politics.

POS 1125 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM
Four hours. With an emphasis on national government, this course also examines the role of state and local government in the American political process. Topics include the Constitution, the relationship between the national, state and local governments; the Bill of Rights; interest groups, political parties and participation in the electoral process; the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, An)

POS 2500 LAW AND THE COURTS
Four hours. This course is a systematic description and analysis of the role, structure, and behavior of the American legal system, with an eye to the interests and concerns of pre- law students. The course reviews and integrates the topics of the law and legal system into the US, discusses procedures and patterns of behavior within that system, and examines the impact of our legal system within the larger arena of American policy and politics. Some previous coursework in political science is desirable, but not required.

POS 2290 CURRENT ISSUES IN AMERICAN POLITICS
Four hours. After briefly examining models of policy making, the course focuses on the major contemporary political issues. Topics include but are not limited to the economy, the environment, energy, poverty and health care. Students have an opportunity to select additional issues. Gen Ed: SW (Glb, Aw, An), Ql

POS 2295 ELEMENTARY PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS
Four hours. A systematic examination of the issues and methods associated with the analysis of the central issues of American public policy. A large proportion of the content of the course is focused on approaches to the creation of testable hypotheses, data gathering, and the quantitative methods of data-manipulation and analysis. Students engage in bath short-term problem sets and long-term projects associated with making critical decisions about policy creation, costs, equity, and efficacy as well as implementation, forecasting, and projections of policy outcomes.

POS 3175 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES
Four hours. Same as HIS 3175. Prerequisite: One year of college-level coursework or permission of the instructor. This course examines the development of United States foreign policies, with an emphasis on the twentieth century. The course's focus is on the principles, aims, applications, and decision-making processes that shaped America's policies with other states. Gen Ed: SW (Glb, An)

POS 3315 AMERICAN POLITICAL BEHAVIOR: PARTIES, VOTING AND ELECTIONS
Four hours. This course examines and analyzes the history, organization and role of political parties in the American electoral system. It also examines and analyzes political behavior of individuals and the role of elections in the American political process.Gen Ed: SW (Glb, Aw, An)

POS 3320 THE PRESIDENCY AND CONGRESS
Four hours. The focus of the course is the executive and legislative branches of government. After examining the constitutional foundation for the executive branch along with the roles and corresponding powers of the president, each presidential administration throughout history will be analyzed. The course also examines and analyzes the structure, organization, leadership positions and processes of Congress. Gen Ed: SW (An), Ql

POS 3323 INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Four hours. Prerequisite: One year of college-level coursework or permission of the instructor. The course addresses the role of international organizations in global politics, examining the history and functioning of major organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union; we also examine the role of these IOs in addressing contemporary global issues. A significant portion of the class will involve UN and EU simulations, with each student researching and representing the position of a member country. Possible topics covered in the simulations include humanitarian interventions, post-conflict resolution, global financial stability, and immigration policy. Gen Ed: SW (An)

POS 3327 TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE POLITICS
Four hours. A comparison of the political structure and process of selected states, including both developed and developing political systems in various parts of the world. Gen Ed: SW (Glb, Ap)

POS 3339 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
Four hours. Using major Supreme Court decisions and a case study approach, this course will examine and analyze American constitutional structures and a selection of civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Gen Ed: SW (Glb, Aw, An), Ql

POS 3345 CONFLICT AND WAR
Four hours. Prerequisite: One year of college-level course work or permission of the instructor. This course introduces students to the study of various forms of violent conflict in international politics, with a focus on analyzing the outcomes of historical conflicts. The course will address the use of violence by both states and non-state actors, such as separatist movements and terrorist groups. Possible topics covered in the course include, but are not limited to: the development of military doctrine, terrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, alliance formation, civil-military relations, and nuclear proliferation. Gen Ed: SW (An)

POS 3380 SPECIAL TOPICS IN AMERICAN POLITICS
Four hours. This advanced course explores significant issues/topics within the discipline of American government. Examples include but are not limited to: Post WWII American Politics; Southern Politics; Women in the American Political Process or the America Political System in Films. Gen Ed: SW (Glb, Aw, An), Ql

POS 4429 POLITICAL THEORY
Four hours. From Plato to the present, the course explores the writings of the world’s greatest political theorists on such topics as the state, the ideal state, the individual in the state, natural law, institutional religion and the state, revolution, the state of nature, sovereignty, the social contract, moral law, separation of power, the universal state, the dialectic, capitalism, class conflict, anarchism, liberty, libertarianism, and justice. Emphasis is placed on the question of how relevant are these concepts for our times. Gen Ed: MV

POS 4960/4961 INTERNSHIP IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
One to eighteen hours. Pass/fail. Students may earn up to a maximum of 18 credit hours in POS 4960 and 4961 combined, but of the total number of credit hours earned, only five may be applied to the 41 hours required to complete the political science major, the remainder will count as elective credit hours. Internships are out of classroom experiences designed to enable learning that cannot be gained in a traditional classroom setting, to set in practical environments skills or other content gained in a traditional classroom setting, or to gain work experience that is specifically tied to a student’s pre--professional training and connected to discipline/field-specific content. An internship requires and assumes an active learning component on the part of the student: “shadowing”, per se, is not an internship under this definition.

POS 4999 SENIOR SEMINAR IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Four hours. Prerequisites: Senior standing and twelve hours in Political Science or permission of the instructor, and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Empirical theoretical approaches and the qualitative and quantitative methodologies used by political scientists in the study of political attitudes and behavior. Capstone course. Gen Ed: SW (Ap), Qn, EC-C