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The B.A. in Political Science provides a broad education with a solid grounding in social sciences and the major areas within political science. The program offers the flexibility to focus on American politics, law, or international affairs through electives in the major. Open electives enable students to choose a minor if they wish.

Graduates go on to careers in politics, government, law, international relations, and foreign affairs. Jobs include attorney, community organizer, FBI agent, foreign service officer, government affairs officer, legislative analyst, lobbyist, paralegal, and politician.

Interested students in this course of study may be eligible for the Early Law School Admission Program.

Contact Information

Kathryn Dennick-Brecht, Ed.D. 
Department Head, Social Sciences
brecht@rmu.edu
412-397-5419 

Justin P. DePlato, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of Political Science
deplato@rmu.edu
412-397-5912 

4-Year Course Plan

Freshman Year, Fall

  • COSK1220 Reading & Writing Strategies or COSK2221 Intercultural Comm.
  • SOCI1010 Principles of Sociology
  • HUMA1010 Humanities Art & Music
  • POLS1010 Intro to Poli Sci
  • GEOG1020 World Geography

Freshman Year, Spring

  • COSK1221 Argument & Research
  • POLS1020 Amer Nat Government
  • INFS1020 Intro Decis Support Systems
  • MATH 1050 Reasoning/Applications (Or Higher)
  • PSYC1010 General Psychology

Sophomore Year, Fall

  • COSK2220 Public Speaking & Persuasion
  • POLS1040 International Relations
  • STAT2110 Statistics
  • ECON 1020 Macroeconomics
  • HIST 1100 Us History I

Sophomore Year, Spring

  • COSK2230 Bus Prof Communicat
  • POLS1030 Comp/Contem Pol Systems
  • ECON1030 Microeconomics
  • HIST1200 US History II
  • Open Elective

Junior Year, Fall

  • POLS2020 Crim Law & Evidence
  • POLS2030 Political Thought
  • One from BIOL, CHEM, ENVS, GEOL, PHYS, or SCIE
  • HIST3400 Pennsylvania History
  • Open Elective

Junior Year, Spring

  • POLS3020 The Constitution
  • POLS3070 Pennsylvania Politics
  • ELIT Core Course
  • Open Elective
  • Open Elective

Senior Year, Fall

  • POLS4801/2/3 Practicum
  • POLS3040 American Foreign Policy
  • POLS3050 Amer Pol Parties/Elections
  • Open Elective
  • Open Elective

Senior Year, Spring

  • POLS4800 Senior Thesis
  • POLS3030 The American Presidency
  • Open Elective
  • Open Elective
  • Open Elective
Practicum Information

All traditional undergraduate students majoring in the social sciences must complete a practicum their senior year. This involves 120 hours of documented experience at an internship related to the student's field that has been pre-approved by the student's faculty mentor and the department head.

Participation in professional activities allows students to experience the work environment in their chosen field, make informed career choices, and enhance their employment credentials. These experiences reinforce the connection between professional and liberal learning through the application of classroom theories to actual occupational problems. 

Completing the practicum involves keeping a journal with daily entries and weekly reflections and a timesheet signed by the supervisor and writing a 12-page paper comparing and contrasting their experiences in the practicum with the theories and information presented in the social sciences coursework which was completed at RMU. It should also explain why the site was selected for the practicum and give any recommendations for future social sciences students about the practicum experience.

More details are available here.

Sample Courses:

These are some of the classes for students in this academic program:

International Relations
American Foreign Policy
American Political Parties & Elections
Major Credits
57
Political Science
Core Credits
40
Communication Skills, Economics, Humanities, History, Sciences, etc.
Elective Credits
24

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