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Undergraduate Bulletin 2008-2009
 
Bulletin Homepage |Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy | Bulletin Information

Department of Political Science

Faculty

Distinguished Professors
 John G. Gunnell, Ph.D.
  University of California, Berkeley
 Richard P. Nathan, Ph.D.
  Harvard University

Professors Emeritae/I
 Carlos A. Astiz, Ph.D.
  Pennsylvania State University
 Martin Edelman, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
  University of California, Berkeley
 Webb S. Fiser, Ph.D.
  University of Chicago
 Walter Goldstein, Ph.D.
  University of Chicago
 Bernard K. Johnpoll Ph.D.
  State University of New York at Albany
 Alvin Magid, Ph.D.
  Michigan State University
 Charles D. Tarlton, Ph.D.
  University of California, Los Angeles
 Stephen L. Wasby, Ph.D.
  University of Oregon
 Lewis P. Welch, Ph.D.
  Syracuse University
 Theodore P. Wright Jr., Ph.D.
  Yale University

Professors
 Thomas W. Church, Ph.D.
  Cornell University
 Erik P. Hoffmann, Ph.D.
  Indiana University
 Michael J. Malbin, Ph.D.
  Cornell University
 Bruce L. Miroff, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
  University of California, Berkley
 Robert T. Nakamura, Ph.D.
  University of California, Berkeley
 Morton Schoolman, Ph.D.
  Brown University
 Frank J. Thompson, Ph.D.
  University of California, Berkeley
 Joseph F. Zimmerman, Ph.D.
  Syracuse University

Associate Professors
 Scott W. Barclay, Ph.D.
  Northwestern University
 Peter D. Breiner, Ph.D.
 Stanford University
 Josť E. Cruz, Ph.D.
  City University of New York - Graduate Center
 Sally Friedman, Ph.D.
  University of Michigan
 Anne M. Hildreth, Ph.D.
  University of Iowa
 Gregory P. Nowell, Ph.D.
  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 David Rousseau, Ph.D.
  University of Michigan

Assistant Professors
 Victor Asal, Ph.D.
  University of Maryland
 Cheng Chen, Ph.D.
  University of Pennsylvania
 Patricia Strach, Ph.D.
  University of Wisconsin-Madison
 Thomas Walker, Ph.D.
  Rutgers University

Adjuncts (estimated): 5
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 18


Political science is concerned with the activity and organization of society for the realization of public goals and values. The study of political science is designed to prepare the student for responsible and effective citizenship, political participation, and advanced academic or professional studies. The student of political science may gain an understanding and appreciation of political values, institutions and processes operating in American, foreign, and international systems.


Careers
While a major in the Department of Political Science may be used as preparation for graduate programs in law, public administration, public affairs or other professional study, the major can also lead to entry-level employment in government or industry training programs and the programs provide a basis for effective citizen participation in public affairs, whether or not a student pursues further professional training. The most common careers are in law, government service, teaching, business, and journalism.


Special Programs or Opportunities
Recognizing the fact that a lawyer must be politically knowledgeable, many prelaw students major in political science. Individuals engaged in the practice of law automatically are involved in "political" activities because of their dealings with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

The location of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in the capital city of the Empire State affords students of political science unusual opportunities to observe and study the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the state government, the second largest public employer in the United States. With a few exceptions, the principal office of each state department, division, and office is located in Albany.

Internship opportunities are available for juniors and seniors to work in legislative and other governmental offices in Albany, and a new internship and educational program has been established for political science honors students in Washington, DC. See R Pos 338, 341, 342, and 495Z. 

Library resources to support research in New York State government are excellent. Students have access to the New York State Library, with one of the largest collections in the world. State departments, divisions and offices also have specialized libraries containing information not commonly housed in university or public libraries.


Degree Requirements for the Major in Political Science

General Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits in political science including R Pos 101 or 101Z and 102 or 102Z and 103 or 103Z; at least 18 credits from courses at or above the 300 level (including the concentration-see below); and at least 3 credits from courses at the 400 level that require a major research or writing project.

Majors in Political Science must pick an upper-division area of concentration in American Politics, Global Politics, Public Law, or Political Theory and take at least four courses in this area of concentration at the 300 or 400 level. It is recommended, but not required, that students take the 400- level writing intensive course that is part of the major in their area of concentration.
The list of courses for each area of concentration follows:

American Politics
R Pos 320
R Pos 321 (R Pub 321)
R Pos 323
R Pos 324 (A Lcs 375)
R Pos 325 (R Pub 325)
R Pos 329 (R Pad 329)
R Pos 331
R Pos 332
R Pos 334
R Pos 337
R Pos 339
R Pos 341
R Pos 365
R Pos 402Z (R Pub 402Z)
R Pos 406Z (R Pub 406Z)
R Pos 411Z (R Pub 411Z)
R Pos 424
R Pos 430
R Pos 433 (A Wss 433)
R Pos 433Z (A Wss 433Z)
R Pos 435Z
R Pos 438Z
R Pos 439
R Pos 439Z
R Pos 495Z
 
Global Politics
R Pos 349
R Pos 350 (R Pub 350)
R Pos 351
R Pos 353
R Pos 354
R Pos 355
R Pos 356
R Pos 357 (A Lcs 357)
R Pos 358
R Pos 359 (A Jst 359)
R Pos 362
R Pos 364
R Pos 370
R Pos 371
R Pos 373
R Pos 374
R Pos 375
R Pos 376
R Pos 380
R Pos 383
R Pos 384
R Pos 395 (R Pub 395)
R Pos 396 (R Pub 396)
R Pos 398 (R Pub 398)
R Pos 444
R Pos 444Z
R Pos 450Z
R Pos 452Z
R Pos 469
R Pos 469Z
R Pos 472Z
R Pos 473Z
R Pos 479
R Pos 479Z

Political Theory
R Pos 301
R Pos 302
R Pos 306
R Pos 307
R Pos 308
R Pos 310
R Pos 313
R Pos 314
R Pos 419Z

Public Law
R Pos 328 (R Pub 328)
R Pos 330
R Pos 333 (A Wss 333)
R Pos 335
R Pos 336
R Pos 346
R Pos 363
R Pos 410Z (R Pub 410Z)
R Pos 426Z
R Pos 427Z
R Pos 428
R Pos 429Z
R Pos 437Z
R Pos 449
R Pos 449Z

Internships cannot be used to satisfy the 400-level course requirement, but honors seminars or independent studies can be counted if they are appropriate and with permission.

Independent study courses are used to deal with topics not covered by regular departmental offerings and after classroom courses dealing with the same subject have been completed. Prior to registering for independent study, students must have their proposed research project approved by a faculty member willing to direct the research. The student's prospectus must outline the topic of the proposed research, indicate its importance to political science, and describe the methodology to be employed and methodological problems that may be encountered. Students may not register for independent study unless a copy of the prospectus, properly signed, has been filed with the department; independent study courses may not be used in lieu of classroom courses.

Public Administration courses other than R Pad 110, 111, 210, 211, 380, 381, 480 and 481; Public Policy courses and Criminal Justice 353 and 414 are acceptable as political science courses in meeting the 36-credit requirement in political science, but R Pad and R Crj 400- level courses cannot be used to satisfy the requirement of a 400-level course which requires a major research or writing project.

The Political internship (R Pos 338) is open only to juniors and seniors with a minimum overall average of 2.5 or higher. A maximum of 3 credits from R Pos 338, the former R Pos 431; and U Uni 390, 391 and 392 will be applied toward a major in Political Science. Approval of the undergraduate coordinator is required prior to enrollment.

The Department recommends that students take the 200-level survey and topical courses.
The Department offers two empirical methodology courses for social scientists; R Pos 316 and R Pos 417Z.


Honors Program

This program is designed to provide serious students of politics with the opportunity for a special educational experience in small seminars where they can develop their writing, discussion and analytical skills.

Majors may apply for admission to the Director of the Honors Program at the end of the sophomore year, or for junior transfers, upon admission to the University. The requirements for admission include:

Overall cumulative grade point average of 3.5, and a 3.7 in political science courses.
Completion of 12 credits in political science (including, normally, R Pos 101 or 101Z, R Pos 102 or 102Z, and R Pos 103 or 103Z) before beginning the program.

 
Honors Program Requirements
The Honors Program requires 16 credits of honors work. All students beginning the Honors Program will take Great Ideas in Political Science (R Pos 496Z). This seminar is taught each fall and only honors students may enroll.

Students in the honors program must take two 4-credit honors versions of existing 300-level courses (R Pos 300-level + 1 credit R Pos 300). In addition to attending classes and doing the same assignments as the other students in the course, they will earn the additional fourth credit through a tutorial with the faculty member teaching the course that will include extra reading and writing assignments.
Students in the honors program will have the option of capping their studies with either a 4-credit honors thesis (R Pos 499Z) written under the supervision of a faculty member or a 4-credit version of an existing 400-level course in which the honors student will undertake a major writing project (R Pos 400-level + 1 credit R Pos 400).

Honors students will need to have an upper-division area of concentration in American Politics, Global Politics, Public Law, or Political Theory. The two 300-level honors courses and the 400-level honors course or honors thesis can be used to fulfill this requirement.
Honors students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 overall and 3.50 in political science to continue in the program in the senior year and to graduate with honors.

Combined B.A./M.A. Programs

Political Science/Political Science
The combined B.A./M.A. program in political science/political science provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master's degree programs from the beginning of the junior year to earn the B.A. and M.A. degrees within nine semesters.

The combined program requires a minimum of 143 credits, of which at least 32 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students must meet all University and school requirements, including the requirements of the major described previously, the minor requirement, the minimum 90-credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, general education requirements, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.A., students must meet all University and school requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 38 graduate credits and any other conditions such as field seminars and Master's Essay (R Pos 698), professional experience, and residency requirements. Up to 9 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and M.A. programs.
 
Students may apply to the combined degree program in political science/political science at the beginning of their junior year or after the successful completion of 56 credits. To be eligible for admission, the student must have completed at least one semester in residency at this University.

The student must also have completed at least 6 credits of course work in political science at this University, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher, a grade point average of 3.20 or higher in course work completed at Albany, and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty to be considered for this program.

Political Science/Public Administration
The combined B.A./M.P.A. program in political science/public administration provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master's degree programs from the beginning of the junior year. A carefully designed program can permit a student to earn the B.A. and M.P.A. degrees in one less semester than is normally required.

The combined program requires a minimum of 154 credits, of which at least 46 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students must meet all University and school requirements, including the requirements of the major described previously, the minor requirement, the minimum 90-credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, general education requirements, and residency requirements.
In qualifying for the M.P.A., students must meet all University and school requirements, as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 46 graduate credits and any other conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, professional experience and residency requirements. Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and M.P.A. programs.

Students may apply to the combined degree program in political science/public administration at the beginning of their junior year or after the successful completion of 56 credits. To be eligible for admission, the student must have completed at least one semester in residency at this University. The student must also have completed at least 6 credits of course work in political science at this University. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher, a grade point average of 3.20 or higher in course work completed at Albany, and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty are required for consideration. The Graduate Record Exam is not required. Of the 36 credits required for the B.A. degree in political science, at least 18 credits must be from courses taken in political science on this campus.
 
Political Science/Public Affairs and Policy
The combined BA/MA joins the undergraduate major (BA) in Political Science (POS) with the Master of Arts in Public Affairs and Policy (MA) in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. This program will allow a student to earn a BA in POS and the MA in Public Affairs and Policy in approximately one less semester than otherwise would be required.

In order to complete the combined degree program, students would need to meet all the requirements for the BA in Political Science, including all major requirements, the minimum liberal arts and science graduation credit requirement, the residency requirement, the General Education requirement, and a 400-level writing intensive course. Students could take up to 12 graduate credits during the senior year which would be applied toward the credits required for the BA in Political Science, as well as to the 40 credits required for the MA degree. Finally, students would need to meet the requirements for the MA. Applicants to the program would need to have a 3.2 GPA and, as in the case of the other programs, the GRE would be waived.