College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Political Science (B.A.)
At-a-Glance

Minimum Hours Required for Major: 32

Minimum Hours Required for Minor: 16

Department Office and Contacts: Rhodes Tower 1744; Telephone: 687-4541; e-mail address: v.varaljay@csuohio.edu; home page: http://www.csuohio.edu/class/politicalscience. All political science faculty members can be reached through the home page, or by sending an e-mail to them at [first initial].[last name]@csuohio.edu. Several faculty members have their own home pages which can be accessed through the World Wide Web.

Special Tracks and Joint Programs: public service specialization, political communication

Foreign Study Abroad: China (Suzhou), Germany, France (Clermont) and others which can be arranged through the Center for International Services and Programs

Awards: Distinguished Student Award, Distinguished Senior Seminar Paper Award, Outstanding Student Intern Award, Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society

Admission to the Major: Majors in the regular political science program must complete PSC 111 (Introduction to American Government) prior to declaring their major. Prospective majors are encouraged to take PSC 111 in their freshman year as part of their university General Education requirement. Then, early in the sophomore year, students should arrange a meeting with the department chair to discuss declaring a major. Transfer students from community colleges and other four-year institutions should declare their political science major as soon as possible after arriving on campus. NOTE: The prerequisite of PSC 111 does not apply to International Relations majors.

Advising: All prospective majors should schedule an appointment with the chair to discuss their education and career interests. On the basis of this meeting, students decide which political science program they will follow. They can see their adviser each semester to discuss the next semester's registration and any career or post-B.A. training issues. There are also separate advisers available to assist students with internships in public service or international relations.

Service Courses: In addition to the major, the Department of Political Science offers a number of courses which fulfill the university's General Education Requirements.

Additional Information:

The program in political science is designed to help students understand contemporary public policy, the importance of politics and democracy in their lives, and the means of influencing government to respond to collective needs. The Department of Political Science offers a major and a minor for both day and evening students. Details of the minor program are available in the department office.

The department also offers a public-service specialization as an alternative track to the regular departmental major. This specialization is designed specifically for those majors planning a career in the public sector, although it could prove equally useful to those seeking careers in the private sector. Details of this specialization are available in the department office. The department also offers a separate interdisciplinary major in international relations (see separate listing).

The political science curriculum stresses a broad understanding of the workings of political processes in the United States and abroad; the cultural and ideological bases of modern governments; and the acquisition of skills for evaluating public policies and participating in the political process. Political science bridges liberal arts and sciences, and the Cleveland State Department of Political Science stresses the importance of both scientific and humanistic approaches to the field.

A major in political science helps to prepare students for careers in government, the legal profession, politics, community organizations, national and international nonprofit organizations, journalism and the mass media, and education. Many political science graduates take positions in business and industry as well.

Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in political science courses in order to graduate with a major or minor.

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Evening Program

The department offers a major and a minor in the evening. Required core courses are offered at night at least once during the regular academic year, and intermediate- and advanced-level courses are offered with sufficient regularity so that a student could complete the degree over a four-year period.

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Major-Field Requirements

(32 semester hours)

A minimum of 32 hours in political science beyond PSC 111 is required for the major. The program is divided into three parts: the Common Core, Field Distribution Requirements, and Seminar (or Internship)

  1. Common Core: 7 hours
  2. Field Distribution Requirements (20 hours at the 300- to 400-level)
    1. One course in political theory (PSC 340, 341, 342) (4 hours)
    2. Two courses in American politics (8 hours)
      American Politics Courses: PSC 301 Urban Politics and Policy, PSC 305 Cultural Diversity in U.S. Politics, PSC 310 Constitutional Law, PSC 311 Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, PSC 314 State Government & Elections, PSC 315 Public Policy and Administration, PSC 317 Political Parties and Elections, PSC 318 The Presidency and Congress, PSC 319 Public Opinion
    3. Two courses in the comparative/international politics field (8 hours)
      Comparative/International Politics Courses: PSC 321 Political Violence, PSC 323 African Politics, PSC 324 Russia & the Successor States, PSC 325 Western European Politics, PSC 326 Politics of the Third World, PSC 327 Politics of Peaceful World Change, PSC 328 International Political Economy, PSC 329 Politics and Political Economy of the European Union; PSC 330 U.S. National Security Policy, PSC 331 U.S. Foreign Policy, PSC 332 Politics in the Middle East, PSC 333 Latin America Politics, PSC 334 Causes of War, PSC 335 East Asian Politics, PSC 337 Canadian Government & Politics, PSC 338 Central & Eastern Europe, PSC 339 Political Economy of Africa & the Middle East
  3. Seminar (5 hours) Prerequisite: completion of Common Core and at least one 300- or 400-level course in the field, or permission of the instructor.
    • One PSC 400-level seminar in any field
      Seminar Courses:
      PSC 420 American Politics, PSC 421 Comparative Politics, PSC 422 International Politics, PSC 423 Political or Legal Theory, PSC 424 Urban Politics

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Public Service Specialization

(36 Semester Hours)
Students who seek a political science program that is more oriented toward practical politics and government service can take the regular political science degree with a specialization in public service. Requirements of this program are identical to those of the political science major with two exceptions: public-service track majors take an internship (PSC 401, 402, 403 or 405, for 6 hours of credit) instead of the senior seminar, as their capstone course. They also take one course specifically related to their internship, as well as the usual field-distribution requirements for the major.

Admission to the Public Service Track: Students wishing to specialize in the public-service track must meet the same requirements as regular political science majors. They must complete PSC 111 (Introduction to American Government) prior to declaring their major. When they declare their major they should inform the chair of their intention to specialize in public service. They will then be assigned to the internship adviser for all further advising on their program and on their internship. Students will need a 3.0 in their major or permission of the instructor to enroll in an internship.

  1. Common Core: 7 hours
  2. Field Distribution Requirements (24 hours)
    1. One course in political theory (PSC 340, 341, 342) (4 hours)
    2. One course in American politics linked to the internship (4 hours). Students should select this course as a function of the Internship that they intend to pursue
    3. Two additional courses in American politics and institutions (other than PSC 301 or PSC 314) in the series 312-318 (8 hours)
      American Politics Courses: PSC 301 Urban Politics and Policy, PSC 305 Cultural Diversity in U.S. Politics, PSC 310 Constitutional Law, PSC 311 Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, PSC 314 State Government & Elections, PSC 315 Public Policy and Administration, PSC 317 Political Parties and Elections, PSC 318 The Presidency and Congress, PSC 319 Public Opinion
    4. Two courses in the comparative/international politics field (8 hours)
      Comparative/International Politics Courses: PSC 321 Political Violence, PSC 323 African Politics, PSC 324 Russia & the Successor States, PSC 325 Western European Politics, PSC 326 Politics of the Third World, PSC 327 Politics of Peaceful World Change, PSC 328 International Political Economy, PSC 329 Politics and Political Economy of the European Union; PSC 330 U.S. National Security Policy, PSC 331 U.S. Foreign Policy, PSC 332 Politics in the Middle East, PSC 333 Latin America Politics, PSC 334 Causes of War (Formerly US-Latin American Security Issues), PSC 335 East Asian Politics, PSC 337 Canadian Government & Politics, PSC 338 Central & Eastern Europe, PSC 339 Political Economy of Africa & the Middle East.
  3. Tracks in Public Service
    1. Urban Politics: PSC 301 Urban Politics and Policy, any two 300-level courses in the American sub-field, and the City Council Internship (PSC 401)
    2. State Politics: PSC 314 State Government and Politics, any two 300-level courses in the American sub-field, and the State Government Internship (PSC 405)
    3. National Politics: Any three courses in the American field, excluding PSC 301 or PSC 314, plus the Administrative Internship (PSC 403)
    4. Electoral Politics: PSC 317 Parties and Elections, any two courses in the American sub-field, and Campaign Politics Internship (PSC 402)
  4. Internship (6 hours)
    Prerequisite: completion of Common Core, relevant 300-level course in preparation for the internship (PSC 301, PSC 305, PSC 314, PSC 317) and a 3.0 grade-point average in their major to be eligible for an internship, or permission of the instructor. PSC 401 City Council Internship Program, PSC 402 Campaign Politics Internship, PSC 403 Administrative Internship Program, PSC 405 State Government Administrative Internship.

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The Minor

The department offers a minor in political science structured so that a student can experience one of four political science areas of concentration: American Politics, Public Law and Theory (of particular interest to prelaw students not wishing to major in Political Science), Comparative Politics, and International Politics.

Requirements for the Minor: 16 to 17 semester hours depending on choice of courses

American Politics Concentration:

  • PSC 111 (4 hours)
  • 2 courses in American Politics at 300-level (8 hours)
  • Any additional 300- or 400-level course, including PSC 420 Seminar in American Politics (5 hours)
    American Politics Courses:
    PSC 301 Urban Politics and Policy, PSC 305 Cultural Diversity in U.S. Politics, PSC 310 Constitutional Law, PSC 311 Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, PSC 314 State Government & Elections, PSC 315 Public Policy and Administration, PSC 317 Political Parties and Elections, PSC 318 The Presidency and Congress, PSC 319 Public Opinion

Public Law and Theory Concentration:

  • PSC 111 (4 hours)
  • Two 300-level Law or Theory courses
    (PSC 310, PSC 311, PSC 340, PSC 341, PSC 342)
  • Any additional 300- or 400-level course, including PSC 423 Seminar in Legal Theory (5 hours)
    Law and Theory Courses:
    PSC 310 Constitutional Law, PSC 311 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, PSC 340 Ancient & Medieval Political Thought, PSC 341 Modern Political Thought, PSC 342 American Political Thought

Comparative Politics Concentration:

  • PSC 221 (4 hours)
  • 2 comparative politics courses at 300-level from among PSC 323, PSC 324, PSC 325, PSC 326,PSC 329, PSC 332, PSC 333, PSC 335, PSC 337, PSC 338,PSC 339
  • Any additional 300- or400-level course, including PSC 421 Seminar in Comparative Politics (5 hours)
    Comparative Politics Courses:
    PSC 221 Comparative Politics; PSC 323 African Politics, PSC 324 Russia and the Successor States, PSC 325 Western European Politics, PSC 326 Politics of the Third World,PSC 329 Politics and Political Economy of the European Union, PSC 332 Politics in the Middle East, PSC 333 Latin American Politics, PSC 335 East Asian Politics, PSC 337 Canadian Government & Politics, PSC 338 Central and Eastern Europe,PSC 339 Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa

International Politics Concentration:

  • PSC 231 (4 hours)
  • Two international politics courses at 300-level from among PSC 321, PSC 327, PSC 328, PSC 330, PSC 331, PSC 334
  • Any additional 300- or 400-level course, including PSC 422 Seminar in International Politics (5 hours)
    International Politics Courses:
    PSC 231 International Politics, PSC 321 Political Violence, PSC 327 Politics of Peaceful World Change, PSC 328 International Political Economy, PSC 330 U.S. National Security Policy, PSC 331 U.S. Foreign Policy, PSC 334 Causes of War (Formerly US-Latin American Security Issues)

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Certificates

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Central and Eastern European Studies (Certificate)

The re-emergence of Central Europe has been one of the most significant developments of this generation. The "lands between," as those countries have been called, have historically been deeply influenced, and at times dominated, by Russia and Germany.

This certificate program should be useful to students across the university to add an international focus to their studies. Members of the Greater Cleveland community, especially those with business interests in the area, may also find this program of particular value.

Required Courses:

Students wishing to earn a Certificate in Central and Eastern European Studies must complete 16 semester hours from the following list of courses. These courses must come from at least two different disciplines. If the student is completing a major in one of those disciplines, only one course taken to meet the minimum major requirement may also be counted toward the certificate.

Other courses in these or other departments may be taken with approval of the program committee.

For additional information contact: the Department of Political Science 216-687-4541, the Department of History 216-687-3920, or the Department of Modern Languages 216-687-4645.

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Latin American Studies (Certificate)

The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students to supplement their majors with relevant skills provided by other disciplines. A History major could demonstrate language and other humanities skills, as well as social science competence, without having to complete a minor in any one (not to mention all) of those areas. Similarly, a Political Science major could add the Latin American Studies certificate to show competence in the humanities.

International business students may well want to concentrate on Latin American Studies to fulfill the requirement for courses outside the College of Business Administration. The certificate program may enhance employment possibilities or satisfy personal interests.

Curricular Philosophy

  1. Students must have some common knowledge. This argues for a core, but given the frequency of offerings, it would be impractical to identify mandatory core courses.
  2. Students should have the freedom to build a set of courses which provides a personal and professional perspective within the framework of the certificate program.
  3. The study of languages is essential for communication across cultures.
  4. Study in the country or culture of interest is a preferred avenue to prepare for a career that crosses cultures.
  5. Specialization in an area implies effort and achievement beyond minimal standards. A relatively high standard of student work in this certificate affirms the college's quest for continued excellence.

Proposed Curriculum:

(16 semester credits)

  1. Basic Courses - at least 6 credits must come from among the following, and must be in departments other than the student's major(s):
  2. Electives - the remaining credits will be chosen from among these courses: (or from among the courses in "A" above not counted toward that requirement)
    Other courses may apply toward elective credit with the approval of the Program Committee.

  3. All students must fulfill the college foreign-language requirement in either Spanish or Portuguese. In addition, of the courses taken toward the certificate, one must be designated SPN (in Spanish) (or the equivalent in Portuguese). If the student has declared a Spanish major or minor, this requirement will not apply.
  4. Foreign study in a Latin American country will be encouraged. Exchange programs will be explored as appropriate through faculty contacts and the director of International Programs. Up to 6 credits of study abroad which is of the nature of the courses in the Basic and Elective curriculum may be applied toward elective credit for the certificate.
  5. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required for certificate course work. No more than one S/U course may be counted toward the certificate.

For additional information contact: the Department of Anthropology 216-687-2414, the Department of History 216-687-3920, the Department of Political Science 216-687-4541, or the Department of Modern Languages 216-687-4645.

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Mailing Address
Office of Undergraduate Studies
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, MC 107A
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
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