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Undergraduate: Political Science

  • Program Overview

    Political Science (POL)

    Political Science is the study of how societies make collective decisions through politics and government. It is subdivided into the following areas: American politics (study of American institutions and practices); comparative politics (study of foreign governments); international relations (study of war, international organization, and foreign policies); political theory (study of the bases of legitimate political authority); political behavior (study of why people vote and act as they do in political matters); and public policy (study of organizational decision-making and the consequences of government action).

    The objective of the Political Science major is to give the student a general introduction to all the major subfields of the discipline and an in-depth exposure to one or two of them. Students study not only the major literature of the subfields, but also learn research methods and become familiar with ongoing research. Internships in Long Island, Albany, and Washington offer selected students the opportunity to gain practical experience.

    The Political Science major provides a strong liberal arts background for students who may enter such fields as journalism, business, public administration, social welfare, teaching, and law. Those who graduate from law school go on to work in law firms, in businesses, and in government agencies at all levels. Most Political Science majors who apply to law school are admitted, many of them to top-ranking institutions. Some Political Science majors attend graduate school in the field, leading to careers as teachers and researchers of politics at colleges and universities.

  • Degrees and Requirements

    Requirements for the Major and Minor in Political Science (POL)

    Requirements for the Major in Political Science (POL)

    The major in Political Science leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. All political science courses numbered 200 or higher offered for the major must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.

    Completion of the major requires 42 credits.

    A. Study Within the Area of the Major

    • Required courses: (9 credits)
      • POL 101 World Politics
      • POL 102 American Government or POL 105 Honors American Government
      • POL 103 Comparative Politics
        Note: Above courses must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a grade of C or higher in order to be counted toward completion of the major requirements.
    • Political Science electives: (24 credits)
      • All must be selected from courses numbered 200 or above (excluding POL 201), and at least 12 credits must be from courses numbered 300 or above. At least 12 of these 24 credits must be selected from courses in one of the programs of study listed below. No more than six credits from courses with Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading may be applied. EST 356 may substitute for one of the elective upper-division courses.
      • At least twelve credits must be taken in courses offered by the Political Science Department at Stony Brook or cross-listed by the Department. Only transfer courses with a grade of C or higher may be accepted toward the major.

    B. Study in Related Areas (6 credits)

    Two courses numbered 300 or higher, offered by another department (and not crosslisted with a political science course or included as a philosophy course in the political theory/philosophy program of study) in subjects directly related to the chosen program of study. Courses taken at another institution may be used to satisfy this requirement if they were passed with a grade of C or higher.

    C. Methodology Requirement

    Majors must demonstrate competence in appropriate social science methodology by passing POL 201 Introduction to Statistical Methods in Political Science with a grade of C or higher or another statistics course approved by the Department. The Department suggests that students fulfill this requirement no later than the beginning of their junior year. A course taken to fulfill the methodology requirement may not count toward fulfilling any other major requirement.

    D. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

    Political science majors must enroll in the 0-credit POL 459 course to meet the Stony Brook Curriculum’s WRTD learning objective. They may choose to have their writing evaluated in one of two methods:
     
    Method I: Students may submit to the department’s director of undergraduate studies a portfolio of papers written for upper-division courses in political science or related disciplines at Stony Brook, totaling 15 pages.  The copies of the papers should be those that include the grade and summary comments by the instructor.  Submit the portfolio along with the form available at the main office and filled out by the student. The director of undergraduate studies will evaluate the portfolio and inform the student of the evaluation. If the writing quality is judged unsatisfactory, the student should consult with the director of undergraduate studies about further steps. 
     
    Method II: Students may ask the instructor of an upper-division political science course at Stony Brook to evaluate papers written for that course, totaling 15 pages.  To do so, students must give the course instructor the form available at the main office and filled out by the student. The instructor will inform the student of the evaluation and submit the form with the evaluation to the director of undergraduate studies. If the evaluation is unsatisfactory, the student should either consult with the instructor or the director of undergraduate studies about further steps.

    Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with university graduation requirements for General Education.  Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) learning objective to graduate.  The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

    Note:
    Students must take four 300-level courses in one of the following programs of study within the major:
    1. Comparative Politics and International Relations;
    2. American Government, Law, and Public Policy;
    3. Political Behavior and Political Psychology;
    4. Political Theory/Philosophy.

    Programs of Study

    Comparative Politics and International Relations

    EST 356, POL 214, 216, 305, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 313, 334, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, 350, 357, 372, 374, 411, 412. Also 287, 390, 391, 401, 402, 403, 404, 447, 487, and 495 when the topic is appropriate. 

    American Government, Law, and Public Policy

    POL 317, 318, 319, 320, 322, 323, 324, 325, 327, 328, 330, 332, 333, 336, 344, 347, 350, 351, 352, 353, 359, 365, 366, 367, 368, 434. Also 287, 390, 391, 401, 402, 403, 404, 447, 487, and 495 when the topic is applicable. 

    Political Behavior and Political Psychology

    POL 317, 318, 323, 344, 346, 347, 348, 350, 351, 352, 353, 367, 368, 373, 375, 434. Also 287, 390, 391, 401, 402, 403, 404, 447, 487, and 495 when the topic is applicable. 

    Political Theory/Philosophy

    Students may choose from the following courses in political science and philosophy to complete this program of study: PHI 249 Marxism, PHI 277 Political Philosophy, PHI 363 Philosophy of the Social Sciences, PHI 366 Philosophy and the Environment, PHI 367 Philosophy of War and Peace, PHI 372 Ethical Inquiry, PHI 375 Philosophy of Law, PHI 377 Contemporary Political Philosophy, PHI 379 Philosophy of Race, PHI 384 Advanced Topics in Feminist Theory, POL 325, POL 344, POL 350, POL 377. Also POL 402, POL 403, and POL 404 when the topic is applicable.

    Honors Program

    Departmental majors with a 3.50 g.p.a. in political science courses and a 3.00 cumulative g.p.a. may enroll in the Political Science honors program at the end of their junior year. The student, after asking a faculty member to be a sponsor, must submit a proposal to the Depart­ment describing the research project that is to be the subject of the honors thesis. The supervising faculty member must also submit a statement supporting the student's proposal. If the project is approved by the Department, the student may enroll in POL 495-496 Senior Honors Project in Political Science in the fall and spring semesters of the senior year. The honors paper resulting from the student's research is read by two Political Science faculty members and a faculty member from another department, as arranged by the director of undergraduate studies. If the paper is judged to be of extraordinary merit and the student's record warrants such a determination, honors are conferred.

    Requirements for the Minor in Political Science (POL)

    The minor in Political Science is organized around one of the four programs of study listed for the major and must be approved by the Department's director of undergraduate studies.

    Completion of the minor requires 24 credits distributed as follows:

    1. Two 100-level POL courses selected from 101, 102 (or 105), and 103
    2. Six POL courses numbered 200 or higher (excluding POL 201), of which at least three must be at the upper-division level. At least four of the courses must be in one of the programs of study listed above.
      No more than six credits of courses with Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading may be applied to the minor. All courses except POL 287, 488, and 489 must be taken for a letter grade. No grade less than C in courses numbered 200 and above may be used to fulfill minor requirements. At least nine credits must be taken in courses offered by the Political Science Department at Stony Brook or cross-listed by the Department. Only transfer courses with a grade of C or higher may be accepted toward the minor.
    3. EST 356 may substitute for one of the elective upper-division courses.

    B.A./M.A. Accelerated Degree Program in Political Science

    Undergraduate Stony Brook students currently enrolled with a major in Political Science are eligible for the five-year accelerated B.A./M.A. in Political Science/ Public Policy Program, in which up to six graduate credits are earned during the senior year, while also fulfilling the B.A. requirements. Upon admission to the program, the student takes the following two courses (or others approved by the Graduate Program Director) in the senior year:
    POL 535 Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation
    POL 536 Public Management and Organizational Behavior

    These six credits will also be applied to the 24-credit, upper-level undergraduate elective requirement for political science majors. The student then completes the remaining graduate requirements during the fifth year of full-time study.

     

     

     

     

  • Sequence

    Sample Course Sequence for the Major in  Political Science

    A course planning guide for this major may be found hereThe major course planning guides are not part of the official Undergraduate Bulletin, and are only updated periodically for use as an advising tool. The Undergraduate Bulletin supersedes any errors or omissions in the major course planning guides.  

    FRESHMAN

    FALL Credits
    First Year Seminar 101 1
     WRT 101 3
     POL 100-level* 3
     POL 100-level* 3
     SBC 3
     SBC  3
     Total 16
     
    SPRING Credits
    First Year Seminar 102 1
    WRT 102 3
     POL 100-level* 3
     SBC 3
     SBC 3
     SBC
     3
     Total 16
     
    SOPHOMORE

    FALL Credits
    POL 201 ** 3
    POL 200-level 3
    SBC 3
    SBC 3
    SBC
     3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    POL 300-level 3
    Introductory course in related area 
    3
    Introductory course in related area  3
     SBC 3
     SBC
     3
     Total 15
     
    JUNIOR

    FALL Credits
    POL Upper-division course from selected Program of Study*** 3
    POL Upper-division course from selected Program of Study*** 3
    Upper-division course in related area  3
    SBC  3
    SBC  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    POL Upper-division course from selected Program of Study*** 3
    POL Upper-division course from selected Program of Study*** 3
    Upper-division course related in area  3
    Upper-division SBC 3
    Upper-division elective 3
     Total 15
     
    SENIOR

    FALL Credits
    POL Upper-division elective  3
    POL Upper-division elective  3
    SBC  3
    Upper-division elective  3
    Upper-division elective  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    Electives, directed research, internship, or honors 15
       
     Total 15

     

     

     

     

    *Every Political Science major must take POL 101 , POL 102, and POL 103. The three courses are independent of one another and may be taken in any sequence.

    **Any of the following courses may be substituted for POL 201 : AMS 102 , BUS 215 , ECO 320 , PSY 201 , or SOC 202 .

    ***See the lists under “Programs of Study” 

  • Contact

    Political Science (POL)

    Major and Minor in Political Science

    Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences

    Chair: Leonie Huddy

    Director of Undergraduate Studies: John B. Ryan
    Email:  polisci_undergrad@stonybrook.edu

    U
    ndergraduate Coordinator: June Carter
    Email: june.carter@stonybrook.edu
    P
    hone: (631) 632-7688

    Office: S-701 Social and Behavioral Sciences 
    Website: http://www.stonybrook.edu/polsci/

    Minors of particular interest to students majoring in Political Science: Africana Studies (AFS), Applied Mathematics and Statistics (AMS), Anthropology (ANT), Environmental Studies (ENS), History (HIS), International Studies (INT), Philosophy (PHI), Sociology (SOC), Technology and Society (EST), Women's and Gender Studies (WST)

     

     

     

     

  • Courses
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