The Politics, Government & Law major focuses on the theory and practice of politics, the analysis of political systems and behavior, and domestic and international law and legal systems. This major contributes to a broad-based liberal arts education by developing critical thinking skills, analytical skills, and strong communication skills, all while attempting to come to grips with the major public issues of our time. The Politics, Government, & Law major offers a structured and timely curriculum to prepare our graduates for careers or future graduate study in state and federal government, law, public policy, and non-profit work/management.
Majors will have the opportunity to concentrate on specific fields of study, which will help students achieve their career and/or graduate school goals. Students can choose among the following concentration areas:
Law & Public Policy
Global Legal Studies
International Relations: A student concentrating in international relations will study foreign affairs, the relationship between nations, and global political and economic systems. Students who study international relations develop expertise in foreign policy and diplomacy.
Law & Public Policy: A student concentrating in law & public policy will study American and international legal theory, the process of crafting public policy, and the systems of government that enact public policy and law. This expertise will prepare students to seek employment in government, the non-profit sector, private-sector legal/government affairs, or attend graduate/law school.
Global Legal Studies: A student concentrating in global legal studies will study the comparative practice of law, the substantive areas of law and legal reasoning, and the role of legal systems in both the United States and other societies. This concentration is unique because it requires the completion of coursework abroad. This expertise will prepare students to attend law school or work in international legal/government affairs.
Political Science: A student concentrating in political science will study a broad range of courses in the field of political science, including international relations, comparative politics, American politics, and political theory. This concentration is designed to offer a liberal arts approach to studying politics and public affairs. Students who study in the political science concentration develop a generalist’s understanding of politics and government, and will be prepared to pursue careers in secondary education, government, the non-profit sector, or attend graduate school to hone expertise.
What to Expect
Class activities that include debates, simulations, student presentations, guest speakers and field trips
Preparation for graduate study in politics, peace and conflict resolution, international relations or law
Opportunities to travel with an award-winning Model UN team and participate in an international simulation
Internships available in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C, and British parliaments
Senior Capstone courses that integrate classroom learning with real-world experiences
Opportunities through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies to study in Europe, Asia, Africa, China, and more
A Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with Politics, Government & Law will prepare you to pursue a career in law, politics, international affairs, foreign policy, public administration, urban planning, public relations, trade associations, teaching, or private industry.
Political Science Concentration Requirements:
Students concentrating in Political Science must complete five elective courses in the Politics, Government & Law major. At least two of these courses must be at the 300 level or above. The Internship course (PS380) may count toward the major but cannot count as 300+ level elective course. Courses completed abroad may satisfy major and concentration requirements with approval from the Politics, Government & Law program director or department chairperson.
The minor in Political Science supplements many major programs, especially International Studies, Media & Communication, Health Administration, Public Health, and Business. The Political Science minor enables students to understand how political processes operate domestically and globally and strengthens oral and written communication skills.
Law & Public Policy Minor (Formerly known as the Pre-Law minor)
The Law & Public Policy minor prepares students for admission to law school, a career in government, or graduate study in public policy, public administration, or public affairs. The minor draws on challenging courses requiring students to analyze and evaluate conflicting ideas and to communicate effectively. The minor provides students an opportunity to explore and critique contemporary legal and public policy issues. Because there are no curricular prerequisites for admission to law school, the Law & Public Policy minor exposes students to relevant courses for future study and helps students determine if they have an aptitude and interest for a career in law, government affairs, or the nonprofit sector.
Secondary Education Minor & Grades 7-12 Social Studies Certification
Political Science majors seeking certification for secondary teaching must notify their advisers and the Director of Secondary Education. State certification requirements are very specific, so the earlier students plan for this option, the easier it is to develop an academic plan.
Study Abroad and U.S. Study Away Opportunities
Politics, Government & Law majors are encouraged to study abroad or away for a sememster, a year, or another time period that meets their curricular and personal needs. This experience provides students the opportunity to explore new places and cultures. For example, students can study at a foreign university, intern with the Parliaments of the United Kingdom or Ireland, attend American University while interning in Washington D.C., or participate in a global field study course that combines traditional course work with a seven-to-twelve day overseas travel component.
Politics, Government & Law majors studying abroad for a semester or a year typically should do so during the summer, sophomore or junior years. All students must complete their senior year on-campus due to the year-long senior thesis course requirments.
Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their academic advisor and the Office of Global Engagement as soon as possible.