Jun 15, 2024  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Political Science

Craig Warkentin, Chair
435 Mahar Hall
Directory of Professors 

The Political Science program at Oswego provides students with a broad understanding of politics in the current world context of continuity and change. Students begin their program with surveys of American politics and global politics, along with an introduction to political theories and ways of thinking politically. This core should be completed during the student’s first year in the department. Students then engage in advanced course work that aims to develop their understanding of contemporary politics, together with their ability to analyze political power, to think critically about politics, and to engage in the political world, whether as political activists, government officials, civil servants, or informed citizens.

The Political Science program is based on the principle of ‘guided flexibility’. Specific courses of study will be available that students can choose to follow, or students can develop an individual program together with a faculty adviser. The “courses of study” will guide students in choosing courses that relate to specific interests, such as law, political theory, or globalization. Students are also encouraged to investigate coordinating their Political Science program with one of the interdisciplinary programs in which the Political Science faculty participate, such as Global and International Studies, Women’s Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, or Public Policy Analysis.

The faculty in Political Science values independent student research. To this end, a capstone seminar is required of all Political Science majors in which students will engage in a substantial independent research project in their area of interest. Alternatively, the department’s best students are encouraged to participate in the department’s Honors Program in which they will write a substantial thesis during their senior year under the direction of a faculty member in the department. Those students interested in pursuing advanced study in political science are especially encouraged to participate in the department’s Honors Program.

The Political Science major also recognizes that the contemporary political world is global, consisting of deepening interdependence among nations and regions, as well as a mélange of cultures and political systems. This condition presents us with both challenges and opportunities. With this in mind, the department strongly encourages all of its majors and minors to take courses with international components and to study abroad for at least one semester. A study abroad adviser is available in the department to help students coordinate study abroad with their Politics program.

We also recognize that to be political involves engagement beyond in class work. Therefore, the department hosts a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science Honor Society, which inducts students based on their academic performance, and a Political Science club, which all students are encouraged to join. The department also has a strong internship program through which students can earn up to nine semester hours credit working as assistants in local government and citizens’ organizations, state agencies, the state legislature in Albany, or the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. Internship placements are also available abroad.

American Studies Major – B.A. Degree 

The Department of Political Science cosponsors a program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies.




Honor Requirements for Major