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Political Science

The mission of Otterbein's Political Science Program is to foster scholarship, leadership, civic engagement, and responsible citizenship. The major demonstrates the connections between political and social institutions and fosters the analysis of the forces within political systems, including law, policy, race, class, gender, and the economy. It is committed to building a community of scholars through the critical assessment and self-reflection of the methods, approaches, and perspectives of political analysis and engagement. The program is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and mentoring to ensure that students develop analytical and methodological skills that will lead them to assess contemporary political events and to promote ethical problem-solving strategies.

The Department of History and Political Science offers both a major (BA) and a minor in Political Science.

The Political Science Major (BA) is organized around four foundations/core courses and three areas of concentration: American Law and Politics, Global Politics, and Political Theory. Political Science majors are required to complete all four foundations courses, and by the junior year, students should choose and complete the requirements for one of the areas of concentration. See the Otterbein University Catalog for the complete Political Science BA Requirements.

The Political Science Minor requires the completion of five courses. See the Otterbein University Catalog for the complete Political Science Minor Requirements.

Areas of Concentration
The Political Science curriculum is organized according to three areas of concentration (or sub-fields):

  • American Law and Politics is concerned with the institutions of U.S. government – from the local to the national level, including the analysis of executives, legislative processes, and judicial processes – as well as campaigns, elections, the media, and public law. American Law and Politics Courses:
    • POLS 1000 American National Government 4 hrs
    • POLS 2150 American Legislative Process 4 hrs
    • POLS 2220 The Presidency 4 hrs
    • POLS 2250 Judicial Process 4 hrs
    • POLS 3100 State and Local Government 4 hrs
    • POLS 3350 Campaigns and Elections 4 hrs
    • POLS 3510 Special Topics in American Law and Politics 4 hrs
    • POLS 4050 The Media and the Message 4 hrs
    • POLS 4200 Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties 4 hrs
    • POLS 4300 Law, Politics and Society 4 hrs
  • Global Politics is concerned with relations between states and other international actors, such as multinational corporations and the United Nations; with the politics, administration and law of other countries; and with the underlying realities of power based on resources, wealth, military preparedness and national security. Global Politics Courses:
    • POLS 1300 Introduction to Global Politics 4 hrs
    • POLS 2270 Comparative Government 4 hrs
    • POLS 3520 Special Topics in Global Politics 4 hrs
    • POLS 3550 American Foreign Policy 4 hrs
    • POLS 3870 Terrorism and Genocide 4 hrs
    • POLS 4100 International Law and Institutions 4 hrs
    • POLS 4690 Globalization, Justice, and Democracy 4 hrs
    • POLS 4820 Middle East Politics 4 hrs
    • POLS 4850 East Asian Politics 4 hrs
    • POLS 4880 African Politics 4 hrs
    • POLS 4920 Model United Nations 4 hrs
  • Political Theory is concerned with the normative, critical, and conceptual questions concerning the nature of political power, authority, consent, democracy, equality, justice, liberty, reason, rights, and tolerance. Political Theory Courses:
    • POLS 1150 Political Philosophy 4 hrs
    • POLS 2400 Democratic Theory 4 hrs
    • POLS 3280 Environmental Political Theory 4 hrs
    • POLS 3480 Gender and Feminist Political Theory 4 hrs
    • POLS 3530 Special Topics in Political Theory 4 hrs
    • POLS 4450 Marxian Political Thought 4 hrs
    • POLS 4640 Theories of Social Justice 4 hrs
    • POLS 4690 Globalization, Justice, and Democracy 4 hrs

Career Opportunities and Future Paths
The liberal arts foundation of a political science degree offers skills that can be valuable in many career fields, including government service, public administration, law, journalism, business administration, and research. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to pursue several professional employment and post-graduate opportunities.

  • Governmental Service. Students will be prepared to pursue several professional employment in government service and public administration at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Non-Government Service. Graduates are qualified for employment in non-governmental organizations that serve social and/or legal services.
  • Graduate School & Law School. Students are prepared for graduate work in political science, international relations and the foreign service, and public administration. Graduates also may pursue law school.
  • Education & Teaching. When undertaken in conjunction with the Integrated Social Studies Licensure Program in the Education Department, graduates are qualified to teach civics-politics and/or social studies in the secondary schools.

/ Department of History and Political Science

La Trice Washington
p/ 614.823.1019
e/ LWashington@otterbein.edu


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