Dec 01, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Political Science Major - American Politics and Law Specialization

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The study of politics as both an art and a science involves understanding how ancient, modern and post-modern thinkers have come to understand the political world both philosophically and empirically on a national level, local level and an international level. Students learn about the processes of government, the avenues for participation in the political system and in government, as well as the actors involved and the means by which they exercise power, influence and authority. The study of political science and international studies offers a rich curricula of law, legal systems and processes, governments, popular participation vehicles, political development, political violence, revolution, international relations, foreign and security policy and is useful in a number of professional fields, including, but not limited to: law, social work, public administration, public service, foreign service, nongovernmental organizations and non-profits, journalism, and teaching. Students who study political science and international studies will be better equipped to be effective citizens of their nation-states and citizens of the world.

Students in the Department of Political Science and International Studies engage in many off-campus programs such as the Washington Semester Programs of The American University, the Washington Center Internship Program, and various Study-Abroad Programs, including the McDaniel Budapest semester, the McDaniel Saint-Louis University Program in Belgium, and a host of other programs here and abroad. Students regularly participate in internships on the local, state, federal, and international levels {in law firms in Westminster, in the courts and electoral campaign offices, in Annapolis, including the prestigious Governor’s Internship, in the state house, in the offices of the Attorney General, Baltimore law firms, Congress, lobbying organizations on Capitol Hill, at the United Nations, in various embassies, in the European Union offices in D.C., in Brussels, and in Strasbourg, and with the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and the National Security Administration. These internships wed the theoretical with the hands on experience to provide a formidable experiential learning format. Many students obtain jobs with these organizations upon graduating. Students also engage in a range of co-curricular activities, including simulations such as Model EU, Model Arab League, Maryland State Legislature, and Model United Nations, as well as both attending and presenting at conferences in both the United States and abroad. Students also regularly engage in student-faculty research collaborations and independent studies on topics of both domestic and global importance.


One additional (PSI) course (4 credits):

Total Program Hours: 46

Departmental Writing Requirement

The Departments extends writing throughout the major. Students who major in Political Science take:

  • Two (PSI) courses selected from the American Politics list;
  • Two (PSI) courses selected from the Political Inquiry list;
  • and Capstone (PSI 4492).

Requirements for Departmental Honors

A student’s paper that is at the level of consideration for Honors in the Discipline of Political Science will be selected from the Senior Seminar Capstone and then considered by the entire department. Once approved by the entire department, the student will be given Honors in the Discipline. Additionally, students must earn a minimum 3.50 GPA in all courses taken in the major.

Secondary Teacher Certification

Please see Social Studies teacher certification requirements under Programs: Education minor (secondary) for Political Science major. Please see Social Studies teacher certification requirements under Programs: Education minor (secondary) for Political Science major. Currently, both PSI 1100: Introduction to Political Science and PSI 2201: American Political Institutions count for the Secondary Teacher Certification.

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