Political Science

Front of Supreme Court Building

My education in political science at CSU laid the foundation for my career in state government. I initially did not start out majoring in Poli Sci. I took an American Government with Dr. Dimah and was hooked. He had a way of engaging the students and transcending the text into everyday language.

The Poli Sci faculty at CSU helped me develop the following abilities: analysis, problem solving, and effective citizenship. Majoring in political science prepares you for any job that requires political experience, strong research skills and the ability to work well on a team. I would encourage every student to take a few political science courses. In them you learn to more effectively advance your own or your group's interests by developing your ability to identify opportunities to do so and by developing your ability to advocate on their behalf

Kerry


Kerry Lofton
BA, 2001
Office of the Director
Illinois Department of Agriculture

 

 

The department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Political Science as a discipline seeks to explain the development of political attitudes and behavior, the nature and function of contemporary political institutions, the development and implementation of public policies, and the limits and possibilities of government, both at the national and international levels. Students will learn to critically evaluate public policies and institutions, and are encouraged to become actively involved in the community through internships in government and public law. Areas of emphasis within the major are: American politics and public law; international relations and comparative politics; public administration and public policy; and political theory and methodology. The department also offers a minor sequence in political science for students majoring in other degree programs.

A degree in political science helps prepare students for careers in government, law, campaign management, business, international organizations, and research.

Political Science Faculty:

Philip Aka,, J.D., L.L.M., Ph.D - Temple University; Indiana University College of Law at Indianapolis and Howard University

.Phillip A. Beverly,, Ph.D. - The University of Illinois

Agber Dimah, Ph.D. - Washington State University

Carol Leach, Ph.D. - Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Internships

The department prepares students for careers in government and industry through internship opportunities. Political science students have completed internships in national, state, and local government agencies, state and federal legislators' offices, campaign organizations, and law firms. Students may earn up to twelve credit hours of internship credit in political science; no more than six credit hours may count toward the major.

Pre-Law Studies

Although no specific major is required for law school, political science is the most common major for students attending law school and is strongly recommended, as either a major or minor. The coordinating Pre-Law Advisor at the University, Dr. Carol Leach, is based in The Criminal Justice, Philosophy & Political Science Department.

General Requirements

Admission to the program is contingent upon good academic standing and acceptance by the department. The department will not accept "D" transfer credit in the major and students must achieve a grade of "C" or better in all major courses at Chicago State University . Students must complete 120 semester hours of work: 6 hours in composition; 36 hours in general education (refer to liberal arts curriculum outline) consisting of 18 hours in humanities, 12 hours in natural sciences, 6 hours in mathematics; 42 hours in the major; 21 hours in cognate disciplines selected with the political science advisors' approval; 15 hours of general electives selected with the political science advisors' approval; and passing the examinations on the state and federal constitutions.

Specific Requirements

Required Courses - Please see Chicago State University course catalog.

Required Cognate Courses- 6 Credit Hours

Please see Chicago State University course catalog.

Minor Sequence in Political Science

Recommended Pattern- Please see Chicago State University course catalog.
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Assessment in the Political Science Major

The required coursework in the major is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the areas of American Politics, Political Theory, International Relations and Comparative Politics, and Public Administration. This should enable you to develop a major program according to your interests and professional needs. Throughout your tenure as a Political Science major, ongoing assessment will be an important component of your studies.

The following are the assessments that are now in effect for all political science majors who enrolled and/or declared their major as Political Science:

  1. When you take Political Science 1020, you are to undergo the assessment instrument.
    This test is composed of a 30 question multiple choice examination reflecting the sub-fields of the discipline. The purpose of this test is to identify whether you have mastered the basic content knowledge needed for success in upper-level courses in Political Science.
  2. By your final semester you should identify a term paper from a 2000 or 3000-level course for inclusion in your departmental file. This paper should have received a grade of A or B; if you have no such paper with a grade of A or B, you must bring one to the assessment coordinator, with whom you will work together to revise it appropriately.
    Grade of A: Students who perform at the A level demonstrate outstanding use of research and study skills. Their papers demonstrate outstanding knowledge of political processes and of the development of political institutions -- according to the paper's designated topic and related course themes. The paper also exhibits outstanding use of critical thinking skills in evaluating and employing political data. The A paper states and develops a thesis in logical fashion; the writing is clear and in error-free English prose.
    Grade of B: Students who perform at the B level demonstrate excellent use of research and study skills. Their papers demonstrate excellent knowledge of political processes and of the development of political institutions -- according to the paper's designated topic and related course themes. The paper also exhibits excellent use of critical thinking skills in evaluating and political data. The B paper states and develops a thesis in logical fashion; the writing is clear and in error-free English prose.
    Grade of C: Students who perform at the C level demonstrate good use of research and study skills. Their papers demonstrate general knowledge of political processes and of the development of political institutions -- according to the paper's designated topic and related course themes. The paper also exhibits good use of critical thinking skills in evaluating and employing political data. The C paper states and develops a thesis in logical fashion; the writing is clear and in error-free English prose.
  3. In your final semester, you are to submit to a final assessment instrument
    and, later, complete an exit survey which will be mailed to you in the first year of your post-graduation career or study.
    The assessment test is composed of a 75 question multiple choice examination reflecting the sub-fields of the discipline. The purpose of this test is to identify whether you have mastered the basic content knowledge needed for success in upper-level courses in Political Science and to determine the degree to which your level of knowledge has improved since undergoing the initial assessment in Political Science 102.
    Within one year after graduation, the Department will contact you and your employer to request information about your experience after completing the program, and in particular, to find out how well your education at Chicago State facilitated success in your subsequent occupation or pursuit of further education, as well as to what degree your education has instilled an ongoing interest in the study and appreciation of political science.
  4. At one or more points during your CSU career, you will be asked to complete a reflective assessment instrument.
    This instrument is designed to measure your own sense of how well the Political Science program is meeting your academic and related goals.