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Political Science (B.A.)

Website: School of Humanities and Global Studies



Current as of June 2023

About the Major

Political Science is the study of power and authority and the forms they take in life. It deals with a whole range of human behavior, relationships, and values that affect the daily lives of everyone. Politics is the process by which individuals make collective decisions, set goals and priorities, and formulate policies to pursue them. To characterize the discipline most directly, it is the study of “who gets what, when, and how.”

The scope of politics is sweeping: from a superpower summit meeting to  local elections, guerrilla wars and revolutions, from Congressional action on tax policy to the efforts of environmental groups to influence a decision on a highway construction project. Politics is as old as the works of Plato and Aristotle, as current as the latest poll on public opinion, and as future-oriented as research into the effects of information technology on the politics of the twenty-first century.

The Political Science faculty encourages both traditional and innovative approaches to the major emphasizing American legislative, executive, judicial, and bureaucratic decision making, international and comparative politics, and the theoretical and practical connections between politics and social issues and institutions.

Students who major in Political Science are attracted to the vitality and relevance of its subject matter, are intellectually curious about its interrelationships with other fields such as business and economics, and see it as a useful tool in pursuing a variety of careers and professions.

Traditionally, Political Science majors have successfully pursued careers in law, government, business management and administration, policy-oriented social action, teaching, or some combination of these fields. The Political Science program at Ramapo also responds to the needs of students with specific career aspirations, as well as those who are activists or just generally interested. The major at Ramapo is special because it combines traditional, basic, and advanced-level coursework for its students using an array of qualitative and quantitative approaches.  Specialized courses and seminars reflect faculty expertise and a flexible and interdisciplinary curricular setting. This curricular flexibility allows each student in the major to study political science in related fields and provides  the opportunity for students to pursue a second major, for example, in – international studies, history, history or economics., for example.  If you are interested in law school preparation and admission, contact our pre-law advisors–Professors Jeremy Teigen and Michael Unger.

We work closely with the Washington Internship Institute ( to search and place students in appropriate internship opportunities in Washington D.C., where they will spend a semester working and taking courses that count toward their graduation. The major is also designed to accommodate a semester for students wishing to study abroad to enrich their world view and widen their career path. For more info on study abroad, contact Ramapo’s Roukema Center ( The Ramapo chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, provides special recognition and programming for outstanding Political Science students. Other ways to get involved are through various on-campus clubs such as the Model UN (contact Professor Dean Chen who is currently the Model UN Advisor). 

Outcomes for the Major

Goal 1: Understand US, Comparative, and International Politics

  • Outcome 1.1 Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. Government and politics.
  • Outcome 1.2 Demonstrate knowledge of comparative politics.
  • Outcome 1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of International Politics.

Goal 2: Understand politics systematically

  • Outcome 2.1. Acquire and appropriately use political science research skills.
  • Outcome 2.2. Apply basic theories of political science. 

Goal 3: Communicate effectively

  • Outcome 3.1. Deliver effective oral presentations.
  • Outcome 3.2. Create well-written political science papers.

Goal 4:  Be prepared for a career and/or law school/graduate education through completing a 120-hour internship.

  • Outcome 4.1. Explain how internships and program learning combine to enhance career development and preparation for law school/graduate education.
Requirements of the Major
  • Students are required to take 13 courses (i.e., 52 credits) to complete this major.
  • At least 2 credits must come from the students’ Political Science internship/coop experience (AIID 388) required for all majors. Or students can apply for the Washington Internship Institute to work and intern in Washington D.C. (see descriptions below). 
  • Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below. Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  • Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible. Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  • Writing Intensive Requirement (six courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing and Studies in the Arts and Humanities. Within the major, the four courses will be Political Science Methodology (POLI 316), Political Science Seminar (POLI 405), Comparative Politics (POLI 205) and International Politics (POLI 235).
  • Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  • The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Visit the Cahill Career Center.



Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements of the Minor
  1. Students are required to take 5 courses (20 credits) to complete this minor.
  2. Courses fulfilling the requirements for the primary or second major may count towards the requirements of the minor, but may not exceed one-half of the credits required in the minor. A School core does not need to be completed for a minor.  Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.