About the Major
In a certain sense, Political Science is the study of 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 state it more directly, it is the study of "who gets
what, when, and how."
The scope of politics is sweeping: from a superpower summit
meeting to a local election, 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 computers and information technology on the politics
of the twenty-first century.
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 attempts to respond
to the needs of students with specific career aspirations as
well as those who are activists or are just generally interested.
The major at Ramapo is special because it combines traditional,
basic, and advanced level courses in American government, international
and comparative politics, and theory. 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 courses in related
fields, selecting a school affiliation in which political science
is seen as part of a larger whole, and having the opportunity
to take a second major history or economics, for example.
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.
Special features of the Political Science major include: the
recent establishment of a Ramapo Political Forum to sponsor
speakers and special events for students; a program of student
internships in government, legislative offices, and campaigns,
and a pre-law advisor who works with students interested in
law school admission.
Ramapo chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science
honor society, provides special recognition and programming
for outstanding Political Science students.