Requirements for Major
A minimum of 36 semester credits, including Political Science 101S, 102S, or 251S, 260Z, and any political theory class chosen from among the following: 211R, 212R, 215R, or 216R. A minimum of 4 semester credits must be taken in each of the 3 areas listed below. (The required political theory course counts as a course in that area.) Sixteen semester credits must be completed at the 300 level or above. Methodology (260Z) should be taken no later than the spring semester of the junior year. Exceptions may be granted to permit students to take advantage of year-long off campus programs. Topics courses in each area, the Political Science Seminar, Independent Study, or the Internship may satisfy area requirements depending on course content.
Majors must attend departmental colloquia each semester and submit a one-page reaction paper within one week following the colloquium. Attendance may be considered when writing letters of recommendation.
Senior Comprehensive Exam
All majors are required to complete a two-part senior assessment exam during the Spring Semester of their senior year.
Recommended in Related Departments
Economics 190S and Mathematics 127Q are strongly recommended.
See the Learning Goals for the major below the course listings.
Area I: Comparative Politics and International Relations
Area II: Political Theory and Law
Area III: American Politics
Department of Political Science Learning Goals
A course of study in Political Science at Wittenberg involves a loose hierarchy of learning goals embedded in three broad categories consisting of
A) Understanding Politics,
B) Analyzing Politics, and
C) Critically Evaluating Politics.
Understanding Politics is considered the basic goal of the political science curriculum, and essentially refers to the ability of a student to describe the political world. Four specific learning goals related to this include: 1) describing the roles of citizens and/or subjects in different political systems, 2) describing political structures, institutions, processes, and systems, 3) identifying and describing interdisciplinary linkages important to the study of politics, and 4) describing different theories and methods of studying politics, and the role of theory in political analysis.
Analyzing Politics refers to the ability of a student to utilize political science tools, concepts, theories, and data to explain the political world. While description is a fundamental component, at the heart of analysis is an effort to answer the essential “Why?” question. Given this, four specific learning goals in this category include:
1) demonstrating an ability to utilize the comparative framework, and theoretical models, for studying politics,
2) demonstrating proficiency in the use of various tools of analysis such as library research skills, computer skills, and data collection techniques,
3) demonstrating proficiency in the presentation of information, particularly empirical data, and
4) demonstrating the ability to create a research design.
Critically Evaluating Politics is a higher order skill that involves the melding of understanding and analysis to achieve the capacity to make reasoned judgments about the differences and relative merits of various political institutions, processes, and behavior.