Maj
Min

Political Science

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses graduates of the Saint Michael's College class of 2017 during the school's 110th Commencement in Colchester, Vt. May 14, 2017. Dunford graduated from Saint Michaels College in 1977 and has maintained close ties with the college over the years. (Dept. of Defense photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro/Released) Commencement 2017

About

Political science is an ideal field of study if you are seeking to position yourself for leadership, civic engagement, and an exciting career in a complex, diverse, interdependent and rapidly globalizing society.

The political science major at Saint Michael’s combines demanding and engaging intellectual coursework with numerous co-curricular programs in which faculty mentor students in academic internships, study abroad, collaborative research, student activism and campus leadership.

Our faculty have a strong commitment to integrating career preparation with a liberal arts education, and have an excellent track record preparing our students to become competitive for graduate school admission as well as the job market.

Sample 4 Year Plan

Fall

PO 101 Introduction to Politics
Foreign Language I
First Year Seminar
Liberal Studies course

Spring

PO 120 Introduction to American Government
Foreign Language II
Liberal Studies course
Liberal Studies course

Fall

PO 261 European Political Thought
PO 285 Introduction to Comparative Politics
Political Science sibling course
Liberal Studies course

Spring

PO 200 Political Science Research Methods
PO 245 Introduction to International Relations
Political Science sibling course
Liberal Studies course

Fall

Political Science elective
Junior Seminar
Elective
Elective

Spring

Political Science elective
Elective
Elective
Elective

Fall

PO 410 Senior Seminar
Elective
Elective
Elective

Spring

Political Science elective
Elective
Elective
Elective

 

In Depth

The political science major has three core learning goals:

  • building a discipline-specific knowledge base in the four major political science areas of American government, international relations, comparative politics and political theory
  • developing critical thinking, problem-solving, oral and written communication and research skills
  • preparing students to participate in a democratic community and globally interconnected society through life-long civic engagement

Studying political science at Saint Michael’s gives you the foundation to understand how traditional governments operate, but we do more than that; we look beyond the formal institutions of government. In this major, you will explore and examine political parties, interest groups, corporations, the media, other nations, and the allocation of values and goods.  And because politics is an inherently moral enterprise, one involving the pursuit of justice, we are concerned not only with how societies are governed, but also with how they ought to be governed. You’ll take classes such as International Relations, Western Political Thought, Comparative Politics, and American National Politics and expand your outlook about social phenomena through courses from other departments: Anthropology and Sociology, Economics, Geography, History, and Psychology.

Political Science Learning Outcomes

Internships

Political science majors have one of the highest rates of participation in academic internships on campus, earning academic credit and essential vocational and career experiences each semester in businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

Political science majors often do internships in the offices of Vermont’s Congressional delegation – Senators Patrick Leahy ’61 and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch, or with political campaigns.  Other sites include:

  • Vermont Democratic Party
  • Vermont Republican Party
  • Chittenden County Public Defender’s Office
  • Democracy for America
  • Vermont Worker’s Center
  • Vermont Council on World Affairs
  • Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
  • Vermont Department of Labor

Many private law firms and businesses also provide internship opportunities for political science majors.

Careers

After graduation, our majors go on to careers like:

  • Environmental Science Conservation
  • Attorney
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Trial Preparation Assistant
  • Clinical Operations Associate
  • Data Analyst
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Case Worker for the Disabled

Majoring in political science provides excellent preparation in critical thinking, communication and writing skills, and basic quantitative and statistical analysis – valuable tools for landing a job in the current marketplace.

Our students have found success in careers in law, business, marketing, advertising, banking, finance, government and politics, journalism, the non-profit sector, and education. Many of our majors have gone on to pursue advanced degrees at leading graduate institutions too, in political science or related fields.

Several recent political science graduates are working in the offices of Vermont’s Congressional delegation – Senators Patrick Leahy ’61 and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch.  Others work for the U.S. and state governments, for advocacy organizations like NextGen Climate and Outright Vermont, or for volunteer organizations like the Peace Corps.

Special Opportunities

As a political science major at Saint Michael’s you will have numerous opportunities to complement your academic work with co-curricular activities that promote leadership skills, enhance employment prospects, and promote opportunities for greater cross-cultural and global understanding.

 

Study Abroad

Political science students go on study and research trips with faculty mentors to places such as India, Canada, Tanzania, Cuba, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East.  Many political science majors study abroad for a semester in countries across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

 

Student-Faculty Research

Saint Michael’s encourages students to pursue independent research and there are many opportunities for close student-faculty research collaboration and mentoring.

Political science majors consistently receive summer research grants from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Social Science Research Center.  Recent student research projects have focused on the prospects for national and Vermont electoral reform, universal healthcare, the financial crisis in the European Union, and the United Nations Millennial Development Goals.


Campus Leadership and Activism

Political Science majors at Saint Michael’s are especially active in leadership positions and in student organizations engaged in political activism on campus and beyond.

Student clubs led by political science majors include SLAM (Student Labor Action Movement), SGAC (Student Global AIDS Campaign), Green UP, Food for Thought, the Fair Trade Committee, and Democracy Matters.  These clubs are engaged in ongoing campus campaigns for political reform, labor and women’s rights, and environmental sustainability.

In Depth

The political science major has three core learning goals:

  • building a discipline-specific knowledge base in the four major political science areas of American government, international relations, comparative politics and political theory
  • developing critical thinking, problem-solving, oral and written communication and research skills
  • preparing students to participate in a democratic community and globally interconnected society through life-long civic engagement

Studying political science at Saint Michael’s gives you the foundation to understand how traditional governments operate, but we do more than that; we look beyond the formal institutions of government. In this major, you will explore and examine political parties, interest groups, corporations, the media, other nations, and the allocation of values and goods.  And because politics is an inherently moral enterprise, one involving the pursuit of justice, we are concerned not only with how societies are governed, but also with how they ought to be governed. You’ll take classes such as International Relations, Western Political Thought, Comparative Politics, and American National Politics and expand your outlook about social phenomena through courses from other departments: Anthropology and Sociology, Economics, Geography, History, and Psychology.

Political Science Learning Outcomes

Internships

Political science majors have one of the highest rates of participation in academic internships on campus, earning academic credit and essential vocational and career experiences each semester in businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

Political science majors often do internships in the offices of Vermont’s Congressional delegation – Senators Patrick Leahy ’61 and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch, or with political campaigns.  Other sites include:

  • Vermont Democratic Party
  • Vermont Republican Party
  • Chittenden County Public Defender’s Office
  • Democracy for America
  • Vermont Worker’s Center
  • Vermont Council on World Affairs
  • Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program
  • Vermont Department of Labor

Many private law firms and businesses also provide internship opportunities for political science majors.

Careers

After graduation, our majors go on to careers like:

  • Environmental Science Conservation
  • Attorney
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Trial Preparation Assistant
  • Clinical Operations Associate
  • Data Analyst
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Case Worker for the Disabled

Majoring in political science provides excellent preparation in critical thinking, communication and writing skills, and basic quantitative and statistical analysis – valuable tools for landing a job in the current marketplace.

Our students have found success in careers in law, business, marketing, advertising, banking, finance, government and politics, journalism, the non-profit sector, and education. Many of our majors have gone on to pursue advanced degrees at leading graduate institutions too, in political science or related fields.

Several recent political science graduates are working in the offices of Vermont’s Congressional delegation – Senators Patrick Leahy ’61 and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch.  Others work for the U.S. and state governments, for advocacy organizations like NextGen Climate and Outright Vermont, or for volunteer organizations like the Peace Corps.

Special Opportunities

As a political science major at Saint Michael’s you will have numerous opportunities to complement your academic work with co-curricular activities that promote leadership skills, enhance employment prospects, and promote opportunities for greater cross-cultural and global understanding.

 

Study Abroad

Political science students go on study and research trips with faculty mentors to places such as India, Canada, Tanzania, Cuba, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East.  Many political science majors study abroad for a semester in countries across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

 

Student-Faculty Research

Saint Michael’s encourages students to pursue independent research and there are many opportunities for close student-faculty research collaboration and mentoring.

Political science majors consistently receive summer research grants from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Social Science Research Center.  Recent student research projects have focused on the prospects for national and Vermont electoral reform, universal healthcare, the financial crisis in the European Union, and the United Nations Millennial Development Goals.


Campus Leadership and Activism

Political Science majors at Saint Michael’s are especially active in leadership positions and in student organizations engaged in political activism on campus and beyond.

Student clubs led by political science majors include SLAM (Student Labor Action Movement), SGAC (Student Global AIDS Campaign), Green UP, Food for Thought, the Fair Trade Committee, and Democracy Matters.  These clubs are engaged in ongoing campus campaigns for political reform, labor and women’s rights, and environmental sustainability.