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How do I declare a major or minor in Political Science?

Students wishing to declare a major in Political Science are advised to visit (or contact) the office of the administrative assistant for the department. She will be able to supply the necessary form. Students will then take the completed form to the department chair for his signature. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better is required for a major in Political Science (or for any major in the College of Liberal Arts).

How do I declare a second major in Political Science?

Students wishing to declare a second major in Political Science are advised to visit (or contact) the office of the administrative assistant for the department. She will supply the necessary form. Students will then take the completed form to the department chair for his signature.

How am I assigned an advisor?

When you declare Political Science as your major, you may request that the chairperson of the Department assign you a specific advisor from among the fulltime faculty in Political Science. If you do not request a specific advisor, an advisor will be randomly assigned. 

How do I change my advisor?

You may change your advisor at any time. Students wishing to change their advisor to Political Science faculty are advised to visit (or contact) the office of the administrative assistant. She will be able to supply further advice on how best to proceed.

Can any of the Political Science courses I take as a Political Science major be used to fulfill the core curriculum requirements?

Yes, as a Political Science major you may use up to six credit hours (two courses) toward fulfillment of core curriculum requirements. Specifically, you may use any two of the courses that follow to help fulfill core curriculum requirements:

POLS101 Introduction to Political Science (relevant to Category C2: Individual Development)
POLS102 Introduction to American Politics and Government (relevant to Category C2: Individual Development)
POLS 271 International Relations (relevant to Category C5: Global Communities)

What Political Science courses can be used to fulfill core curriculum requirements?

If you are not a Political Science major, you will probably be able to use all three of the following political science courses to help fulfill core curriculum requirements. Since a few disciplines specify that their majors enroll in particular core courses, students who are not Political Science majors should check the requirements for their major, however. Political Science majors can use any two (but no more than two) of the political science courses that follow to help meet core curriculum requirements.

POLS101 Introduction to Political Science (relevant to Category C2: Individual Development)
POLS102 Introduction to American Politics and Government (relevant to Category C2: Individual Development)
POLS 271 International Relations (relevant to Category C5: Global Communities)

As a Political Science major, can I concentrate my course work in a particular area of Political Science such as law, international relations, or American government?

Yes. While as a Political Science major you are required to take certain required courses, elective courses may be taken in one or more subject areas such as law, international relations, American government, political theory, and comparative government. Thus a student interested in studying law might select courses focusing on the judicial system while a student interested in international relations may take courses dealing with diplomacy and international organizations, for example. A concentration in a particular area of political science is not required, however, and is not recorded on a student's transcript. Also, please note that law schools do not want you to specialize!  They want you to have a broad background as an undergraduate.

Does the Department of Political Science offer course credit for internships?

Yes. Students may receive course credit for unpaid internships by enrolling in POLS498. This course has no prerequisites but requires the consent of the instructor. For additional information about this course, contact (to be announced).

Does the Department of Political Science offer opportunities for students to do research for course credit?

Yes. Students may receive course credit for engaging in unpaid, academic research by enrolling in POLS498. This course has no prerequisites but requires the consent of the instructor. For additional information about this course, contact (to be announced).

Does the Department of Political Science offer Distance Education courses?

POLS101.D51 (Introduction to American Politics) is offered as a Distance Education course during the Fall and Spring semesters. The course is listed in the course Schedule that is printed prior to registration each semester. Students enrolled in this course rent videotapes that include lectures and purchase a text book at the USI bookstore. Students are required to take four exams administered on campus and at other locations in Indiana. This course has no prerequisites and can be used to fulfill Category C2 in the core curriculum. The instructor for the course is Professor Paul Raymond.

Additional information about registering for this course and obtaining course materials can be obtained from the Distance Education Office, 812/465-7182.

Information about the content of the course can be obtained by contacting Professor Paul Raymond, 812/465-7142.

What career opportunities are there for Political Science majors?

A major in political science offers a solid foundation for a liberal arts education regardless of career objectives. Those interested in careers in law, teaching, government, private corporations, nonprofit organizations, and journalism, will find political science an excellent preparation for such vocations. Recent political science graduates of USI have found career opportunities in:

Law Firms
Domestic and International Corporations
Social Science Teaching
Charitable Organizations
Local, State, and Federal Government
Newspapers and Television News

Some specific jobs held by Political Science majors include:

Attorney
Lobbyist
Social Science Teacher
Political Consultant
Legislative Assistant
Journalist

Others listed on 100 Careers in Political Science

If I want to go to law school, am I required to major or minor in Political Science?

No, you are not required to major or minor in Political Science to get into law school. Although many students interested in law school major in Political Science, law schools do not require applicants to major in any particular discipline. Often, students who anticipate attending law school major or minor in Political Science simply because this discipline's subject matter is of interest to them and relevant to a career in law. The Political Science Department offers several courses that provide a good foundation for law school and some (or all) of these courses are taken by most students applying to law school. These include four courses that deal exclusively with judicial systems and four courses that provide background information about American political institutions. The Political Science Department also has a Prelaw Advisor (to be announced) and sponsors the Prelaw Club, Prelaw Mentoring Program, and Prelaw Internship Program (Internship with Attorneys and Court Internship).

Can I major or minor in Prelaw?

No. Although the admissions office may have asked you if you are a prelaw student and included this information in your records, there is no prelaw major or prelaw minor (although until recently a student who expressed an interest in attending law school had "prelaw" recorded on his or her transcript in the section that listed minors). The Admissions office recorded this information simply so your academic advisors will be aware of your career goal.

Some students equate prelaw with majoring in Political Science. Although many students interested in law school major in Political Science, law schools do not require applicants to major in any particular discipline. Often, students who anticipate attending law school major or minor in Political Science simply because this discipline's subject matter is of interest to them and relevant to a career in the law. The Political Science Department offers several courses that provide a good foundation for law school and some or all of them are taken by most students applying to law school. These include four courses that deal exclusively with judicial systems and four courses that provide background information about American political institutions. The Political Science Department also has a Prelaw Advisor (to be announced) and sponsors the Prelaw Club, Prelaw Mentoring Program, and Prelaw Internship Program (Internship with Attorneys and Court Internship).

If you are interested in attending law school (or are interested in identifying courses that may give you a better idea if you want to attend law school), contact the Political Science Department's prelaw advisor, (to be announced).

Regardless of whether or not you want to go to law school, you must eventually declare a major from one of the majors listed in the University Bulletin - Political Science, Philosophy, Biology, etc. If you choose to have a minor, you must select one from those listed in the University Bulletin.

Does USI have a Paralegal Program?

No, USI does not have a paralegal program. Paralegal programs train individuals to assist attorneys rather than to prepare for law school. The Political Science Department offers a number of courses which provide a good foundation for individuals interested in attending law school . These include four courses that deal exclusively with judicial systems and four courses that provide background information about American political institutions. The Political Science Department also has a Prelaw Advisor (to be announced) and sponsors the Prelaw Club, Prelaw Mentoring Program, and Prelaw Internship Program (Internship with Attorneys and Court Internship).

If you are sure you want to pursue a career as a paralegal rather than a career as an attorney, two regional institutions with paralegal programs are Vincennes University and the University of Evansville.

What Clubs and Extracurricular activities are sponsored by the Political Science Program?

The following clubs and extracurricular activities are sponsored by the Political Science Program. Contact the relevant faculty advisor to obtain information about participating in these clubs or activities.

Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honors Society) - Faculty advisor: Dr. Paul Raymond, Ph.D., Email: praymond

Political Science Society - Faculty advisor: Oana Armeanu, Email: oiarmeanu

Prelaw Advising - Faculty advisor: (to be announced)

Prelaw Club - Faculty advisor: Dr. WR Mack, Email: wrmack

Prelaw Mentoring Program - Faculty advisor: (to be announced)

Prelaw Internship Program - Faculty advisor: (to be announced)

Are Political Science majors required to participate in Assessment Days?

Yes, Political Science majors who have the appropriate number of credit hours are required to participate in Assessment Day. Majors are expected to complete a standardized test that measures their knowledge of concepts, theories, and information pertaining to the discipline of Political Science. Majors are also expected to complete other assessment instruments administered on Assessment Day. For information about times, days, and assessment instruments contact the office of Institutional Research and Assessment, 812/465-7020.