Overview

Wesley Renfro,* Chair

James Bowers, Kathleen Donovan, John Harman, Sebastien Lazardeux,** Jane C. Snyder

* On leave, Fall 2017
**On leave, Spring 2018

In political science, students explore the world, the nation, and the law. Through their explorations, students see how politics affects almost every dimension of what goes on around us. Political science also provides an excellent background for a broad range of careers and advanced study, including graduate school, law school, government service, applied politics, commerce, and industry. In preparing students to face and understand an ever-changing nation and world, political science equips students with not only a solid background in various elements of politics, but also in the analytical, research, and communication skills necessary for success in the workplace, their community, and as citizens.

The political science major is one of two majors offered by the Department of Political Science and Legal Studies. Political science at Fisher covers all the major subfields of the discipline, including American government and politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory. Whenever possible, these subfields are examined in terms of theoretical and applied considerations and implications. To gain a more in-depth understanding beyond the required courses, political science majors are strongly encouraged to focus their electives in just one subfield. Majors are also encouraged to pursue a second major in a field such as legal studies, international studies, or economics.

Internship Opportunities

Juniors and seniors majoring or minoring in political science may qualify to participate in the SUNY-Brockport Washington Program. This premier internship program offers students a guided intensive work and academic experience in the offices of key participants in the national policy-making process—executive, legislative, judicial, political parties, or select interest groups. Students may also participate in the State Assembly or Senate internship programs in Albany or in local internships in the Rochester area. Study, research, and work experience in federal, state, or local government give participants firsthand knowledge about political and administrative processes and have often been the springboard for rewarding and challenging career opportunities.

Honor Society and Political Science Club

The department sponsors the Psi Delta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honor Society. Political science majors who have a 3.00 GPA in their junior year, at least one 300-level political science course, and a record of involvement and activity in the department or the College may be invited to join. Activities have included sponsorship of debates, community forums, and voter registration drives. The Political Science Club is open to all students with an interest in politics and political science.

Honors Program

Students may complete a degree in political science with honors by declaring the intent to do so before the senior year, maintaining at least a 3.30 GPA overall, completing an independent Honors project (POSC 498H, 499H Honors Project) under the direction of a full-time department faculty member, and presenting and defending the project in a public forum.

3+3 Legal Education Admission Program (LEAP)

St. John Fisher College, in conjunction with Michigan State University Law School and Ohio Northern University Petit School of Law, offers the opportunity for a selected number of qualified St. John Fisher College students to earn a Bachelor or Arts degree and a Juris Doctor degree over the course of approximately six years of full-time study. Students interested in the specific requirements of the LEAP program should consult the Pre-Law Experience section of the Undergraduate Catalog, and speak with the chair of the Department of Political Science as soon as possible.