Goucher College 2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalogue 
    Jun 13, 2024  
Goucher College 2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalogue PLEASE NOTE: This is an archived catalog. Programs are subject to change each academic year.

Political Science Major

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The political science major places emphasis on the relation between politics in theory and politics in action.  It equips students with the skills necessary to conduct independent research on important political questions and to participate in public problem solving.  Students will learn to raise critical questions regarding power, political institutions, and political actors, asking questions in a complex way and distinguishing between tested and untested opinion, and to have a firm understanding of the political systems in which they are found.  Other program goals include having students become engaged citizens globally, nationally, and locally. 

Political science majors are required to take the foundational courses of: American Political System; Comparative Politics; and Research Methods.  They are also required to complete one 2-4 credit internship in political science and the senior capstone course: Seminar in Scope and Methods of Political Science.  The major is designed to allow students the flexibility to design a course of study that best suits their needs and interests.

Total number of credits required: 36.

The following courses are required of all majors:

Writing Proficiency in the Political Science Major


To fulfill the requirement of writing proficiency in the major, students must demonstrate a proficiency in writing through the following procedure:

  1. Writing proficiency shall be judged on the basis of at least 20 pages of writing drawn from any one or more of the 300-level seminars.
  2. Students wishing to achieve writing proficiency in a particular course must identify themselves to the professor by the end of the second week of class.
  3. Students are required to submit first drafts of papers as well as the revised version(s), and students must attain a B- grade for the written work. Use of the Writing Center is strongly encouraged.
  4. It is also strongly encouraged that the writing proficiency requirement be completed by the end of the junior year.

Honors in the Major

Students wishing to pursue honors in political science or international relations must have a GPA of 3.5 in the major and an overall GPA of 3.25. By April 15 of their junior year, they must submit to the director of the program a proposal outlining their thesis project and naming the proposed thesis director. Upon approval, the student must enroll in a two-semester (eight-credit) senior thesis course (PSC 495 ). One-semester projects are not eligible for honors. At the end of the fall semester, the thesis adviser will determine whether the project has sufficiently progressed to warrant continuation of the pursuit of honors. If not, the student may receive a grade of pass/no pass for those credits. No later than three weeks before the end of the spring semester of the senior year, the student will defend the thesis before a committee of at least three faculty members, a majority of whom are members of the program. The recommendation of the thesis committee will be brought to the program director. The full program faculty must approve all candidates for honors.

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