Why Study Political Science at IU Southeast?

Political science is the study of governments and how they function. Political science majors enjoy small classes with faculty members who are both teachers and scholars. Students can sharpen their intellectual powers and increase their knowledge through extensive interaction with faculty and fellow students.

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What is Political Science?


Political science is the study of governments and how they function. The discipline encompasses:

  • National and international governmental organizations
  • Groups within countries
  • Formal and informal aspects of governmental activity

The formal aspects of government include such things as constitutions, the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government and the distribution of power and procedures within a government. Aside from analyzing how a government should work, political scientists also study the informal and behavioral aspects of government, looking at such phenomena as public opinion and voting behavior, political parties and interest groups and the political socialization process.

Courses in the department introduce the student to fundamental issues in the governmental process, social conditions that create a need for government, structure and procedures of governments, control of governments and enforcement of responsibility, and relationships among governments.

The goals of the program are to foster in our students an appreciation of government and politics and to prepare them to assume the duties of citizenship; to provide special knowledge and skills useful to those who plan to pursue public service; and to lay the foundations for the scholarly study of government, politics, and the law for those who plan to pursue graduate study or a legal education.

We offer a B.A. degree in Political Science with the following tracks or concentrations: a public service track and a traditional track.

The public service track allows students to gain the necessary skills to work as administrators in local government agencies. It involves a public service internship and courses such as public bureaucracy, public budgeting, public personnel management.

The traditional track provides students with a strong liberal arts background in the study of politics and is a proven preparation for graduate and professional schools. Regardless of the track or concentration that is selected, students must complete 30 hours of Political Science courses including the following: Introduction to American Politics (Y103), Elements of Political Analysis (Y205) and the Senior Seminar in Political Science (Y490).

Political Science Students at IU Southeast

Our students have always been leaders on the campus at IU Southeast. Whether serving as President of the Student Government Association; participating in the University Model United Nations, Model Arab League and Model European Union Programs, coordinating the IU Southeast Model UN Security Council Conference for High School Students, running the College Democrats and Republicans or the IU Southeast Chapter of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, serving as Interns in the Indiana State Legislature and the British House of Commons or participating in the IU Overseas Study Program, Political Science students at IU Southeast are very active.

Special Features

Political science majors enjoy small classes with faculty members who are both teachers and scholars. Students can sharpen their intellectual powers and increase their knowledge through extensive interaction with faculty and fellow students.

Many of our majors are involved in these student organizations that stimulate discussions of contemporary issues:

  • College Democrats
  • College Republicans
  • The IU Southeast Chapter of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union

Some participate in the college level Model United Nations and Arab League programs. Others participate in the Student Government Association and help coordinate the IU Southeast Model U.N. Conference for High School Students.

In the final two years of degree work, students are able to put their classroom knowledge to work as interns or in the professional practice program. Our students have served as interns with local law firms, the Indiana State Legislature and Governor's Office, the local courts, the U.S. Congress and the British House of Commons. Others have participated in the overseas study program in Spain, Mexico, France and England.

Sample Four Year Plan

Courses in the department introduce the student to fundamental issues in the governmental process, social conditions that create a need for government, structures and procedures of governments, and relationships among governments. The goals of the program are to foster in our students an appreciation of government and politics and to prepare them to assume the duties of citizenship; to provide special knowledge and skills useful to those who plan to pursue public service; and to lay the foundations for the scholarly study of government, politics, and the law for those who plan to pursue graduate study or a legal education. The political science degree program consists of a traditional track and a public service track. Both require 30 credit hours in political science.

Download a degree checksheet: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (beginning Fall 2009)

Student Learning Goals

  1. Foster in our students an appreciation of government and politics and prepare them to assume the duties of citizenship.
  2. Provide special knowledge and skills useful to those who plan to pursue public service.
  3. Lay the foundations for the scholarly study of government, politics, and the law for those who plan to pursue graduate study or a legal education.
  4. The primary objective of the public service track is to prepare students with the background and skills to pursue positions in the public service, in both governmental and non-governmental (not for profit) organizations.

Minor in Political Science

Minimum of 15 credit hours, including:

  • POLS-Y 103 Introduction to American Politics (3 cr.)
  • One course in comparative politics
  • One course in international politics

(At least 9 credit hours of the minor must be taken on this campus.)

Advising information may be obtained from Advisor Dana Gohmann or Misti Whitaker.

Dana Gohmann
Academic Advisor
School of Social Sciences
Phone: (812) 941-2391
Office: Crestview 137
Email: dgohmann@ius.edu

Misti Whitaker
Academic Advisor
School of Social Sciences
Phone: (812) 941-2391
Office: Crestview 135
Email: mdwhitak@ius.edu

Please call the main Social Sciences office at (812) 941-2391 for an appointment.

Recommended Preparation

Prospective political science majors should complete the college preparatory curriculum in high school. In addition to the standard requirements of math, history, science and English, students should take courses in government, economics and world history. Political science students usually have an interest in community activities, a sense of responsibility about government programs and policies and a desire to make our community, country and the world a better place to live.

Course topics:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Politics
  • Political Theory
  • Public Administration

Graduates of our program at Indiana University Southeast have been very successful. Since 1990, nearly 60% of our graduates are either currently attending graduate or professional schools or they have received degrees from graduate or professional schools.

Many of our graduates work for the state of Indiana in various capacities - several work as legislative assistants and others are lobbyists. Some work for non-profit agencies and public relations firms, while others are officers in the U.S. military. Others serve as campaign managers or staff members for many candidates for political office locally and nationally.

Political science majors can become:

  • Attorneys
  • Journalists
  • Campaign advisers
  • Lobbyists
  • Public relations specialists
  • U.S. Military officers
  • International marketing representatives
  • Business people
  • Specialists for federal, state or local government

A political science degree provides these career skills and abilities:

  • Effective communication
  • Problem analyzing and solving
  • A desire for life-long learning and self-teaching
  • Empathy or understanding of motives and choices of people different from ourselves.
 

Resident

Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Jean E. Abshire
Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies
Program Coordinator of Political Science
jeabshir@ius.edu
Phone: (812) 941-2514
Office Location: CV 017
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Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Cliff Staten
Professor of Political Science and International Studies
Coordinator of International Studies
cstaten@ius.edu
Phone: (812) 941-2691
Office Location: CV 020
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Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Joe Wert
Associate Professor of Political Science
Dean, School of Social Sciences
jwert@ius.edu
Phone: (812) 941-2160
Office Location: CV 140B
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Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Rhonda Wrzenski
Assistant Professor of Political Science
rwrzensk@ius.edu
Phone: (812) 941-2023
Office Location: CV 005
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Visiting

Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Margot Morgan
Visiting Assistant Professor
mm3@indiana.edu
Phone: (812) 941-2294
Office Location: CV 010
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Adjunct

Faculty Bio Thumbnail
Peggy Cummins
pacummin@ius.edu
Phone: (812) 941-2391
Office Location: CV 140
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Political Science Honors Program Admission Requirements

Admission to the Political Science Honors Program requires the following:

  • The student must be a political science major with junior standing
  • The student must have at least a 3.3 GPA in all courses and at least a 3.5 GPA in political science courses
  • The student must have completed 15 hours of political science courses including Y205

Honors Program Requirements

In addition to meeting the requirements for the political science major, the honors student must complete:

  • Y498 (one hour) taken in conjunction with three advanced political science courses
  • Y498 (one hour) taken in conjunction with Y490
  • The honors student must present a research paper at an undergraduate or professional conference or have the paper published in a journal
  • Honors students must maintain the 3.3 GPA in all courses and the 3.5 GPA in political science courses

Our students have always been leaders on the campus at IU Southeast. Whether serving as President of the Student Government Association; participating in the University Model United Nations, Model Arab League and Model European Union Programs, coordinating the IU Southeast Model UN Security Council Conference for High School Students, running the College Democrats and Republicans or the IU Southeast Chapter of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, serving as Interns in the Indiana State Legislature and the British House of Commons or participating in the IU Overseas Study Program, Political Science students at IU Southeast are very active.

SOCIAL SCIENCES CONTACT INFORMATION