Jul 20, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Political Science, B.A. Government, Business, Politics, and Public Affairs Concentration

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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Denise Holladay Damico
Coordinator: Dr. Mark C. Gentry

Program Description:

Political Science has been defined as the study of “who gets what, when, and how.” It involves the study of government and public policy, as well as the study of the behavior of individuals and groups in the pursuit of their interests. The BA in Political Science with a Concentration in Government, Business, Politics, and Public Affairs prepares student to master how the political and institutional context affects business operations and the free market and how business and the free market influence government and politics. Majors develop skills in writing, communications, analysis, problem-solving, critical thinking, and research with application to the intersection of government, business, and politics for careers in public affairs, politics, policy, administration, and advocacy. In the belief that learning extends beyond the walls of the classroom, experiential educational opportunities in the form of internships and simulations are also available.

Government, business, politics, and public affairs professionals work at the intersection of government-business relations in the private sector, in advocacy organizations, and in government. They seek to influence the substance of laws, regulations, and policies affecting business and the market to achieve a variety of purposes, both economic and non-economic. They work to help businesses and organizations maintain compliance with public policies and regulations affecting them.

Government, business, politics, and public affairs professionals have a variety of job titles: advocacy project manager; political consultant; political analyst; policy analyst; public policy manager or director; public affairs specialist or coordinator; legislative aid; government affairs manager; program officer or manager; policy advisor; political director; government relations specialist or manager; advocacy coordinator; legislative affairs coordinator or manager; external affairs coordinator or director; global affairs specialist; lobbyist; research analyst; legislative advocate; domestic policy advisor; policy and engagement specialist; international trade specialist; political risk analyst; regulatory affairs specialist, manager, or director; economic development officer; compliance officer.

Duties of government, business, politics, and public affairs professionals can include: researching local, state and federal laws, regulations, and policies; collecting and analyzing data; preparing reports by using statistics and data visualization; lobbying legislators and government agencies on behalf of firms; conducting political risk analysis to inform business decisions and strategies in response to legislative risks and opportunities; monitor political events, candidates and potential candidates; study historical data and make political predictions; develop public policy concerning business activities and economic conditions; monitor environmental, governmental or political climates to shape policy decisions; conducting surveys of business, labor, and consumers to collect data for government agencies and elected officials; documenting and communicating key regulatory and policy risks to stakeholders; studying and documenting the effect of public policy on companies; advising organizations on legal requirements and restrictions; researching and analyzing legislation or regulatory proposals.

Students are encouraged to complete a minor or second major in Economics, Finance, Business Administration, Global Business Management, Management, Paralegal, or Communications.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critical Thinking: Students will develop the ability to think critically about information (e.g., data or texts), theories, concepts, problems, issues, institutions and processes of American Politics and Government, World Politics and Political Theory before accepting or formulating a position or conclusion or proposing a solution to a problem.
  2. Citizenship: Students will develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, acquiring a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in their lives as citizens.
  3. Research Methods: Students will be able to use and explain research methods used in the discipline of political science and evaluate conclusions derived from these methods. Students will develop skills that include the ability to identify, locate and access sources of information, the ability to critically evaluate information, the ability to organize information to present a sound central idea in a logical order, and the ability to use the work of others accurately and ethically.
  4. Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate the necessary oral and written skills (English and Public Speaking) to convey their knowledge to others about political science or other appropriate topics.
  5. Ethics: Students will demonstrate familiarity with theorists and ethical frameworks that can help them make hard decisions, evaluate the policy decisions that public officials make on their behalf, and recognize the implications of these choices; Knowledge of reliable frameworks of principles will help students evaluate ambiguous facts and define behavior as “right” or “good.”

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 4 years of full-time study

Capstone Requirement:

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in the Political Science program, Government, Business, Politics, and Public Affairs Concentration, are required to complete the following two course sequence to graduate from this program:

  • PLSC 330   - Political Science Research Methods (3 cr)
  • PLSC 494   - Political Science Research (1 cr)

Total Credits Required:

128 credits

Additional Requirements:

  • At least 21 PLSC credits must be at the 300 or 400 level, excluding 398/399, 487, and 494.

Free Electives: (10 credits)

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