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Political Science and Criminal Justice

The BA in political science, option in U.S. politics offers great flexibility; students choose courses from a rich curriculum, providing close student-faculty contact. Significant work experience and internship opportunities are offered in the state legislature, with lobbying groups, political parties, candidates, and in the offices of U.S. Senators and Representatives. The Master of Arts in political science program offers preparation for community college teaching, work in government and politics, and for the Ph.D. in political science, international relations, or public policy.

The BA in political science, option in legal studies provides students with an innovative course of study with a law-related emphasis. The legal studies option provides students with an opportunity to engage in hands-on work in internships or the legal clinic practicum, giving students practical experience through contact with attorneys, judges, inmates, and persons in the community. Students also participate in a trial and appellate advocacy course and a moot court competition.

The BA in public administration provides training for careers in public service or nonprofit organizations. The Master of Public Administration program offers an outstanding program option in Health Administration. A major feature of this program is administration in a non-metropolitan setting.

The BA in criminal justice explores the institutions involved in the administration of justice (e.g., policing, corrections) as well as a multidisciplinary examination into the social and psychological issues associated with criminal behavior and crime control. Students who are interested in why individuals commit crime, how governments respond to behaviors they deem undesirable, and the effects of the criminal justice system's actions on different communities will find the criminal justice major a perfect academic home. Our graduates pursue careers in various aspects of public safety, private enterprise, social welfare, and law and graduate school.

The BA in international relations provides students a solid basis in two political science subfields – comparative politics and international relations. Through the major, students will gain understanding of international interactions, such as conflict and trade, as well as the politics of other nations, such as alternative government forms. Students will also be exposed to the politics of the world’s major regions through region specific courses. International relations student excel in many professions but are especially well suited for domestic and international work in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Paralegal Certificate

A growing number of legal institutions are using paralegals. Paralegals work in legal aid and public defender offices, consumer protection programs, government agencies, and private law firms. Students earning the paralegal certificate take legal studies courses and engage in hands-on practical experience through an internship or the department's legal clinic.

Study Abroad

The Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice supports the concept of international education and encourages students to investigate opportunities for study abroad. Students should consult the Study Abroad and Exchange or their advisor for more information.

Career Outlook

Our department's graduates fill staff and management positions in local, state, and federal government, as well as business and industry. Some sit in Congress and in statehouses. A large number work as staff to elected political officials. Many work as lobbyists, journalists, and in government and public relations. Because our department sponsors a legal studies and paralegal certificate program, many excel in careers in law.

Catalog Cycle:20