Political Science Major and Minor
About the Major
A major in Political Science explores a wide range of courses in American government and politics, comparative government and politics, international politics, and political theory. Curriculum is designed to provide theoretical, empirical and philosophical aspects of the discipline with a broad liberal education in politics, law and government. In addition to studying governmental law, conflict and security and economics, emphasis is placed on contemporary world problems such as the environment, human rights, conflict, population, and poverty.
We are an active department with active faculty and students engaged in all sorts of political and public affairs activities. Many of our studentes intern in Atlanta at the General Assembly, in Washington, DC, or even right here in Macon. The deaprtment has many contacts to help a student get started. Almost every summer faculty from the department lead study abroad trips--either Mercer On Mission or tradiational programs. Since 2008, Mercer students have been able to enroll in a traveling seminar on Presidential Primaries and the Media and have been able to participate in the nominating events in South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa as campaign volunteers while learning and researching the events surrounding the campaigns. Model Arab League and Mock Trial offer opportunities for experiential learning and many courses employ service-learning as a means to develop a fuller understanding of materials.
A major in Political Science consists of 33 semester hours and distributed across the three fields of American Politics, International and Comparative Studies, and Political Theory. At least 18 hours must come from courses numbered between 300 and 380.
Teacher certification in Political Science is available to majors.
About the Minor
A minor in Political Science requires a total of 18 hours and must also be distributed across the three fields of American Politics, International and Comparative Studies, and Political Theory.
Majors may attain departmental honors in Political Science by meeting the following requirements:
- Achieve an over-all grade point average of 3.5.
- Achieve a grade point average of 3.6 in the Political Science major.
- Write and present an original research paper during senior year.
Outreach and Engaged Learning
Political Science majors are encouraged to participate in study-abroad programs arranged through the college with reputable academic institutions worldwide.
In recent years, we have had majors study in England, Morocco, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, UK, South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan, Czech Republic and Moldova.
Additionally, in recent years, political science faculty members have led study abroad programs to the UK, Belgium, South Africa, Moldova, Morocco, Costa Rica, and the United Arab Emirates.
Internships are also encouraged, so that students can experience the practical, as well as the more theoretical, aspects of the field.
International organization Pi Sigma Alpha's mission statement is "to encourage and facilitate political participation throughout the department, campus, and community." Mercer's local chapter, Upsilon Iota, organizes, advertises, and participates in lecture series, discussion groups, attracting guest speakers, and a host of other activities.
Additional campus organizations include:
- College Republicans
- Young Democrats
- Pre-Law Club
- Mock Trial Team
- Mercer International Affairs Organization (MIAO)
- Model Arab League
- Mercer International Mock Conference Association (MIMCA)
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Majors are introduced to Political Science Research early and trained how to analyze political phenomenon in a rigorous and scientific manor. Intensive research opportunities for course credit are offered in upper level seminars and the Supervised Independent Reading and Directed Independent Research.
Faculty Interface and Class Size
The small classes sizes and personal interaction with faculty creates an environment that enhances students' basic skills in analysis, critical thinking, writing and research.
The department's upper-level classes average between ten and fifteen students.Introductory classes average about 25 students.
Political science majors gain analytical skills, administrative competence and communication abilities that are valued in a wide spectrum of potential career areas. Opportunities include:
- Corporate, Government, and Non-profit Executives
- Media Correspondent
- Campaign Operative
- Corporate Economist
- Public Affairs
- Urban Policy Planner
- Research Analyst
- Financial Consultant
- Intelligence Officer
- International Business
Department Majors have recently attended the following graduate and professional schools:George Washington University, Georgetown, American, Johns Hopkins, University of Denver, Notre Dame Law, Emory Law, University of Virginia Law, UGA Law, University of Florida Law, Washington and Lee Law, and Mercer Law.
The department has two recent graduates who have won prestigious Fulbright Scholarships.Department grads have also earned positions in the highly competitive Peace Corps and Teach for America programs.