2017-18
Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Political Science BA - General Concentration

Political Science

520 Park Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4120
716-645-2251
716-645-2166
www.polsci.buffalo.edu
Harvey D. Palmer
Chair
(HEGIS: 22.07 POLITICAL SCI & GOVERN, CIP: 45.1001 Political Science and Government, General)

Why study Political Science BA - General Concentration at UB?

In political science, students have a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, and career aspirations. As our range of possible concentrations in the department suggests, students interested in law school, public affairs, government service, graduate school, or international studies obtain a solid background with the courses offered. Of course, the general concentration allows students the most flexibility in designing a curriculum to meet individual needs. Many political science majors go on to obtain advanced degrees in law or political science. Some students build upon their internship experiences to pursue careers in politics or government.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:

  • Developing writing skills to intellectually communicate their ideas and research findings about political topics
    a. Develop the ability to communicate ideas clearly and persuasively in writing
  • b. Develop the ability to effectively take a position and defend an argument against criticism
    c. Be able to write an essay or paper presenting a clear thesis supported by relevant research

  • Develop the analytical skills necessary to think critically about political, social, and economic behavior
    a. Be able to identify and critically evaluate the arguments of scholarly research in political science.
    b. Engage in conceptual analysis and theoretical interpretation of political ideas and phenomena
    c. Develop the ability to analyze a scholarly question in political science by drawing logical inferences from qualitative and/or quantitative data
  • Develop an understanding of their role as an engaged citizen in a democratic political system
    a. Be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of government policies
    b. Develop an awareness of the global dynamics that influence the context of domestic and international politics
    c. Develop the ability to apply social scientific reasoning in the analysis of a wide range of political issues and problems
  • The Learning Environment

    How instruction is delivered throughout the department varies depending on the course level. Introductory courses can be large. Often these courses boast of class sizes of more than 200 students. Instruction in these courses is primarily lecture-based. Smaller, typically upper-division courses (under 50 students), can admit of a mixture of both lecture and more discussion-based instruction. With independent study or internship offerings, students meet one-on-one with a faculty member to work toward meeting course goals. Some courses meeting the methods of inquiry requirement for the major require a lab. Online courses are typically offered every semester as well as over the winter term and the summer.

    About Our Facilities

    The department of political science has two dedicated classroom spaces within the department that are used for upper-division seminars. Other classes are held in centrally-scheduled instructional facilities across UB’s North Campus.

    About Our Faculty

    The department has a faculty of 13 full-time members, all of whom have PhDs and teach both undergraduate and graduate courses. University honors awarded for excellence in teaching to several members of the faculty demonstrate the high quality of teaching. Our faculty is professionally active, nationally recognized, and very accessible. The faculty have published with many leading university presses, and their work has appeared in the leading professional journals. One faculty member is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, two are UB Distinguished Professors, and several have won awards for their teaching and research. Several have had grants from the NSF, and one served as the political science program director at NSF. Two faculty members have served as American Political Science Association congressional fellows. Several have served on the editorial boards of major scholarly journals, and within the governing bodies of regional and subfield organizations in the discipline.

    Faculty List Directory

    Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

    Career Outlook

    Many of our graduates go on to law school or get advanced degrees in Public Policy (MPP), Public Administration (MPA) or Political Science (MA/PhD). Many go into public service.

    Career Choices

    There are a variety of occupations that political science majors can enter. The following list is non-exhaustive and some of the occupations may require additional training or education.

    • Archivist (political history)
    • Campaign manager
    • Case worker
    • City manager
    • Community relations
    • Diplomat
    • Editor
    • Educator
    • Equal opportunity representative
    • Foreign correspondent
    • Foreign service officer
    • Government worker
    • Journalist
    • Importer/exporter
    • Industrial relations
    • Labor relations specialist
    • Legislative assistant
    • Librarian
    • Lobbyist
    • Management analyst
    • Market research analyst
    • Military officer
    • News writer
    • Paralegal
    • Parole/probation officer
    • Police officer
    • Political consultant
    • Politician
    • Polling/marketing researcher
    • Public relations director
    • Research assistant
    • Writer

    Salaries average, $39,900 starting salary and $80,100 by mid-career.

    Academic Advising

    After acceptance into the major or minor, students may consult with a departmental advisor for assistance in understanding departmental and university requirements for the degree. Advisor office hours are posted at the department office, 520 Park Hall. The department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies or Undergraduate Coordinator will be happy to help you navigate departmental requirements as you work toward satisfying a particular concentration within the major, or if you have questions about transfer credits, internship opportunities, or graduate study in political science.

    Academic Advising Contact Information

    Professor Jacob Neiheisel, Director of Undergraduate Studies. Email: jacobnei@buffalo.edu
    Pamela Menshel, Undergraduate Coordinator, Email: pamela@buffalo.edu

    Scholarships and Financial Support

    Political science does not offer any department-specific scholarships or avenues for financial support.

    Published: June 23, 2017 10:17:24 AM