Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science is intended for students who wish to pursue a career in Law or the public sector. It is also a degree for students who want to continue graduate work in three major areas: Political Science, International relations, and Public Administration. Studying political science prepares you not only for employment, law school or graduate work, but to become a more informed citizen, aware of your rights and obligations so you can be engaged in your community at the local, state or global level. Students majoring in Political Science are required to take 24 upper division credits focusing in Law, American Politics and government, and International Relations and Global Issues. It is expected, however, that students will select electives from a broad spectrum of the Social Sciences in order to enhance their understanding of current problems that require political solutions, such as courses in History, Philosophy, Sociology or Economics.
Available opportunities in this program includes internships with various organizations such as the Legislative Internship Program with the Florida House of Representatives, law firms, the public defendant office, the courts, municipalities and/or political candidate offices, among others. Students also have opportunities to participate in world simulation activities and be a member of the Political Science Club or the Global Issues Club, to learn and debate relevant issues such as elections, migration, human trafficking, and environmental problems together with other students in the field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for political scientists’ averages at approximately $102,000 per year which is $49.04 per hour.
- Students who graduate with degrees in political science can go to Law School and specialize in different aspects of the law such as family law, international law, criminal law, civil law, and others. According to LSAC (the Law School Admissions Council), Political Science majors form 20% of the applicants to Law School, more than three times the next most popular major. You can also continue your studies at the graduate level in Politics, International Relations or other Social Science field. This major gives you solid analytical skills, ability to debate and improve your oral skills, and extensive written skills, all essential skills to be successful in law school or graduate school.
- Other political science majors work in governmental agencies at the federal, state or local level as a political analyst, a government agent or even run for office! The federal government is the country’s largest employer
- Some political scientists work representing their country abroad as an Ambassador, consul or as a functionary in different capacities. An American citizen can work for the State Department.
- Political scientists work in an international organization such as the United Nations, the European Union, or Amnesty International to promote peace and world prosperity. They also work at different political think tanks, multinational corporations or other non-governmental organizations.
- Political scientists also do research in politics or global issues and teach social science in high school or at the college level.
Curriculum (Course Sampling)
POS 303 Immigration Law Politics
An introductory course covering U.S. immigration law and policy from a Political Science perspective. Some topics include: the constitutional powers of the federal government over immigration matters, admission and exclusion of immigrants, e-verify, entry, deportation, undocumented immigrants, human-rights of migrant workers and immigrants, international students, immigration reform and political asylum. This course is useful for students interested in law and human rights advocacy. It may be also taken to satisfy a similar requirement for Criminal Justice.
POS 305 International Human Rights Law
An introductory course covering international human rights law and procedures, including global, regional, and national institutions to protect human rights. The course traces the development of contemporary concepts of human rights, including issues of universality vs. cultural determinism, whether or not certain categories of rights have priority over others, and the means of creating and enforcing human rights law. Issues such as torture, discrimination, genocide, starvation, human rights of women and children, and violation of human rights will also be addressed. This course is useful for students interested in law and human rights advocacy.
HIS 106D World Civilization II
This course covers the 15th Century to the present, including the rise of the West: the growing global interdependence; the rise of internecine conflicts in areas as diverse as Africa, India, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe and the rise in recent years of regional organizations such as The Arab League, Organization of African Unity, and the European Economic Community.
POS 322 American Constitutional Law
A study of the organization and jurisdiction of the federal courts and the role of the Supreme Court in American society. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary constitutional issues affecting American public law. The landmark decisions will be studied in seminar discussions using the case method. Upon completion of the course students will be able to: Describe how to brief a constitutional law case, demonstrate an in-depth and complete knowledge of the American constitution through the study of case law and hypothetical legal scenarios, describe the landmark cases that have provided precedent and shaped the American legal landscape.
POS 390 Environmental Politics
A study of problems and processes in the public management of the natural environment the public interest, natural resources policy, the planning process, allocation conflicts, and grass-roots participation. Topics include global warming, overpopulation, GMO food, natural resources, politics of water and oil, and alternative sources of energy among other controversial ones. Upon completion of the course students will be able to: Analyze the complex relationship between national and global forces that shape the diverse political systems to manage environmental issues, distinguish what makes an issue “political” and why politics and ethics may not always be aligned, compare and contrast the basic aspects of political processes and public interest for environmental policies through discussion in class and on-line structured debates, interpret environmental regulations through reading primary sources of government documents and international treaties, and debate using supporting data contemporary issues in the field.
POS 430D Politics and Religion
This course focuses on the issues regarding the current role of religion in public life in the United States, comparing the experiences of other nations and using an historical perspective as well. The course examines the constitutional implications involved in the separation of church and state and the goals and activities relative to government of various religious interest groups. Prerequisite: POS 101 or Permission of Instructor.
POS 424 Cuba after Castro
This course examines the origin of the Cuban revolution and its evolution to understand the impact Cuba has on Latin America and the United States. Special attention is given to analyzing political scenarios for the future of Cuba. Guest lecturers from the Miami community will come to the classroom to enhance the learning of Cuba today.