The undergraduate program in political skill at Rice University educates students about political science as the scientific learn of political institutions, political behavior, and public policy. Our program focuses on three subfields, and students can specialize in one or two of these subfields or approach the major more broadly :
- American Politics – the study of politics and government in the United States
- Comparative Politics – the study of domestic politics in countries outside the United States
- International Relations – the study of how countries interact with one another
Mission and Learning Outcomes
The mission of the undergraduate platform is to provide students with a impregnable, meaty and theoretical understanding of political skill, to teach students how to conduct empirical research, to help students develop and improve their communication skills, and to encourage students to be informed and responsible citizens .
The major has several specific goals for students to help achieve the department ’ mho mission. As a Political Science major, you will :
Reading: Undergraduate Studies
- Develop a broad understanding of political science and more specific knowledge in one or more subfields (Substantive knowledge)
- Develop critical thinking skills and the ability to apply political science theories to understand the political world (Critical thinking)
- Learn how to interpret, conduct and evaluate political science research, including data collection and data analysis techniques and statistical software (Empirical analysis)
- Develop and strengthen written, oral, and visual communication skills and the ability to present political science research to an audience (Communication)
- Become an informed citizen able to participate effectively and meaningfully in the political process (Citizenship)
The Political Science Curriculum
The Political Science undergraduate course of study is designed to help students achieve the above goals .
Students should start by taking the 200-level introductory courses in american Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations to gain an overview of the main topics, questions, and approaches within each subfield and political skill, more by and large .
In the 300-level courses, students explore specific political science topics in greater contingent. The department offers courses on topics, such as majority rule, political representation, the presidency, elections and voting demeanor, minority politics, women and gender, the judiciary, legislatures, political parties, romance american politics, european politics, urban politics, public policy, war, terrorism, extraneous policy, international organizations, trade wind, among others.
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At the 400-level, all courses are inquiry seminars where students use critical thinking skills to apply methodological, theoretical, and research cognition to political science topics in which our staff specialize. These topics vary from class to class but may include voting systems, democratic elections, sex representation in Latin America, comparative public policy, US-China relations, world legislatures, the ball-shaped gap of policy and ideas, civil war and terrorism, among others. Students write research papers and/or do oral/visual presentations as character of the 400-level courses .
All majors are required to take two research methods courses, which teach students basic statistics, testify students how to design and conduct research in political skill, and allow students to apply their newly learned research methods. We recommend that students take these courses early in the major because they provide an invaluable set of skills to help students in upper division courses in the department. The research method acting courses are besides prerequisites for all 400-level courses.
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Please see our academic degree requirements page for specific political science major requirements .
The Political Science major provides students with a kind of marketable skills, such as written, oral, and ocular communication, critical think, policy evaluation, data analysis, some program skills, and research methods. These skills, in addition to the in-depth cognition of political institutions, behavior, and policy gained as part of the major, prepare students for a wide diverseness of professional careers and post-baccalaureate educational opportunities :
- government (local, state, and national level)
- non-governmental and international organizations
- policy and public administration
- international affairs
- law school
- medical school
- and more!
Beyond preparing students for a horde of future careers, political science courses equip students for life sentence as an inform citizen ready to participate in political activities within pastime groups or political parties ; related to community organization and political advocacy ; or flush service as an elected or appointed official .