The Department of Political Science at New England College provides students with opportunities to investigate political phenomena ranging from the behavior of the individual citizen to relations among states in the international arena. The program seeks to develop awareness of the moral and ethical implications of political action as well as understanding of political institutions and processes from diverse perspectives. The study of political science emphasizes critical thinking in preparing students for roles as engaged citizens of their community, country, and the world. Our goal is to develop a citizen scholar who understands the challenges and opportunities around them and are in a position to make a difference.
The department maintains a strong commitment to the development of students’ writing abilities. Most courses in the department require one or more papers. The senior level seminars require a major paper based on significant independent student research. In addition, each political science major, under the guidance of a faculty member, writes and publicly defends a senior thesis or completes a substantive capstone project.
Students completing the Political Science Program should have:
- Knowledge of the methods, approaches, or theories used in accumulating and interpreting information applicable to the discipline of political science.
- An ability to demonstrate the basic research skills necessary to write a paper in the discipline of political science.
- An ability to demonstrate critical thinking skills and formulate and defend a thesis.
- Knowledge of the content of at least two of the following subfields within political science: American Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Constitutional Law, and/or Public Policy.
- An understanding of the basic values of American civic culture.
- A basic knowledge of the political institutions and processes of the government of the United States.
- Knowledge of the dynamics of politics and power at work in the modern world.
- An understanding of the major issues affecting international relations.
Signature Immersion Experience
Each major will complete a senior capstone project in their senior year. This project will be conducted over the course of three 2‐credit courses (Thesis I, Thesis II and Thesis III) and will begin in Spring of the Junior year.
Each student is asked to undertake an independent learning experience where they will immerse themselves in research and writing on a specific topic of their choosing. Faculty works with the student on topic selection and making sure they meet deliverable milestones and provide support through faculty and library staff. The student completes a writing intensive project which can be the traditional thesis or a project designed in consultation with a member of the political science faculty.
The student constructs a committee (with representatives across departments) that advises through the process. Additionally, the senior capstone seminar class involves significant feedback from fellow students. At the end of process the student does a “defense” which includes a public presentation with comments and feedback from the faculty on the committee.
All undergraduate courses are 4 credits unless otherwise noted.