Political Science Bachelor of Arts
Department of Political Science
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OVERVIEW OF MAJOR
Are you fascinated by the fast-moving political events shaping our lives? Would you like to understand how government works and how people and events influence it? Would you like to influence public policy? Do you wonder how public policies shape human behavior and influence the course of history? Does becoming involved in international relations intrigue you? Are you interested in comparing the U.S. political system to others around the world? Are you concerned about individual rights and how to protect them? If your answers are “yes,” then Political Science may be the right major for you.

Political Science is the study of political power, how it is developed, used and controlled. Political Science majors develop an understanding of political life in the United States and in other nations. They investigate the origins and effects of political behavior, analyze political processes, and interpret the political and social consequences of law. Political Sciences offers four concentrations: General Political Science, Environmental Politics & Policy, Global Politics & Policy, and US Government, Law, & Public Policy.

General Political Science majors receive a broad liberal arts education, learn to exhibit valid information about political processes, become informed about approaches to and theories of politics, and are stimulated to clarify their own political perspectives. Students study the values that give rise to a rich variety of behaviors, institutional forms, and public policies that influence our world. There is plenty of room to explore other interests with elective credits.

The Environmental Politics & Policy concentration is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills to analyze the connections between politics and the natural world and pursue careers in environmental politics and policy-making. Graduates may work as policy analysts, advocates, planners, educators or decision-makers in government agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses and consulting firms at the local, state, national and international levels. Students will learn about how political forces contribute to environmental degradation, the process for developing environmental policies, strategies to assess the strengths and weaknesses of different policy approaches, and how political forces can be harnessed to develop effective responses to problems such as climate change, water and air pollution, food security, and energy provision. Students will explore these issues from both domestic and global perspectives. Environmental Politics and Policy students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship to gain practical experience working in the field.

The Department’s Global Politics and Policy concentration is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills to analyze political relationships between and within countries and to pursue careers in international affairs (such as working for government agencies, intergovernmental organizations, international businesses, consulting firms or non-profit organizations in the US and abroad. Students will learn about different systems of government, state-society relations in various parts of the world, the ways that public and private actors interact through international institutions and the global economy, as well as the causes of and responses to domestic and international conflict. Global Politics and Policy students are strongly encouraged to study a foreign language and to complete some of their coursework in one of CSU’s many study abroad programs.

The Department’s U.S. Government, Law, and Public Policy concentration is designed to prepare students to become future leaders in the public sector. The skills gained in this concentration help prepare students for a variety of careers (for example, government agencies, nonprofits, community organizations, lobbying firms, elected office, political communication, research and policy analysts) as well as prepare students for law and graduate schools. Resources for careers include the American Political Science Association and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. The courses in this concentration educate students about the political processes and the legal environment of all levels of American government as well as the processes of policymaking and the administrative apparatus used to implement public policy. Students will also be exposed to a variety of substantive policy issues including urban policy, energy policy, and environmental policy in the United States. U.S. Government, Law, and Public Policy students are strongly encouraged to complete an internship in one of the many organizations in the broader community. Past students have completed internships with a variety of law firms, the Cities of Fort Collins, Windsor, Loveland, and Westminster, the Colorado General Assembly, and Woodward Governor among others. Students in this concentration are also encouraged to participate in the Legislative Internship Program during their junior or senior years.

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CHARACTERISTICS AND SKILLS
* Intellectual curiosity
* Excellent communications skills, including writing clear and concise reports
* Ability to analyze critically and think objectively
* Ability to process data systematically
* Ability to work alone and in groups
* Problem solving skills
* Commitment to public service
* Tact and diplomacy
* Patience and persistence
* Flexibility
* Familiarity with computers and computer technology
* Dealing effectively with individuals or groups to obtain information
* Using surveys and interview techniques for research
* Creative and versatile thinking
* Understanding of human institutions and values
* Independent thinking
* Multicultural awareness

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POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS
Political Science, like many liberal arts majors, provides students with a broad academic background suitable for a variety of jobs in the public and private sectors. Political Science majors are trained to think independently and critically, communicate effectively, and function in a multicultural world. Many employers appreciate liberal arts majors for their multiple skills and their ability to adapt to a variety of tasks and work environments. Participating in internships and cooperative education opportunities is highly recommended to provide training and development. Graduates who go on for advanced studies can attain more responsible positions with the possibility of rising to top professional levels. Political Science provides a solid preparation for further study in political science, public administration, business, public policy, international affairs, and law. Students who are interested in teaching political science in junior high or high schools must complete teaching endorsement area requirements in social studies through the School of Education. The following are some of the career opportunities available to Political Science graduates:

Advocacy
* Community organizer
* Consumer advocate
* Community relations/ombudsman

Legal careers
* Judicial clerk
* Paralegal or legal assistant
* Legal researcher
* Law librarian
* Attorney

Government
* Public policy administrator
* Civil rights enforcement officer
* Labor relations specialist
* Foreign relations specialist
* Legislative assistant
* Probation officer
* Foreign service officer
* Government intelligence analyst
* Congressional aide
* Diplomatic officer
* Cultural affairs officer
* Demographer
* Foreign correspondent
* International relations specialist
* Legislative advocate
* Criminal investigator

Politics
* Interest group coordinator
* Campaign worker
* Politician
* Lobbyist
* Consultant

Business
* Public relations specialist
* Financier
* Advertising representative
* Correspondent
* Columnist/critic
* Urban/regional planner
* International trade specialist
* Personnel administrator
* Market research analyst

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RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
* Political Science Club
* Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary Society)
* Liberal Arts College Council

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MORE INFORMATION
Department of Political Science
C346 Andrew G. Clark Building
1782 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1782
970-491-5156
http://polisci.colostate.edu/
* Academic advising for majors


Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA)
TILT Building
801 Oval Drive
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1033
970-491-7095
http://www.casa.colostate.edu
* Academic advising/Major exploration


Career Center
120 Lory Student Center
Fort Collins, CO 80523
970-491-5707
http://career.colostate.edu
* Major and career exploration/Job search information


Admissions and Undergraduate Recruitment
Ammons Hall
711 Oval Drive
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
970-491-6909
http://www.admissions.colostate.edu
* Admission applications/University visits and tours


General Catalog Online
http://www.catalog.colostate.edu/

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