An Introduction to Political Science at the Colin Powell School


– Hi, I’m Dan Disalvo and I’m a professor in the Political Science Department here at the City College of New York. This is a video to
encourage you to sign up and become a political science major. I wanna tell you a little
bit about political science and about what’s happening
here at City College. Of course, this video shouldn’t
replace your coming in and seeing me or any other member of the
Political Science Department to talk about both the major and what’s going on in our department. The first thing to know about
a political science major is that there are thousands
of political science majors all across the country, studying at almost every
single college or university. Those graduates go on to work
in a huge variety of fields that includes business, big and small, government, which includes, of course, not just campaigns and elections, but working for the federal, state, and local governments
providing a vast array of services to citizens. And then, many other students will go on to work in nonprofit organizations that provide direct
services to other citizens and those that advocate for
different policy positions across the political spectrum. All political science majors have to take three required courses. Those are Introduction to
American Politics, PSC 101, then students have to take Political Ideas and Issues, PSC 124, and third, students have to
take World Politics, PSC 104. Those courses, of course,
can be taken in any order and they’re the introductory courses to the four major sub-fields
of political science, which are American Politics, International Relations,
Comparative Politics, and Political Theory. After that, students have
to take another nine courses for a total of 12 courses or 36 credits. The remaining nine courses
that students must take include four electives, which can be any political science course that a student is interested in, and then, the other five
courses must be distributed across the four major sub-fields. An advisor can help you figure out which courses fit for which sub-field, but just to give you an idea, for the American Politics segment, students taking courses on
Congress, the Presidency, political parties and interest groups, constitutional law, or the judiciary will find that any of those courses count. Students taking Comparative Politics can study Latin American
political systems, political systems of Asia
or Europe, or Africa, any of those courses will count for the Comparative Politics
distribution requirement. Students studying international
relations can look at for offerings such as
International Law and the Model UN to fulfill that distribution requirement. And students interested in
Political Theory will have to take courses that include
Classical Political Thought, where they’ll study Plato and Aristotle, Modern Political Thought, where they may read Hobbes and Locke, and Contemporary Political Thought, where they’re likely to encounter thinkers such as Nietzsche and Marx. There are no prerequisites for any course in political science, so if you want, you can
jump right into the deep end of the pool and take advanced courses if
they fit in your schedule. However, the department
encourages students to take the three introductory
courses to begin with. So, if you choose to become
a political science major, I strongly encourage you to come and meet with me. Again, I’m Dan Disalvo and I’m a professor in the Political Science Department and the undergraduate student advisor. So, I thank you for watching this video, but remember, it’s no
substitute for coming to see me in person.




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