Political Science

"The general principles of any study you may learn by books at home;
 but the detail, the color, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us,
you must catch all these from those in whom it already lives."

 -John Henry Newman The Idea of a University, 1854

Study in Washington, D.C.

Washington Semester

The Rhodes Department of Political Science offers for its majors a sixteen-week study of national government in Washington, D.C. For those who wish to pursue this program, we affiliate with American University. The "Washington Semester" consists of seminars, internship, and research projects so that participants can gain a detailed, hands-on knowledge of government and establish connections in D.C. For more information, contact Prof. Mark Pohlmann.

Public Affairs Internship

The Public Affairs Internship, run by the Political Science department, is an academic course in which students relate an internship experience to their study of political science. Political Science majors intern at law firms, the public defender′s office, the offices of members of Congress, non-profit organizations, the FBI, the Memphis City Council, the Mayor′s office, and many other organizations.

Postgraduate & Career

The Rhodes Department of Political Science can help open doors to careers and higher educational opportunities.

Students majoring in political science have pursued diverse careers such as law, foreign service, teaching at all levels, public administration, Congressional aides and committee staff members, White House aides, election campaign management, non-profit organizations, criminal justice, sales, public relations, business management, and journalism. The department provides academic and placement counseling for graduate and law schools.

Pi Sigma Alpha National Honor Society

Pi Sima Alpha is the national honor society for college students that stimulates scholarships, and intelligent interest in political science and government in the United States. Rhodes′s chapter—TAU DELTA—of Pi Sigma Alpha attains this goal by hosting various on-campus events and speakers. The national Pi Sigma Alpha organization, more broadly, sponsors programs and events of value to the profession and teaching of political science.

Awards in Political Science

The Political Science department offers five awards each year to outstanding students in Political Science. The First-Year Seidman Award is for an outstanding freshman in Political Science. The Senior Seidman Award is for an outstanding senior in Political Science. The Abe Fortas Award is for an excellent legal student. The Mike Cody Award is for excellence in the study of Political Science. The Charlie Cook Award (formerly the Burgess Award) is for excellence in Political Science studies.

Political Science as part of a College Education

The Political Science faculty at Rhodes covers a wide range of political views. Each member of the department finds politics intriguing and believes that a careful and critical examination of political life is essential to a complete liberal and civic education.

In Political Science courses you will explore the moral problems (e.g., obligation, justice, equality, liberty) and the practical complications (e.g., how government can protect individual rights and provide for common interests) that politics, and all citizens in a democracy, must wrestle with and resolve.

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