Political Science as Part of a College Education

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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 cources 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.

Political Science courses will also train you to read thoughtfully, to examine complicated arguments rigorously, and to write with analytical depth and precision. All of these skills are highly prized by employers, graduate schools, and professional schools.

Overview of the major:

We study politics in three different ways:

  1. Political thought and philosophy: Ideas and disputes about justice, rights, liberty, constitutions, the right way to live.
  2. American politics: Congress, Presidency, political parties, campaigns and elections, southern politics, urban politics.
  3. Public Law: Constitutional law, philosophy of law, criminal law.

First year courses:

PS110: Political Questions (F8, F2i) (15-18 students per section)
Examines the fundamental problems and conflicts in political life concerning justice: liberty and equality, rights and duties, wealth and poverty.

PS151: U.S. Politics (F8) (18-20 students per section)
Examines the political order under the U.S. constitution, from the founding through the branches of government, civil rights and liberties, and the complexitie of democratic politics.

Special programs and opportunities:

Public Affairs Internship
The Department runs its own internship program, which earns credit toward the major.

Semester in Washington, D.C.
Capital Semester (Georgetown University)
Washington Semester (American University)