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POLS - Program Details

The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Political Science Faculty


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Political Science is focused on the analysis of the power relationships and decision-making patterns that shape and determine the outcomes of vital social, economic and policy issues. Therefore, much of political science involves the study of government, the arena in which public issues are raised and resolved.

The Political Science program (POLS) provides its students with three kinds of knowledge: 1) a basic factual knowledge of American government and politics, as well as some exposure to the politics of foreign cultures, international relations and organizations, and normative political values and ideologies; 2) a capacity for personal political analysis, which includes the ability to define personal goals and to understand political behavior sufficiently to select appropriate means for achieving these goals; and 3) a capacity for conducting original and systematic political research.

In addition to these specific areas of knowledge, the Political Science program is committed to constant reinforcement of broadly transferable skills such as critical thinking, writing, computer literacy and mathematics.

The strength of the Political Science program at Stockton lies in the theoretical and empirical study of American government and politics. The program also offers a broad selection of courses in political theory, comparative government and international relations. Moreover, there are opportunities to investigate the politics of specific geographical areas and of specific topics. Students work with a preceptor to define a series of courses within the Political Science/cognate or at-some-distance categories of their curriculum that reflect their special academic interests and enhance their career preparation. Coursework is offered in a variety of formats: lecture, seminar and tutorials. Independent studies are encouraged for students who wish to pursue particular topics, themes or problems in greater depth than would normally be available through general course offerings.

The Political Science program also offers three concentrations for focused career preparation in pre-law, social studies education, and sustainability and environmental policy. Students wishing to complete a concentration should notify their preceptor as early in their coursework as possible. Students pursuing a concentration are required to meet with their preceptor each term prior to enrolling in courses for the following term. Detailed information on the three program concentrations is available through the links at the top-right corner of this page.