May 27, 2024  
2018-19 College of Liberal Arts 
2018-19 College of Liberal Arts [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science Major

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Meet the Faculty

Do you want to be a change maker, to make a difference in the world around you? The political science major prepares you for a lifetime of challenges, from our backyard in Florida to the far corners of the globe. In the classroom, as well as through travel abroad, internships, field studies, and collaborative research projects, you not only learn about how the world really works. You also gain invaluable problem-solving skills for successful lives and careers – skills that include data analysis, critical thinking in the context of conflicting values, and deliberative decision-making, not to mention oral as well as written communication. From careers in business and law to government and politics to the non-profit sector and media, our majors are change makers. They make a difference.

Major Requirements

To complete the major in Political Science students must pass eleven (11) courses, plus an additional politics practicum. Subject to approval by the department chair, this requirement can be met with an internship (POL 397), political/policy employment experience, study abroad or field study courses, student-faculty collaborative summer research, or a community engagement component attached to a POL course.

Students must complete five (5) required Core courses and six (6) additional courses. Students may count their RCC course or one Neighborhood course, if the professor designates it as such, but may not transfer more than three (3) courses from another institution. Winter intersession courses do not count toward the major. The Department requires that students complete one (1) upper-level course in at least two (2) different subfields for breadth.

 (6) additional electives are then required, as well as a practicum, to complete the major. A comprehensive examination and portfolio also are required of all graduating seniors.

Required Core (5 courses)

All students are required to take two (2) introductory courses and three additional core courses noted below. Students must take either Comparative Politics (POL 100 ) OR International Relations (POL 130 ). They must also take either American Politics POL 160 ) OR Issues in American Politics (POL 161 ).

Students are also required to complete Quantitative Analysis (POL 240A ) OR Research Methods in Political Science (POL 240B ), Political Thought (POL 220 ), and a senior seminar class at the 400-level that includes the completion of a major research project. It is recommended that students take POL 240A  or POL 240B  by the end of their sophomore year.


Additional Electives (6 courses)

In addition to the five course courses, six POL elective courses are required.

Practicum Required

Majors will complete a politics practicum.  This requirement can be met with an internship (POL 397), political/policy employment experience, study abroad/field study, student-faculty collaborative summer research, or a comunity engagement component attached to a POL course. 

Comprehensive Examination/Portfolio

A comprehensive examination and portfolio also are required.

Honors in Political Science

Students who satisfy the College’s requirements for Honors in the Major Field (see “Curriculum and Curricular Requirements ,” Rollins College Catalogue may graduate with Honors in Political Science through one of the following methods. First, a student pursuing Honors in the Major Field in Political Science must successfully complete and defend an Honors in Political Science Research project under the supervision of a faculty member in the department. Alternatively, students may complete a second senior-year seminar as a twelfth (12th) course in Political Science and defend their research project before a panel of three (3) faculty members, per the curricular requirements of the College. Students in the College Honors Degree Program may use their senior-year research project for Honors in Political Science, with Departmental approval.

Research in Political Science

Students also have the opportunity to conduct research in political science. This can be accomplished through a senior year research thesis for Honors in Political Science or as their final research project in their concentration. Students should have strong research and writing skills in order to complete a research project in Political Science.

Washington Semester Program

Through a cooperative arrangement between Rollins and American University, a select number of students, usually juniors, may spend a semester in Washington, D.C., studying public affairs. (See Special Curricular Opportunities section of this Catalogue.)

Participants may select from separate programs in American politics; international law and organizations; sustainable development; journalism and new media; justice and law; public health; foreign policy; religion, politics, peace, and security; and global economics and business. Full-time faculty at American University direct the individual programs.

While enrolled in the Washington Semester Program, students live at American University and have full access to all library, cultural, and recreational facilities on campus. For further information, contact Professor Mike Gunter.


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