Department: Political Science
The curriculum in Political Science is designed to enhance a student's liberal arts education and to develop an understanding of government and the political process in the United States and the world. Political Science is a flexible major that prepares students for careers in law, government, public service, teaching, journalism, non-profit organizations, business, and labor organizations. A graduate or professional degree is often required for professional careers in these fields.
Careers in Government: Students interested in government service or non-profit organizations should take courses in Group VI (Public Policy and Administration). Students with these career interests may pursue master's degrees in public administration (M.P.A.) or public policy (M.P.P.) in order to learn how public agencies (local, State, and Federal) and non-profit organizations operate.
Careers in Law: While no prescribed pre-law course of study is required for admission to law school, Political Science is the traditional undergraduate major that most students select. It should be supplemented by courses in English writing, critical and logical reasoning (via philosophy and mathematics courses), and economics. The abilities to read and analyze complex material carefully and critically, to form and support independent judgments, and to communicate ideas in writing in a precise and cogent fashion are essential to success in law school. Pre-law students majoring in Political Science should take courses listed in Group V (Law and Politics) and courses in other departments, such as course, course, course, and course. Pre-law students majoring in other disciplines should consider a 18-credit minor in Law and Government (see below).
Teaching and Other Careers: The Political Science Department also prepares students for careers in business, social, and political research, elected political office at the local, State, or Federal level, journalism, and college teaching. Political Science majors interested in graduate studies in Political Science and International Affairs as well as professional degrees, such as J.D., M.P.P., and M.P.A., should consider joining the Lehman Scholars Program (LSP). The Business and Liberal Arts Program is also complementary to Political Science majors interested in working in the business world upon graduation. Students interested in secondary or elementary school teaching should consult with the Department of Early Childhood and Childhood Education and the Department of Middle and High School Education for information on programs leading to New York State teacher certification.
Internships: Internship opportunities are available to students in Federal, State, City government and international organizations. The Department offers a summer internship in Washington, D.C., that involves work with legislators and other public officials. Lehman College credit is given for approved programs. Students also may spend one semester in Albany on a paid internship organized by the New York State Legislature. Students receive credit for a full-time program during the spring semester and attend courses at the campus of the State University of New York at Albany. In addition, a New York City Internship Program is offered by all senior colleges of The City University of New York (see course and course). Consult the Department for more information on any of these internships.