Political Science

This is an archived copy of the 2015-16 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.norwich.edu/.

Program Coordinator: Jason F.Jagemann

Professor Andrea Talentino; Associate Professors Michael Andrew and Jason Jagemann; Assistant Professors Yangmo Ku and Megan Remmel.


The Political Science program emphasizes the objectives of the liberal arts, which are to help the student cultivate powers of analysis and exposition in reading, writing, and communication; to expand the student’s intellectual horizons; and to increase the student’s knowledge and curiosity. The program explores the realm of politics; its vocabulary, its principal concepts and strategies, its ethics, and its expediencies. To do so, the program encourages students to appreciate and understand theories about government and politics, as well as the methods of the discipline.

  • Develop skills which enable students to have successful and rewarding careers.
  • Provide students with a working knowledge of the vocabulary, concepts, ethics, and strategies of politics as well as an appreciation of how politics and public policy impact the lives of people locally, nationally, and globally.
  • Give students the opportunity to do independent research and develop their own ideas in the field of political science by being mentored by professional political scientists. 

  • Students initiate and complete research projects as well as cogently present research findings.
  • Students apply the skills they learn in the classroom to understand and evaluate political and policy processes and outcomes.
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of the political and policy processes in a variety of domestic and international settings.
  • Students are prepared for the job market and/or graduate or law school.
Careers in this Major:
  • Military Officer
  • Lawyer
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Political Scientist
  • Public Administrator
  • Policy Analyst
  • Foreign Service Officer 

The Political Science Program has a strong record of supervising internships for students throughout Vermont and in Washington, DC. The intent of the internship is to provide students with opportunities to apply their classroom learning and to enhance their academic program through practical experience. Students find internships as an invaluable experience through which they can explore potential careers and examine the links between the theory and practice of politics and government.

Norwich University also maintains an institutional affiliation with The Washington Semester Program (WSP), which is the oldest, most prestigious, and well-known experiential education program in the world. This is a dynamic program that takes you outside of the classroom and into the real world. You gain experience and contacts to jump-start your career and get a taste of professional life while you experience the bustling pace of the capital city. Whatever your career interests, the WSP a number of unique and intensive programs that will provide you with a learning opportunity that can challenge your mind and change your life.

B.A. in Political Science - Curriculum Map

To graduate with a degree in Political Science a student must fulfill Political Science Program requirements as well as the General Education  and Bachelor of Arts requirements  listed in the Curriculum Map below.

EN 101 Composition and Literature I3EN 102 Composition and Literature II3
Modern Language 1116Modern Language 1126
PO 105 American Politics1,6,93PO 106 Introduction to Public Policy and Administration1,93
Free Elective3Free Elective3
 15 15
EN 201 World Literature I (BA Requirement)3EC 201 Principles of Economics (Macro) or 202 Principles of Economics (Micro) (General Education Social Science)3
General Education Math3EN 202 World Literature II (BA Requirement)3
HI 121 American History Survey I (General Education History Elective)13HI 122 American History Survey II13
PO 215 International Relations1,7,93MA 232 Elementary Statistics (General Education Math)3
PO 220 Research Methods1,93PO 202 Introduction to Comparative Politics1,8,93
 15 15
EN 112 Public Speaking3PO International Relations Elective2,7,93
General Education Ethics 3PO American Politics Elective3,6,93
General Education Lab Science 4General Education Arts & Humanities Elective3
PO 303 Political Philosophy or 330 American Citizenship13General Education Lab Science Elective4
Free Elective3HI (Non-Western) Elective3
 16 16
BA Arts & Humanities Elective3General Education Literature3
PO Comparative Politics Elective1,8,4,93PO Elective (300 or 400 level)5,93
Free Elective3PO Elective (300-400 level)5,93
Free Elective3PO 410 Capstone Seminar in Political Science (Capstone)1,93
Free Elective3Free Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits: 122

Grade of C or higher required.


International Relations Elective: Choose one from PO 301, PO 305 , PO 405, PO 415 or PO 412. Grade of C or higher required.


American Politics Elective: Choose one from PO 312, PO 313, PO 314,PO 315, PO 321 or PO 331. Grade of C or higher required.


Comparative Politics Elective: Choose one fromPO 310,PO 320, PO 333PO 340 or PO 348 Grade of C or higher required.


Must be PO 300 or higher. Grade of C or higher required.


PO 105: Pre-requisite for American Politics Electives 


PO 215: Pre-Requisite for International Relations Electives. 


PO 202: Pre-Requisite for Comparative Politics Electives. 


100 Level courses open to freshmen except by permission of department chair or if a requirement for another major or program.  200 Level courses closed to freshmen except by permission of department chair. 300 Level classes for upperclass students, except by permission of department chair.  400 Level classes require permission.

Political Science Minor

Complete the six courses listed below with a grade of C or higher.

PO 105American Politics3
PO 106Introduction to Public Policy and Administration3
PO 202Introduction to Comparative Politics3
PO 215International Relations3
PO 220Research Methods3
PO Elective (300 or 400 level)3
Total Credits18


PO 105 American Politics 3 Credits

A study of the theoretical, institutional, and behavioral elements of the U.S. political system. Offered both semesters. Open freshman only, except by permission of department chair or unless a major requirement for another program or major. Open to students with freshmen and sophomore standing only, otherwise instructor permission.

PO 106 Introduction to Public Policy and Administration 3 Credits

An introductory examination of theoretical and practical approaches to policymaking and administration, the essential steps in the proces, and the roles of key actors at all levels. This course prepares students for more in-depth study of all other facets of the political realm. Open to students with freshmen and sophomore standing only, otherwise instructor permission.

PO 202 Introduction to Comparative Politics 3 Credits

An introductory course that acquaints students with the comparative study of politics. The course will compare executive and legislative relationships, electoral systems, ideologies, and political parties. Various countries from around the world will be used to illustrate the application and consequences of different institutions and ideas. Open to students with freshmen and sophomore standing only, otherwise instructor's permission.

PO 215 International Relations 3 Credits

An inquiry in assumptions, theories, and dogmas of the modern state system. Examination and evaluation of such topics as realist theory; conflict resolution; game theory; decision-making theory; and ecopolitics. Open to students with freshmen and sophomore standing only, otherwise instructor's permission.

PO 220 Research Methods 3 Credits

An introduction to the methods of political analysis, standard nomenclature, and basic research methods relied upon in the study of politics. Emphasis is placed on quantitative methods and ethical issues in conducting research. Not open to freshman without instructor's permission.

PO 300 Special Topics in Politics 3 Credits

Select topics offered on occasion. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

PO 301 Special Topics in International Relations 3 Credits

Select topics in the area of International Relations offered on occasion. Topics courses may be repeated for credit as long as a different topic is offered. 3 lecture hours. pre-req of PO 215, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 303 Political Philosophy 3 Credits

After introducing the political philosophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, this course explores the ideas of major Western thinkers from the Renaissance through the Industrial Revolution. The course not only examines each philosopher's understandings of power, justice, equality and freedom, but also contemporary applications and implications of these ideas. Open to Sophomore 2 and above, otherwise instructor permission.

PO 305 Geopolitics 3 Credits

Geopolitics will give students an increased appreciation of the influence of geography on political decision-making. This course will help students "visualize" world politics and understand how geography affects both national and transnational political behaviors. Students will learn to think and write critically about such issues and forces as globalization, development, and conflict. Students will develop an understanding of how interests and perceptions are shaped by geography. Pre-req of PO 202 or PO 215, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 310 European Politics 3 Credits

A study of the political systems, cultures, and issues of selected countries from western, northern and southern Europe as well as Russia and the European Union. This course will also consider the relationship between domestic and foreign policies and the relationship between the United States and Europe. Pre-req of PO 202, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 312 The Presidency 3 Credits

A study of the presidential office and its relationship with the major American political institutions. Pre-req of PO 105, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 313 Political Parties and Interest Groups 3 Credits

A study of political parties and interest groups as they influence the decision making process, the formulation of government policy, and the selection of official personnel. Pre-req of PO 105, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 314 The Legislative Process 3 Credits

A study of the national and state legislatures in the United States through a combination of lectures, readings, contact with legislators, and actual investigations on the state legislative scene itself. Pre-req of PO 105, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 315 Public Opinion and Political Behavior 3 Credits

A study of the development of political attitudes and the formation of public opinion; the influence of public opinion on governmental policy through its relationship to political participation representation and leadership. Pre-req of PO 105, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 320 Topics in Area Studies 3 Credits

Selected topics in area studies will be offered on occasion. This course will be used to cover subjects not included in the regular offerings in comparative politics. Topics may include the politics of a particular country or region such as Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East. A topics course may also be offered on a particular issue area such as foreign and defense policy, healthcare policy, welfare policy, or environmental policy. Pre-req of PO 202, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 321 U.S. Constitutional Law 3 Credits

Introduction to the evolution and structure of the American constitutional system, focusing on the federal relationship, the separation of powers, and judicial review, relying primarily upon the case method of analysis. Open to Sophomore 2 and above, otherwise instructor permission.

PO 324 Civil Liberties 3 Credits

An examination of the relationship of individuals to government, relying primarily upon the case method of study, with specific consideration of problems of equal protection, due process, privacy, and freedoms of speech and religion. Open to Sophomore 2 and above, otherwise instructor permission.

PO 330 American Citizenship 3 Credits

Using the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as a foundation, this course examines what it means to be a citizen of the United States. The course addresses such questions as: What are citizens entitled to and what do they owe the state and each other? Is there an obligation to obey political authority? Is there ever an obligation to disobey authority? An important consideration is the role of the military in American political life and in particular, the relationship between the military ethic and republican values. Pre-req of PO 105, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 331 State and Local Politics 3 Credits

The primary objective of this course is to gain an understanding of the role of the state and local political institutions within the context of American federalism. Emphasis is placed on procedural and policy differences as well as political issues in state, regional, and local governments. Pre-req of PO 105, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 333 American Foreign Policy 3 Credits

Through studies of the three "levels of analysis" personal political psychology, bureaucratic politics, and international relations-this course examines the processes of American foreign policy formulation and execution; it explores the objectives, methods, and consequences of major U.S. foreign and military policies. If practicable, students will take part in role-playing simulations. Pre-req of PO 105 or PO 202, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 340 Revolution and Forces of Change 3 Credits

A critical analysis of several revolutions that will examine causes, outcomes, and accepted explanations in an attempt to discern generalities applicable to all revolutions. Pre-req of PO 202, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 348 Asian Politics 3 Credits

A study of the political systems, cultures, and issues of the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, North and South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. This course will pay particular attention to the relationship between the West and Asia, the processes of "modernization," and the role of Asia in contemporary international relations. Pre-req of PO 202, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 400 Independent Study 3 Credits

An opportunity for qualified upperclass students to engage in an intensive reading or research program in fields of interest not satisfactorily covered by regular course offerings. Periodic conferences will be required. Prerequisite: written consent of the instructor to a specific project presented by the applicant. Offered as occasion demands. Open to upperclassmen, otherwise by permission of the instructor.

PO 403 Internship 3-15 Credit

Direct participation in the practical workings of state, municipal, and Federal government. Ordinarily open only to seniors. Offered on availability to internships. Credits to be determined by instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

PO 405 International Organizations 3 Credits

This course focuses on the increasingly influential and varied roles international organizations play in the world today from peace and security to international development, human rights, and environmental protection. It traces the evolution of the thinking behind, and efforts to establish international organizations, and analyzes not only their promise and challenges, but also their successes and failures to date. Although particular attention is paid to the United Nations and its many affiliated bodies, regional organizations (e.g. European Union, Organization of American States, African Union, NATO), international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multi-national corporations are also assessed. Offered alternate years. pre-req of PO 215, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 410 Capstone Seminar in Political Science 3 Credits

A research and writing course designed to introduce students to graduate standards of original research and critical writing in political science. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

PO 412 War and Peace 3 Credits

An inquiry into the ostensible causes of war-- biological, economic, psychological, strategic, and theological; and an examination of the purported causes of war -- personal probity, military counterpoise, political utopia, and world government. Preparation of a substantial paper is required. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

PO 415 International Law 3 Credits

This course examines the development of international law, and assesses its effectiveness in governing the relations among nation-states. The course examines early as well as more recent efforts to build a body of such law. It compares international law with domestic law, and explores the principal sources of international law. The course uses cases to analyze the development of international law in areas such as extraterritorial jurisdiction, the range of sovereignty, diplomatic relations, the treaty system, arbitration and adjudication, the use of force, human rights, the environment, and economic relations. Offered alternate years. Pre-req of PO 215, C or higher; open to all students.

PO 490 Honors in Political Science 3 Credits

A substantial, sequential, research and writing project. See description of department honors program. Offered as occasion demands. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

PO 491 Honors in Political Science 3 Credits

The second semester of honors in political science. Devoted to writing and defending the honors thesis. Prerequisite: Student must earn a grade of B or higher in PO 490 and permission of the instructor and program coordinator.