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    Salem State University
  Jan 24, 2018
2012-13 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science

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Associate Professor Kanishkan Sathasivam, Chairperson

Professor: Richard Levy

Associate Professor: Elizabeth Coughlan

Assistant Professors: Jennifer Jackman, Daniel Mulcare, Vanessa Ruget

Faculty Emeriti

Professors: Margaret W. Dower, John R. Hennessey, G. Earl Scharfenberger

Programs Offered

Bachelor of Arts - Political Science

Bachelor of Science - Political Science


American Politics  
Comparative Politics  
International Relations 


International Relations Minor  
Political Science Minor 
Public Policy and Public Administration Minor 

Special Programs

Model United Nations program
Summer internship in Sen. John Kerry’s Washington, DC office

Programs in Political Science

The Department of Political Science offers two bachelor’s degree programs and three minors. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) program requires 36 credit-hours in Political Science and includes satisfying the university’s foreign language requirement and completing a minor from some other complementary discipline. The Bachelor of Science (BS) program requires 39 credit-hours in Political Science. This program does not include the foreign language requirement or require a minor, but it does require courses in empirical political analysis.

Three concentrations (American Politics, Comparative Politics, and International Relations) are also available for the BS program, reflecting the main fields within the discipline of Political Science. These optional concentrations do not add to the total number of credit-hours required for graduation.

Usually, students may transfer in no more than 15 credit-hours of Political Science courses into the major (BA or BS). Additional transferred courses will have to be counted as free electives. There may be exceptions.

Minor in Political Science

  • The Minor in Political Science rquires five courses (15 credits) in Political Science.
  • All courses in the Political Science Minor are electives, and all POL courses are eligible for use as Minor electives except POL 413.
  • No more than two courses may be at the introductory level (POL 100 - 299).

Minor in International Relations

  • The Minor in International Relations (IR) requires five courses (15 credits)

Minor in Public Policy

For all minors the following apply:

  1. POL 500 /POL 520  may be applied to the Minor only if authorized by the department chairperson;
  2. Transferred credits that do not have a Salem State University course equivalency must be approved by the department chairperson for use in the Minor.

Political Science is a highly appropriate and desirable second major for Education students, and we are happy to meet with current and prospective Education majors to discuss this option. Political Science may also be a very attractive double-major option for students in a variety of other disciplines, especially Communicatins, Criminal Justuice, Social Work, History, Sociology and Psychology.

Please contact our department chairperson with any questions you may have and for further information.

The Bates Center for Public Affairs

The William H. Bates Center for Public Affairs at Salem State University, established in 1969 in memory of the late Congressman William H. Bates, is located in the Department of Political Science. The mission of the Bates Center includes:

  • fostering academic excellence in the fields of government and politics;
  • sponsoring speakers, field trips, and other experiential learning activities;
  • forging links between the Salem State University community and leaders in public service;
  • enhancing social science research and scholarship in public affairs; and
  • providing the Salem State University and broader North Shore community with access to resources and information related to politics and public policy in Massachusetts.

The Bates Center sponsors discussion panel events, conferences, and speakers on a variety of current public affairs issues. A notable ongoing activity of the Center is our public affairs discussion panel series, featuring three to four discussion panel events per semester on current public affairs topics of special interest to students, faculty, and the broader community.

The Political Science Academy

The Political Science Academy is an organization for Political Science majors and minors, whose purposes are to promote political awareness on campus and to aid the career plans of its members. Every major and minor is automatically a member unless he/she chooses not to be. A faculty member of the Political Science Department serves as the Advisor to the Academy.

The Academy sponsors various activities such as speakers, Open Houses, Career Days, field trips and other on-campus activities.

Pi Sigma Alpha (Rho Sigma Chapter)

Salem State University hosts the Rho Sigma Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honor Society. Political Science majors who graduate with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in Political Science and are in the top third of their graduating classes are eligible for induction into Pi Sigma Alpha. Induction ceremonies are held every other year.

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