Jun 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Politics, Policy and International Relations

View Programs and Courses  



Professor: Daniel Mulcare, Chairperson

Professor: Jennifer L. Jackman, Richard J. Levy, Kanishkan Sathasivam

Associate Professors: Elizabeth P. Coughlan, Vanessa J. Ruget

Faculty Emeriti

Professors:  John R. Hennessey, G. Earl Scharfenberger

Programs Offered

Bachelor of Arts - Political Science  

Bachelor of Science - Political Science  


American Government, Law & Policy 
International Relations & Comparative Politics    


Political Science 
International Relations 
Public Policy and Public Administration  

Special Programs

Model United Nations program

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 45 credits 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 45 credits in Political Science. This program does not include the foreign language requirement or require a minor, but it does require a support course in introductory statistics.

Two concentrations (American Government, Law & Policy; and International Relations & Comparative Politics) are also available, encompassing the main fields of study within the discipline of Political Science. These optional concentrations do not add to the total number of credits required for graduation.

Usually, students may transfer in no more than 15 credits 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 requires 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

Minor in Public Policy & Public Administration

For all minors the following apply:

  1. Up to 3 credits of POL 500  or POL 520  may be applied to the Minor with the permission of 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 is also a very attractive double-major or minor option for students in any other discipline, especially Business, Communications, Criminal Justice, Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, and World Languages and Culture.

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, politics, policy, law, and foreign affairs;
  • 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 a student 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.

Model United Nations Program

Every Fall semester the department offers a seminar course titled Model United Nations (POL 412 ). Students enrolled in the seminar participate in the annual four-day Harvard National Model United Nations conference in Boston, representing Salem State University alongside students from all over the world. The Model U.N. conference occurs in the Spring semester.