Jul 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Updates 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Updates

Politics, Policy and International Relations

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments Information

View Programs and Courses  



Professor: Daniel Mulcare, Chairperson

Professors:  Elizabeth P. Coughlan, Jennifer L. Jackman, Vanessa J. Ruget, Kanishkan Sathasivam


Faculty Emeriti

Professors:  John R. Hennessey, Richard J. Levy, G. Earl Scharfenberger


Programs Offered

Bachelor of Arts, Politcal Science  

Bachelor of Science, Political Science  



American Government, Law & Policy  

International Relations & Comparative Politics  



Political Science  

International Relations  

  Public Policy & Public Administration  

  Civic Engagement  

Other Opportunities for Students 


Model United Nation Program

The Pre-Law Society

The Political Science Academy

Pi Sigma Alpha

The Bates Center for Public Affairs

Study Abroad Programs



Programs in Political Science

The Politics, Policy and International Relations Department 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.

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.


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

  • The Minor in International Relations (IR) requires five courses (15 credits)
    • POL 251 Introduction to International Relations
    • plus four other POL elective courses from among  POL 304, 340, 352, 354, 355, 356, 359, 360 362, 370, 371, 372, 374, 375, 377, 378, 379, 380, 383, 384, 385, or 412.

Minor in Public Policy & Public Administration

The minor in Public Policy and Public Administration (PPPA) requires five courses (15 credits)

                          • POL 219 Introduction to Public Policy

                          • POL 315 Public Administration

                          • POL 319 Public Policy Analysis

                          • plus two other elective courses from among POL 304, POL 310, POL 312, POL 318, POL 327, POL 328, POL 331, POL 340 or ECO 317.


Minor in Civic Engagement

The minor in Civic Engagement requires five courses (15 credits):​


             • CIV 101 Introduction to Civic Engagement


             • CIV 501 Directed Field Experience in Civic Engagement


             • CIV 502 Directed Study in Civic Engagement


            • One course from each of the three categories of electives (3 courses total):

              politics/policy, communication/advocacy skills, and social justice/social change.

              Each of the three electives must be from a different department.    


For all minors the following apply:

*Up to 3 credits of POL 500 or POL 520 may be applied to the Minor with the permission of the department chairperson;

*Transferred credits that do not have a Salem State University course equivalency must be approved by the department chairperson for use in the Minor.


Other Opportunitunities for Students


Internships with legislators, government agencies, advocacy organizations, campaigns, law offices, think tanks, and research projects (to name a few) provide students who are majoring in Political Science with learning experiences that supplement their coursework. They offer invaluable stepping stones along chosen career paths. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Congressional Internship Program or intern with the Washington Center in DC.    



Model United Nations Program

Every Fall semester the department offers a seminar course titled Model United Nations (POL412). 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.

Pre-Law Society

The Pre-Law Society is a student organization that provides opportunities to learn about law school and careers in the legal profession and to educate the campus community about contemporary and historical issues under the law.

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 they choose not to be. A faculty member of the 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.

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 Politics, Policy and International Relations Department. The Bates Center sponsors discussion panel events, conferences, and speakers on a variety of current public affairs issues. It also seeks to enhance scholarship in public affairs and to provide the North Shore community with access to resources and information related to politics and public policy in Massachusetts.

Study Abroad Programs

Students of politics may find that there is no better way to acquire a meaningful appreciation for other countries’ political, economic, and social systems than through participating in a Study Abroad program. For more information, students should contact the department chairperson or the Center for International Education (CIE).

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The department strongly encourages its students to undertake research projects, either in concert with the department’s faculty or in an independent capacity. Several courses, including the honors seminar (POL 110H), capstone seminar (POL 400), and directed study (POL 500) offer valuable opportunities for undertaking research projects.



Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments Information