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Political Science

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Political Science at Clarkson University

The Political Science program at Clarkson provides students with an understanding of the fundamental areas of the discipline: political institutions and legislative processes in the United States and around the world, political philosophy, constitutionalism, economic development, public policy, and the causes of conflict and peace. Students will furthermore develop an appreciation of the complexities and processes of social justice, reflect upon the sources of their modern identities, examine relations between humans and the natural world, and engage in critical reflection on the politics of science and technology. By virtue of attending Clarkson, students studying Political Science will also be keenly aware of the transformative effects of science and technology on their respective conceptions of the great problems facing citizens today, and their solutions.

We distinguish our goals from those of other departments by our strong commitment to a broad liberal arts education and close-student faculty interactions. In short, our program offers future leaders the tools that will make them more informed citizens and help them with all kinds of tasks in their daily lives.


Wide-Ranging Perspectives
Political Science majors at Clarkson benefit from the outstanding scholarship and personal attention of faculty in political science, as well as anthropology, history, literature, psychology and sociology. Faculty work individually with students to prepare them for careers in a world economy that demands creativity in analyzing problems, expertise in technology, and an understanding of diverse perspectives.

External fields
A required external field of five or more courses prepares students for their future careers. Chosen from one of Clarkson's many programs and departments, external fields may be in such defined pre-professional areas as pre-medicine, pre-law, pre-business, pre-physical therapy, psychology, or computer science; alternately, students may create their own external field, tailored to their specific career interests.

Special Opportunities
Pre-Law: Law schools have always valued the analytical and communication skills of political science students. You can prepare for law school through any of our degree programs and supplement your preparation through the minor in Law and Society, whose requirements you can meet without extra courses.

The Washington and NY Assembly Internships: These unique opportunities allow students to attend American University in Washington D.C. for a semester or intern at the NY State Assembly. In Washington they take twelve university credits worth of classes and an extraordinary array of internships.  Clarkson students attending the Washington Semester have worked for the World Bank, NBC, Greenpeace, Homeland Security, and as legislative aides to members of Congress. The Albany internships allow students to contribute to the ongoing development of state policy in the Assembly.

Public Policy: Occasional opportunities are available for students through various public policy programs that occur via the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, and the New York Energy Policy Institute. Clarkson’s internal and external partnerships offer a wide variety of research and learning programs.

The Arête Program: This program combines business intersects with philosophy or political science. It’s a unique Clarkson double major that fuses practical business preparation with a thorough grounding in the humanities and social sciences. Students gain the leadership skills and human and cultural insights needed for success in today's multinational businesses.