Department Chair: Clark Merrill, Ph.D.
Aristotle described political science as the “highest and ruling science” for human actions because it aims at the human good in the most comprehensive sense. Those who study political science inquire into the permanent questions of justice and the good life, as well as the particular, urgent decisions facing leaders and citizens in the United States and the international arena. The Department of Political Science and International Relations provides students with essential knowledge of institutions and regimes, legislation and constitutional law, diplomacy and war, while also grounding students in the teachings of the great political philosophers.
Our program offers a major and minor in Political Science and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations. Course work covers the full range of the discipline’s subfields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory. Majors may complete a concentration in American Government and Public Law or in International Relations and Comparative Politics; alternatively, they may major without a concentration.
Led by a highly qualified, approachable faculty, our small classes provide students with the opportunity to interact closely with each other and with their professors. Our challenging curriculum hones students’ skills of critical reasoning, research, writing, speaking, planning and organization, teaching them how to gather relevant information, form logical and clear arguments and articulate their thoughts. With this training, our majors are well prepared for both graduate programs and professional careers. While many attend law school, others find success in such fields as international relations, national intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, lobbying, teaching, business, and the nonprofit sector.
Through the University’s accelerated program, highly motivated and qualified undergraduates can earn both a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in international relations within five years.
Not more than three Political Science transfer courses, with the permission of the department chair, may be applied toward fulfillment of the major or minor. Majors and minors are expected to achieve grades of C- or higher in all Political Science courses.
Students who declare the major beyond the sophomore year do not need to take the Gateway course at the 100-level but must take an additional upper level elective instead.
Joint Bachelors/Master’s Degree program leading to a Master of Arts in International Relations
Salve Regina University offers an accelerated program of study that leads to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree within five years. Political Science students, who plan to earn a graduate degree in international relations, may take advantage of this five-year program. This program is designed for the University’s highly motivated, academically talented and qualified undergraduates with a recommended grade point average of 3.30 or higher. Current undergraduates must complete the application process by February 15 of the junior year. Students interested in pursuing a five-year program should contact their advisor as soon as they develop that interest.
Undergraduate students considered for the five-year program are conditionally accepted into the master’s program and may take four graduate courses (12 credits) during their senior year. Of these 12 credits, six are applied to the undergraduate degree. Final program acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of the undergraduate degree and four graduate courses in the senior year. The total number of credits required to complete the five-year program is 150, 24 of which are graduate credits taken in the fifth year.
Program and Course Listings
The University confers undergraduate degrees in the following disciplines:ConcentrationMinor
The University offers a number of single discipline and interdisciplinary minors which students may complete to enhance their education.