Political Science

Students at Stockton in front of the Constitution

Students at Stockton in front of the Constitution

Model UN student group

Model UN student group

Studenst at the United Nations

Studenst at the United Nations

Students on a Model UN trip

Students on a Model UN trip

Students in Washington at the National Monument

Students in Washington at the National Monument

Students with Congressman Frank LoBiondo

Students with Congressman Frank LoBiondo

The Political Science (POLS) program offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with concentrations in Pre-Law, Social Science Education, International Affairs, or General Political Science. We also offer a Political Science Minor that is open to all undergraduate students.

Political Science is focused on the analysis of the power relationships and decision-making patterns that shape and determine the outcomes of vital social, economic and policy issues. Therefore, much of political science involves the study of government, the arena in which public issues are raised and resolved.

 

About the Program

The strength of the Political Science program at Stockton lies in the theoretical and empirical study of American government and politics. The program also offers a broad selection of courses in political theory, comparative politics and international relations. Moreover, there are opportunities to investigate the politics of specific geographical areas and of specific topics. Students work with a preceptor to define a series of courses within the Political Science/cognate or at-some-distance categories of their curriculum that reflect their special academic interests and enhance their career preparation. Course work is offered in a variety of formats: lecture, seminar and tutorial. Independent studies are encouraged for students who wish to pursue particular topics, themes or problems in greater depth than would normally be available through general course offerings.

Program Coordinator:

Michael RodriguezMichael Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science
609-652-4476
H243
michael.rodriguez@stockton.edu 

Curriculum

To receive a B.A. degree in Political Science, a student is required to complete a minimum of 40 credits (10 courses) in Political Science and 24 credits (six courses) in cognate areas, which include historical studies, criminal justice, economics, anthropology, psychology, social work, sociology, gerontology, public law, philosophy (only PHIL1203 and PHIL1204) or additional political science courses. Political Science majors are encouraged to take at least four of the core courses (2100 series) representing the major areas within political science: political theory, American government, international relations, and comparative politics. After a student has identified individual interests, s/he is advised to take the more specialized upper-level courses appropriate to individual goals.  It might be useful to refer to the Curriculum worksheet for a General Political Science B.A. and the University bulletin (pages 645- 657) for complete details. Please also check out this list of Minors and Certificates at Stockton to complement your Political Science degree.

Concentrations:

General Political Science

POLS 1100 Introduction to Politics

American Politics

POLS 2100 Introduction to American Politics*

POLS 2211 Law and Legislative Process

POLS 2222 President and Congress

POLS 3235 American Political Behavior and Representation

POLS 3260 Interest Group Politics

POLS 3610 Voting in America

POLS 3616 Political Parties

POLS 3625 Campaigns and Elections

Public Administration and Policy

POLS 2190 Introduction to Public Policy

POLS 2209 State and Local Government

POLS 2245 Race and Politics

POLS 3345 Politics of Immigration

POLS 3265 Governing New Jersey

Political Behavior and Analysis

POLS 3150 Political Methodology*

POLS 3235 American Political Behavior and Representation

POLS 3616 Political Parties

POLS 3625 Campaigns and Elections

Political Theory

POLS 1150 - Power, Justice, and Freedom

POLS 2140 Introduction to Political Theory

POLS 3641 Modern Political Theory

POLS 3644 Classical Political Theory

POLS 3648 Topics in Political Theory

POLS 3655 Dissent in America

POLS 3675 American Political Thought

International Relations and Comparative Politics

POLS/HIST 2146 Indian Ocean History

POLS 2160 Introduction to Comparative Politics

POLS 2170 Introduction to International Politics

POLS 2274 U.S. Foreign Policy

POLS 2276 UN Experience (Model UN)

POLS 2360 Comparative Politics of Human Rights

POLS 3313 International Order

POLS 3660 Comparative Politics Seminar

POLS 3645 Politics of Transitional Societies

POLS 3662 International Political Economy

Law

POLS 2215 Law School Basics

POLS 3221 Constitutional Law

POLS 3225 Civil Liberties

POLS 3300/SUST 3300 Environmental Policy and Law

POLS 3621 Advanced Constitutional Litigation

POLS 3612 Women and the Law

POLS 3652 Gender and Political Action

POLS 4695 Senior Seminar: The Supreme Court*

Internships

POLS 3900 Political Science State/Local Internship

WASH 3620 Washington Seminar

WASH 3940 Washington Internship

Senior Capstone

POLS 4695 Senior Seminar*

POLS 4695 Senior Seminar: The Supreme Court*

* Required courses. All Political Science majors are required to take POLS 2100 Introduction to American Politics, POLS 3150 Political Methodology and POLS 4695 Senior Seminar. Political Science majors must take POLS 2100 Introduction to American Politics before they earn 76 credits. POLS 3150 Political Methodology is a prerequisite to POLS 4695 Senior Seminar and must be taken before students earn 95 credits. The Political Science Senior Seminar (POLS 4695) may only be taken by students in their last semester in residence at Stockton; students must have completed POLS 3150 Political Methodology with a passing grade or, alternatively, must be enrolled in POLS 3150 Political Methodology at the time of registration for Senior Seminar and must subsequently complete it with a passing grade. Students who wish to take Senior Seminar prior to their last semester in residence at Stockton may request permission from the Political Science program to do so provided they will have completed a minimum of seven Political Science courses (including POLS 3150 Political Methodology and POLS 2100 Introduction to American Politics) before the start of Senior Seminar. Requests must be submitted in writing to the program coordinator prior to registering for Senior Seminar.

Photo of world passportsThe International Affairs concentration is designed for students who plan to pursue careers in international affairs, broadly defined. Courses in this concentration provide instruction in fields of comparative politics, international relations, global governance, and foreign policy with an emphasis on economics, security, human rights, transitional societies, and diplomacy. Students seeking this concentration are strongly recommended to enhance their coursework with study abroad, short-term study tours, and student clubs such as Model UN or those focusing on specific regions or issue areas of global concern. Political Science also makes available opportunities to attend panels, workshops, and networking events in the New York, Washington, DC, and local area.

Requirements To obtain the International Affairs concentration, students must take a total of 6 courses or 24 credits. Students seeking certification in the International Affairs concentration must also follow the designated advising curriculum in Blackboard for this concentration and are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with Dr. Tina Zappile and their preceptor.

Required Courses

POLS 2160 Introduction to Comparative Politics

POLS 2170 Introduction to International Relations

Core Courses (select 3 or 4)

HIST/POLS 2146 Indian Ocean History

POLS 2140 Introduction to Political Theory

POLS 2274 US Foreign Policy

POLS 2360 Comparative Politics of Human Rights

POLS 3221 Constitutional Law

POLS 3315 Politics of Immigration

POLS 3313 The International Order

POLS 3645 Politics of Transitional Societies

POLS 3662 International Political Economy

POLS 3800 or 4800 Independent Study (with permission)

Optional Courses (select up to 1): See the updated Bulletin or use the “what if “ analysis in your DegreeWorks to the full range of optional courses.

Please contact Dr. Zappile at tina.zappile@stockton.edu or Professor Balasco at lauren.balasco@stockton.edu for more information.

A degree in Political Science can provide excellent preparation for a career in teaching. This concentration helps prepare students for this career, with a particular focus on social studies education. Students seeking teacher certification must meet both the requirements for graduation in Political Science and the state requirements for teacher certification. Since several of the state requirements can be met by the same courses that are required for the Political Science major, it is highly recommended that students meet regularly with their program preceptor as well as their Education preceptor to maximize strategic course selection. Political Science faculty are familiar with the content knowledge requirements of the Praxis teacher licensure and certification exam, and much of the skills and knowledge requirements of this exam are incorporated into the Political Science curriculum.

Students interested in pursuing teaching certification should also regularly consult their assigned Education preceptor, the School of Education staff and/or the Bulletin site for the most up-to-date curriculum information to meet program and state requirements. This includes important information on entrance requirements that must be met before professional education courses can be taken including a state-mandated entrance exam (Praxis Core or equivalent). Failure to meet these requirements can mean a delay in study. Concentration requirements can change frequently, as state requirements for teacher certification and the related requirements of the School of Education are revised.

REQUIREMENTS

The NJ Department of Education requires a 3.0 cumulative GPA to be certified. Current state requirements for social studies teacher certification require a minimum of 30 credits of study in the area of social studies, including 12 credits at the 3000/4000 level and 15 HIST credits (at least 1 American and 1 World History course).

This concentration defines a designated set of options in Political Science and other courses that can help students meet both sets of requirements. Students must also take specific Education courses set forth in the School of Education’s Curriculum Worksheet: POLS-Educ Concentration

In addition to required Education courses, students pursuing this concentration are strongly encouraged to consider the following core courses to satisfy these requirements:

Political Science*

  • POLS 1100 Introduction to Politics
  • POLS 2100 Introduction to American Politics
  • POLS 2140 Introduction to Political Theory
  • POLS 2190 Introduction to Public Policy
  • POLS 2222 President and Congress
  • POLS 2245 Race and Politics
  • POLS 2335 Civics: Citizen Education
  • POLS 3221 Constitutional Law
  • POLS 3222 Civil Liberties
  • POLS 3345 Politics of Immigration
  • POLS 3612 Women and the Law
  • POLS 3625 Campaigns and Elections
  • POLS 3641 Modern Political Theory

*A minimum of 12 credits at the 3000/4000 level needed to meet teacher certification requirements. Additionally, all grades for courses counting towards certification must be a C or better.

Economics

  • ECON 1200 Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • ECON 3636 Political Economy
  • POLS 3662 International Political Economy
  • Or alternate course with approval of preceptor

U.S. History*

  • HIST 1152 Introduction to U.S. History to 1865
  • HIST 1153 Introduction to U.S. History Since 1865
  • HIST 2152 North American History to 1789
  • HIST 2153 U.S. History 1789-1865
  • HIST 2162 U.S. History 1865-1920
  • HIST 2163 U.S. History Since 1920
  • HIST 2331 African-American History Since 1865

*A minimum of one course required for certification with a C or better.

World History*

  • Early Western or European History
  • HIST 1310 History of Early Christianity
  • HIST 2116 Ancient Mediterranean History
  • HIST 2120 Europe: 1400 to 1815
  • HIST 2121 Europe: 1815 to the Present

*A minimum of one course required for certification with a C or better

Modern Western or European History

  • HIST 2117 Modern Germany
  • HIST 2118 Europe in the Twentieth Century
  • HIST 2122 Modern Britain: 1688 to Present
  • HIST 2135 Modern Russian and Soviet History

African, Asian, or Latin American History*

  • HIST 1160 Latin American History Political Development
  • HIST 1161 Latin American Social History
  • HIST 1170 Asian History
  • HIST 2106 Modern Middle East History
  • HIST 2128 Atlantic History
  • HIST 2140 History of India
  • HIST 2146 Indian Ocean History

*A minimum of one required for certification

Geography

  • POLS 2160 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • ENVL 2100 Physical Geography
  • GIS 3625 Global Geography
  • Or alternate course with approval of preceptor

Psychology*

  • EDUC 2231 Development of the Learner or
  • PSYC 3391 Educational Psychology AND PSYC 3322/3323

*Required cognate for EDUC concentration students only.

Students interested should meet with Professor Claire Abernathy to work out a coherent program tailored to their needs and interests: claire.abernathy@stockton.edu

Pre-Law

The Pre-Law concentration is designed for students who plan to attend law school. Stockton’s Political Science graduates have had extraordinary success in gaining admission to law school by taking advantage of a rich array of legal studies courses that both help them get into law school and prepare them for success throughout their legal education. Courses in this concentration provide instruction in substantive areas of law and enhance students’ skills in analytical and critical thinking, legal reasoning, writing, and comprehending judicial opinions. The concentration is also valuable to students interested in paralegal careers. Students seeking certification in the pre-law concentration must consult with their program preceptor once each semester and obtain approval of selected courses. 

Requirements To obtain the pre-law certification, students must take at least seven of the courses listed below. Among these courses, five have been designated core courses, and students must take at least three of these courses. Students may select the remaining four courses from the list of recommended courses or take additional core courses.

Core Courses

  • POLS 2215 Law School Basics
  • POLS 3221 Constitutional Law
  • POLS 3225 Civil Liberties
  • POLS 3621 Advanced Constitutional Litigation
  • POLS 4695 Senior Seminar: The Supreme Court

Recommended:

  • GIS 3646 Constitutional Law: Stories and History
  • PHIL 1204 Symbolic Logic
  • PLAW 2120 Business Law I
  • PLAW 3110 The Legal, Social and Ethical Environment of Business
  • PLAW 3630 Health Law and Policy
  • POLS 2100 Introduction to American Politics
  • POLS 2190 Introduction to Public Policy
  • POLS 2245 Race and Politics
  • POLS 2360 Comparative Politics of Human Rights
  • POLS 3300/SUST 3300 Environmental Policy and Law
  • POLS 3313 The International Order
  • POLS 3612 Women and the Law
  • POLS 3652 Gender and Political Action
  • POLS 3900 Political Science State/Local Internship*
  • POLS 4800 Independent Study (Law or the Judiciary)
  • WASH 3940 Washington Internship

*Internships: With preceptor approval, state/local internships or Washington internships that provide direct experience in law or the judiciary may satisfy one of the required courses for the pre-law concentration.

Minor in Political Science

For students in other majors who desire a background in government and politics, the program offers a minor in Political Science. It consists of a minimum of three courses at the introductory level: POLS 1100, POLS 2100, POLS 2140, POLS 2160, POLS 2170, or other approved introductory level Political Science courses. These courses comprise a basic core that will introduce the student to the ideas and language of political science. In addition, two upper-level courses (3000 level or above) must be completed. These courses allow the student to pursue in more depth material that has been learned in the introductory courses or to apply it in a work setting. A selected 2000-level course may be substituted for a 3000-level course upon approval by the program coordinator.

No more than one four-credit internship may be counted for the minor. Students interested in a minor should meet with Professor Michael Rodriguez of the POLS faculty to work out a coherent program tailored to their needs and interests: michael.rodriguez@stockton.edu

For course descriptions, please visit The University's Course Catalog.

 Political Science Faculty

Claire E. Abernathy

Claire E. Abernathy, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University), Assistant Professor of Political Science: American politics, legislative correspondence management practices. 

609-626-3524 | H232
James Mac Avery

James Mac Avery, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky), Associate Professor of Political Science: American public opinion, political behavior, representation, race and ethnicity.

609-626-6021 | G262
Lauren Marie Balasco

Lauren Marie Balasco, Ph.D. (University of Delaware), Assistant Professor of Political Science: Comparative politics, rule of law, democratization, transitional justice, human rights, Latin American politics.

609-652-4743 | F232
Maxwell Burkey

Maxwell Burkey, Ph.D. (City University of New York), Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science: political theory, history of political thought, American politics, social movements, race, culture and politics.

 609-626-3160 |  J224
Michael S. Rodriguez

Michael S. Rodriguez, Program Coordinator - Ph.D. (Temple University), Associate Professor of Political Science: Washington Internship Program, race and politics, American government, public policy, religion and politics, immigration policy.

609-652-4476 | H243
Linda J. Wharton

Linda J. Wharton, J.D. (Rutgers School of Law, Camden), Professor of Political Science: constitutional law, civil liberties, women and the law, advanced constitutional litigation, public education and the law.

609-652-4716 | G256
Tina M. Zappile

Tina M. Zappile, Ph.D. (University of Nebraska - Lincoln), Associate Professor of Political Science: international political economy, international organization, international law, comparative politics, economic development.

609-626-3816 | F123

Associated Faculty

Patrick Hossay

Patrick Hossay, Ph.D. (Temple University) - Associate Professor of Sustainability:  Environmental policy and law, sustainable development, alternative energy and design, sustainable technology.


Professors Emeriti

David L. Carr

David L. Carr, Ph.D. (State University of New York at Binghamton), Provost Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Political Science: comparative politics, political development, comparative public policy, research methods and statistics.

William T. Daly

William T. Daly, M.A. (Princeton University), Professor Emeritus of Political Science: international politics, political development, contemporary political ideologies.

Lucinda S. Jassel 

Lucinda S. Jassel , Ph.D. (University of California at Davis), Professor Emerita of Political Science: political theory, American government, political parties and behavior.

Jacqueline Pope

Jacqueline Pope, Ph.D. (Columbia University), Professor Emerita of Political Science: public administration, public policy, metro politics, Africana studies.

G. William Sensiba

G. William Sensiba, Ph.D. (Yale University), Professor Emeritus of Political Science: methodology, political personality and behavior, political sociology, comparative politics.


Faculty News

The Stockton Idea: Check out this series of videos by Professor William (Bill) Daly, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science, a founding faculty member at Stockton

Professor Alan Arcuri published these thoughts on student success, many of which still apply today: "The "X" Factor: Persistence, Motivation, and Enthusiasm" 

Student Opportunities

The Political Science program offers numerous special opportunities to enrich classroom-based learning. All students are encouraged to take advantage of one or more of the following:

Political Science students should consider doing an internship. Internships provide practical knowledge of government and politics and the personal contacts that may result in employment after graduation. No more than 12 credits earned in internships may be applied to the total number of credits required for the Political Science major and cognates.

State and local internships are those with a local public prosecutor’s or defender’s office, a non-profit organization, an advocacy group, the local staff of a State Senator, Assemblyman or Assemblywoman; or any number of politically active organizations. Students interested in arranging a state or local internship or who have already secured an internship and would like to receive POLS credits (POLS 3900 Local Internship) should contact Dr. Michael Rodriguez, who coordinates these placements. 

The Washington Internship Program is an extraordinary opportunity to spend an entire academic term in Washington, DC, working in a variety of settings and completing an entire semester’s worth of credit. Participants in the program work in a variety of governmental and political settings. Students interested in this program should contact Dr. Michael Rodriguez as early as possible:   michael.rodriguez@stockton.edu.

  • Stockton provides resources and funding for student travel to research conferneces and other research opportunities: check out these Student Research Funding Opportunities.
  • Students can publish their work in the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, with an October 1st deadline for the fall and February 1st deadline for the spring. Please reach out to Professor Lauren Balasco for guidance: lauren.balasco@stockton.edu.
  • Each year, the American Political Science Association sponsors the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI). Maryam Sarhan ‘18, a Stockton POLS alum, attended this institute in 2016.
  • Undergraduate Students can work on Summer Intensive Research Experiences (SIRE) with faculty, conduct their own research through Independent Studies, and more. 
  • The Northeast Political Science Association annual meeting accepts undergraduate presentations with a faculty sponsor. The deadline for the November conference is usually in June.
  • Each year, the International Studies Association (ISA) issues a call for submissions due on or around June 1st to its annual conference that takes place in the spring between February-April. Please contact Dr. Tina Zappile (tina.zappile@stockton.edu) for more information and review of your potential submission. Regional ISA conferences also accept proposals for undergraduate research; here is a full list of those upcoming conferences.

International Study Abroad Opportunities Students interested in comparative politics and/or international relations are encouraged to spend a semester studying abroad and/or participate in a Stockton faculty-led study tour. Students should consult the Office of Global Engagement for study abroad options that count toward their Political Science degree. The University also offers many opportunities for short-term international travel experiences through faculty-led study tours connected to a variety of courses. Additionally, the Model UN International Travel Team is a competitive program open to all students with travel abroad each fall semester. 

The Political Science program has a commitment to helping students define and plan a career. Political Science preceptors provide students with information on employment opportunities in areas of interest to them and on the best educational preparation for employment in those areas. The program encourages students to develop clusters of courses designed to provide a secondary area of expertise using the cognate and at-some-distance portions of their degree requirements (these special clusters can involve career preparation, skills development or special interests). The POLS program also holds an annual Political Science Welcome Back event in the fall semester. The event introduces students to the Political Science major, potential career opportunities, and strategies for success at Stockton.

Blackboard section for all POLS majors and minors. This section includes resources on how to succeed at Stockton, career preparation, and more. To access, go here and login using your Blackboard credentials. All majors and minors are automatically enrolled each semester and you can request access by emailing Dr. Tina Zappile at tina.zappile@stockton.edu.  

Pi Sigma Alpha Stockton’s chapter of the Pi Sigma Alpha honor society (Alpha Zeta Rho) is open to students who have completed four POLS courses (3 introductory and 1 upper-division) and have a minimum B average in their POLS courses. Membership in the chapter includes the option of commencement regalia (honor cord/medallion), scholarships for Washington Internships, competitions for chapter activity grants and student papers, participation in the honor society’s national student conference, consideration for higher entry-level positions in federal employment than nonmember applicants, the Pi Sigma Alpha Newsletter, and the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics. Please contact the chapter adviser, Dr. Lauren Balasco, for additional information: lauren.balasco@stockton.edu

Stockton’s Model UN program is campus-wide and students are encouraged to join. Please check out the website and contact Dr. Zappile for more information: tina.zappile@stockton.edu

The American Democracy Project and Political Engagement Project These University-wide initiatives are connected with national projects co-sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and participating campuses. University faculty participating in these projects foster civic and political engagement of students through a variety of types of programming, including Constitution Day, field trips, speakers, and alumni presentations. As a result of its excellence in these programs and others, the University has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as meeting the standards for being designated as a “Community Engaged Institution.” Please contact Professor Claire Abernathy for more information: claire.abernathy@stockton.edu.

The Political Science program supports and provides advisory assistance to a wide range of additional student clubs and organizations. These currently include Stockton Political Science Students (SPSS), Stockton Republicans and Stockton Democrats, the Women’s Rights Coalition, Model United Nations, the Mock Trial Team, among others. Many of our students also get involved in Student Senate and are leaders in cultural clubs, Greek life, and more. Each semester, Student Development hosts a Get Involved Fair where students can learn more about these opportunities. For up to date information on student clubs and events, please vist Osprey Hub.

Alan. F. Arcuri Pre-Law Fund Award The Stockton University Foundation will solicit applicants applicants for its Alan F. Arcuri Pre-Law Fund Award annually. This fund, in memory of Alan F. Arcuri, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, who passed away on November 20, 2017, will support Stockton students who are preparing for admission to law school by providing a stipend to pay for an LSAT preparation course. Professor Arcuri was instrumental in establishing Stockton’s Pre-Law program. As Stockton’s Pre-Law advisor, he mentored scores of students in their path to law school and a career in law. Professor Arcuri worked tirelessly with students to enhance their chances of obtaining admission to law school. This funding opportunity is open to all Stockton University undergraduates who are currently juniors (earned 64-95 credits) or seniors (earned 96+ credits). Preference will be given to juniors and seniors who major or minor in a program within the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SOBL).  Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at Stockton. If you have any questions, you can e-mail Linda J. Wharton, Professor of Political Science & Pre-Law Advisor at Linda.Wharton@stockton.edu

Although not based in the Political Science Program, the Hughes Center provides students with opportunities to be engaged in applied research and to participate in an annual cycle of events that bring speakers to campus. The Hughes Center also sponsors a Legislator-in-Residence program that gives students the opportunity to interact with members of State government from both parties. Student employment opportunities are available with the Center’s Polling Institute; students should contact the Hughes Center for Public Policy for more information.