Our Department is committed to providing students with a superior education through challenging and innovative course work, skills-building instruction, exposure to professional methods, and unique opportunities to gain experience beyond the classroom through inter-collegiate competitions, student debates, travel opportunities and internships.
All our faculty have PhDs in political science and we are united around our goal to serve our students by preparing them well for graduate school, law school or the work place. We invite you to explore our minor programs as well, which include Pre-Law, International Relations, and Women's Studies. Additionally, through our Department's clubs, the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law Society, the International Relations Club and Pi Gamma Mu, we see to it that our students experience the power of association and learn firsthand how to run organizations and affect change.
Our overarching aim is to create engaged and informed citizens who are capable of effectively participating in, and contributing to, the society in which they live, armed with the skills and confidence to take on leadership roles.
We have a dynamic department with students getting ready to take on the world. We hope you will explore what we have to offer.
Helen G. Boutrous, JD, PhD
Courses Required for a BA Degree in Political Science
Lower Division: 9 units
POL 1 American Government and Institutions (3)POL 2 Comparative Government (3)POL 101 Research Methodology (3)
Nine courses in Political Science
At least seven of the courses must be at the upper division level (21 units)
Total Units in Political Science: 36
The Minor in Political Science adds a valuable dimension to many
majors including business, sociology, history, or nursing. For students
interested in careers in the non-profit sector or government service,
the political science minor offers opportunities to deepen an
understanding of advocacy work and government institutions and
To declare a minor in Political Science, a student must take at least 5 approved courses from Mount Saint Mary’s University.
Please contact the Chair of the History and Political Science Department, Dr.Helen Boutrous, for more information.
Students wishing to minor in Political Science are required to take the following:POL 1 American Government and Institutions (3) orPOL 2 Comparative Government (3) or POL 10 Political Concepts (3) As well as, a minimum of five Political Science courses:
At least 4 of the remaining 5 courses (or 12 units) must be at the upper division level.
Total units in Political Science: 18
For students who minor in Pre-Law, our goal is to prepare them for
the demands of legal study and the legal profession. We teach students
the analytical, writing, and advocacy skills that will be expected of
them in law school. Students are required to take Legal Reasoning in
which they learn to function under the Socratic Method, brief cases and
take law school style exams. At the heart of the program are the award
winning Mock Trial and Moot Court teams which compete in on-campus and
Courses regularly offered include: Legal Reasoning; Constitutional
Law; Individual Rights; Criminal Law; and Women & the Law. Students
are encouraged to take pre-law courses from other programs including:
Symbolic Logic and Business Law.
POL 1 American Government and Institutions (3) PHI 10 Critical Thinking (3) or ENG 1C Freshman EnglishBUS 5 / POL 5 Business Law (3)
POL 103 Legal Reasoning (3)POL 108 Constitutional Law (3)
Plus four upper division elective courses from among the following:
Business Law:BUS 171/ POL 105 Business Law II (3)BUS 106/ POL 106 Real Estate Law (3)
Civil Rights / Advocacy:POL 102 Women and the Law (3)POL 109 Individual Rights (3) POL 133 Moot Court (3)POL 138 International Law POL 176 Public PolicyPOL 188 Administrative Law (3)
Criminal Law:POL 107 Criminal Law (3)SOC 109 Forensics Studies: Criminalistics (3)SOC 110 Deviant Behavior: Juvenile Delinquency (3)SOC 111 Deviant Behavior: Criminology (3)
Any upper division course approved by the Director of the Pre-Law Minor
Please contact Dr. Helen Boutrous for further information about MSMU's Pre-Law Minor.
As a subfield of Political Science, International Relations is
concerned with political interactions between states, the formation and
role of international institutions, and the impact of non-state actors
in international politics. Also considered are the interactions of
domestic and international actors, groups and institutions. The IR minor
is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of
relations between states and a broader understanding of governmental
systems outside of the United States. Our International Relations
students have travelled the world as part of their scholarship including
trips to Namibia, South Africa, and El Salvador.
Courses regularly offered include: International Relations Theory;
International Security; International Political Economy; North/South
Relations; African Politics; Latin American Politics.
Upper division courses not listed below may be approved by the International Relations Advisor.
POL 2 Introduction to Comparative Government
Students must take POL 131 (3 units), plus 15 units from sections B and/or C. Students may apply 3 units from section D (History) towards the IR minor.
B. Theory courses
POL 130 International Political Economy, or POL 142 International Conflict and Cooperation POL 150 International Security
POL 122 Middle East Politics POL 123 African Politics POL 124 Latin American Politics POL 125 US Foreign Policy POL 126 Politics of Former Soviet Union POL 128 Politics of Globalization and Interdependence POL 132 Political and Economic Development POL 135 Selected Problems in International Relations POL 137 Ethnic Conflict and Civil War POL 138 International Law POL 140 North/South Relations POL 144 Politics of Europe and European Union POL 145 Politics of South East Asia POL 146 Military in Politics POL 147 Women and Development POL 148 Refugees and International Migration POL 149 Comparative Foreign Policy POL 151 Humanitarian Intervention POL 154 US/Mexican Relations
D. World History
HIS 112 Economic History of Europe HIS 113 History and Civilization of Spain HIS 124 History of the Middle East HIS 130 Colonial Latin America HIS 147 Europe: The Age of Imperialism HIS 150 Introduction to Asian History HIS 151 History of Modern Japan HIS 152 History of Modern China HIS 154 History of Modern Mexico HIS 162 History and Civilization of Latin America HIS 178 Diplomatic History of the U.S.
Please contact the Director of the International Relations Minor, Dr. Lia Roberts, for more information.
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