Political Science

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Political Science

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Political Science

Dr. Ali Abdullatif Ahmida (Chair)


Our mission is to recruit professors whose research and teaching interests cross the traditional boundaries that divide many political science departments into separate groups. Our goal to to provide students with a holistic approach to political science that gives full attention to studies in American government, international relations, political theory, and comparative politics. 

Major Description

Political science is the study of government, individual and institutional behavior in the public sector, relations among nation-states, and theories of politics. Political science addresses the fundamental issues confronting modern society - globalization, war, inequity, poverty, the environment - and seeks to evaluate the processes, policies, and theories that have been devised to deal with them. The Political Science program provides basic courses in theory, methods and case studies within the four sub-fields of political theory, comparative politics, international relations and American politics.  The political science major is an excellent choice in and of itself.  It is also an excellent choice for students wishing to study political science or law at the graduate level.

The department also offers Political Science majors the opportunity to select all of the EDU secondary education certification courses (listed below) as their electives in order to become middle or high school teachers (grades 7 - 12) in the area of social studies.

Pre-Law Emphasis

The pre-law emphasis allows students interested in studying law to receive special advising and to develop a liberal arts program of study appropriate as preparation for admission to law school and success in the legal profession. The study of law involves many aspects of social life and integrates many fields of study. Judges and lawyers are expected to handle different litigations, ranging from social to medical, environmental and other applications. Thus, law schools encourage students to have diverse undergraduate majors. UNE students who are majoring in any department can take advantage of the pre-law program.

Although the choice of major is open, law schools expect students to have acquired skills that enable them to think critically, reason logically, and speak and write effectively. The Pre-law Advising Committee will help students build their interdisciplinary program of study that includes not only humanities courses, but also courses in biology, environmental studies, psychology, and management.

Transfer Credit
Curricular Requirements
CAS Core Requirements 42-43
Program Required Courses  
One of the following courses: 3
PSC 105 - Introduction to Political Science  
PSC 202 - Politics as Social Science  
One course in each of the following areas: 12
Introductory level course in American Politics including:
PSC 101, 106, 203, 205, 207 and 250
Introductory level course in Political Theory including:
PSC 100, 120, 200, 206 and 207
Introductory level course in International Relations including:
PSC 201 and 240
Introductory level course in Comparative Politics including:
PSC 100, 110, 204 and 205
One advanced course (300 level or higher) in three of the following areas: 9
Political Theory  
Comparative Politics  
American Politics  
International Relations  
Three Political Science Electives
At least one must be at 300 or 400 level
Senior Seminar and Essay 6
PSC 490 - Senior Seminar  
PSC 491 - Integrative Essay  
Minimum Program Required Credits 39
Open Elective Courses (as needed to reach 120 credits) variable
Minimum Required Total Credits 120

Secondary Education Certification

The department offers Political Science majors the opportunity to select all of the EDU secondary education certification courses (listed below) as their electives in order to become middle or high school teachers (grades 7 - 12) in the area of social studies. While providing a solid foundation in social studies, this program includes extensive coursework in education, which, when combined with the secondary teaching internship, will result in State of Maine teacher certification upon completion of the degree program. This program is approved by the State of Maine Board of Education.

Note: students preparing for social studies certification should also complete 24 credits of associated grade 7 - 12 courses they may teach. Although no specific courses are required, students should select courses that are primarily history, with at least one course in psychology, sociology and economics. 

Education Courses  
EDU 105 - Culture of Schools 3
EDU 133 - American Education 3
EDU 202 - Curriculum Theory and Design 3
EDU 220 - Exceptionality in the Classroom 3
EDU 330 Educational Psychology and Classroom Management 3
EDU 430 - Educational Assessment and Evaluation 3
EDU 438 - Methods of Teaching Secondary Social Studies 3
EDU 486 - Secondary Education Practicum 3 - 4
EDU 492 - Secondary Internship 15
EDU 346 - Technology in the Secondary Classroom
(Part of the internship semester)
Education Minimum Required Total Credits 40 - 41
Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this major students will:

  1. Have developed a mature political imagination which includes an ability to envision what constitutes an important political question/issue and to understand the various ways in which a political scientist might address such a question/issue.
  2. Have mastered essential facts relevant and necessary to the study of global political life. This involves a working knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and historical dynamics that constitute the contemporary political order. It also includes a broad familiarity with the historical roots of that order.
  3. Be able to think critically, analytically and rigorously about the world of politics.
  4. Have an informed sense of the historical dimension of the various political issues, developments, trends, theories and forms of inquiry relevant to the students’ interests.
  5. Have an enlightened understanding of the multicultural nature of global (but especially American) political life.
  6. Be able to convey information, analyze results and persuasively argue in both written and oral form clearly and effectively.
  7. Be able to conduct sound and rigorous social inquiry using a variety of methodologies and techniques.
  8. Be able to compete successfully for placement in graduate programs or employment relevant to the field of study.

Direct Measures of Student Learning:

  1. Capstone Course
  2. Senior Thesis 
  3. Oral defense of Senior Thesis 
  4. Internship supervisor evaluations  
  5. Symposium  Presentations 
  6. Annual departmental review of graded assignments and exams and samples of student writing 
  7. Performance on exams

Indirect Measures of Student Learning:

  1. Admission rates into graduate programs  
  2. Alumni and employer satisfaction 
  3. Questions on end-of-course student evaluation forms that ask about the course rather than the instructor 

The Department of Political Science offers qualified students the option of graduating with Honors in the Research Track. The department does not offer the Scholastic option. See details on the Honors homepage.

Political Science Honors Research Requirements 
Complete requirements for major
Maintain GPA of 3.50 or higher overall and GPA of 3.70 or higher in major
HONR 180 - Introduction to Research Across the Disciplines
HONR 480 - Senior Honors Research Seminar
Honors elective (1) offered by Political Science department or
one (1) honors course in another department
PSC 490H Senior Seminar
Honors Thesis and public defense
Presentation at CAS Research Symposium

Dr. Julie Mueller, 


A student with a major in another department may minor in Political Science with the approval of the Political Science Department Chair. Eighteen hours of approved course work is required. PSC 105 Intro to Political Science or PSC 202 Political Sciences Social Sciences,  two (2) 100-200 level courses and three (3) 300-400 level courses.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

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Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2013-2014 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication August 12, 2013.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.