Sebastien Lazardeux, Chair
In political science, students explore politics from a variety of geographic lenses (from world politics, to regional politics, to US federal, state, and local government) and examine a wide array of current issues (civil wars and conflicts, national and local public policy controversies, campaigns and elections, or populism to name a few), using the theories of methods of the discipline to do so. Because of its focus on skill acquisition (analytical and critical analysis, research, and communication skills), and the many experiential opportunities it offers (for example, our local and DC internship programs or our international European Union simulation) political science provides an excellent background for a broad range of careers and advanced study, including graduate school, law school, government service, applied politics, commerce, and industry. In preparing students to face and understand an ever-changing nation and world, political science equips students with not only a solid background in various elements of politics, but also in the skills and experiences necessary for success in the workplace, their community, and as citizens.
The political science major is one of two majors offered by the Department of Political Science and Legal Studies. Political science at Fisher covers the discipline in all its variety, including American government and politics, comparative politics, international relations, or public policy. These subfields are examined in terms of theoretical and applied considerations and implications. To gain a more in-depth understanding beyond the required courses, political science majors can focus their electives in one specific area of study of the field. Majors are also encouraged to pursue a second major in a field that is complementary to their academic and/or professional aspirations. Common second majors are legal studies, international studies, criminology and criminal justice or economics.
Juniors and seniors majoring or minoring in political science may qualify to participate in the SUNY-Brockport Washington DC Program. This premier internship program offers students a guided intensive work and academic experience in the offices of key participants in the national policy-making process—the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, political parties, or select interest groups. Students may also participate in local internships in the Rochester area. Study, research, and work experience in federal, state, or local government give participants firsthand knowledge about political and administrative processes, and have often been the springboard for rewarding and challenging career opportunities. Students completing the DC internship program can count POSC 491-01, Washington Semester Seminar, for one of their 300-level electives for the Political Science major or minor requirements.
Honor Society and Political Action Club
The department sponsors the Psi Delta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Political science majors who have a 3.00 GPA in their junior year, at least one 300-level political science course, and a record of involvement and activity in the department or the University are eligible to join. The Political Action Club is open to all students with an interest in politics and political science. Activities sponsored and organized by the Club have included debates, community forums, election night parties, and voter registration drives.