Undergraduate Catalog

Political Science & International Relations

Phone: 845-257-3540
Location: Jacobson Faculty Tower Room 814
Web address: www.newpaltz.edu/polisci_intlrela

The Political Science/International Relations programs at New Paltz are designed to be both academically sound and responsive to student desires for practical experience and career preparation. A wide range of courses is offered in American government, international relations, political theory, comparative politics, law and law-related fields. In addition to the regular offerings, a number of "selected topics" courses may be given to serve student and community interest in current domestic and international issues.

We offer two majors -- one in Political Science and one in International Relations -- and minors in each of these disciplines, as well as a minor in Law and Politics.

The department offers a variety of academic credit-bearing options outside of the traditional classroom.  Semester-long, 15-credit internship opportunities are available in Washington, D.C. through the SUNY Washington Program (a 6-credit summer internship in D.C. is also available) and in Albany each spring through the New York State Legislative Internship Program.

Another experience-based program is an internship in journalism and politics.  In cooperation with the School of Business and the Department of Digital Media & Journalism, the department facilitates an internship opportunity with the Legislative Gazette, a weekly newspaper published in Albany by New Paltz students as the paper of record for the New York State Legislature. Graduates of all internship programs have found positions in state and federal government, industry, media relations, public policy, and communications and print journalism.

Students in International Relations have secured internships at the United Nations and at the Center for International Development in Albany.

The department provides credit-bearing courses that enhance students' understanding of and engagement with the United Nations.  We send 15 students to participate as an official delegation to the Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) each February in Cambridge, for which students earn three credits for their preparation for this simulation.  We also offer a unique, 6-credit course each spring, the United Nations Semester, which combines traditional classroom study of international organizations with weekly trips to the United Nations for pre-arranged meetings with diplomats, policy makers and UN personnel.  The newest of these courses with extracurricular features is the SUNY Model European Union (SUNYMEU) simulation, held each spring with participation by students from New York state colleges and from partner universities in Europe.  In alternating years, this program meets at an international university.

The undergraduate major in International Relations is one of the few of its kind in New York State, reflecting New Paltz's long history of interest in international issues. As an interdisciplinary major, students take courses in political science, history, economics, anthropology, sociology, geography and black studies, and work with a diverse and highly qualified faculty, virtually all of whom have lived and worked overseas.

Interest in pre-law training, in preparation for law school admissions, and advanced graduate work in law, legal process, and judicial behavior is met with an extensive range of courses within Political Science. A pre-law adviser works with students to prepare them for law school admission.

Students must earn a grade of C- or better in courses used for Political Science & International Relations majors and minors.


Political Science & International Relations Programs