In the context of a comprehensive public university in Southeastern Massachusetts, the Department of Political Science at BSU provides rigorous undergraduate and graduate public education that not only prepares students for leadership roles in public and nonprofit sectors, and the profession of governance, but also provides a strong liberal arts and technology based education for those undergraduate students who may enter such fields as journalism, business, social welfare, teaching, law, and information technology.
The Undergraduate Program, General Overview: The political science undergraduate major provides students a general introduction to all the major sub-fields of the discipline and an in-depth exposure to one or two of them. Students not only study the major literature of the sub-field, but also learn research methods and become familiar with technological applications and ongoing research. Internships in Massachusetts and Washington, DC offer selected students the opportunity to gain practical experience.
Specific Learning Objectives: The objectives of the undergraduate political science major are to improve students’ knowledge and understanding of: (1) scientific method, technological applications, and basic research techniques and approaches used by political scientists, including qualitative and quantitative methods, the comparative method, experimental design and survey research; (2) different types of governmental and political structures, institutions, processes, and perspectives that exist in the world today and that existed in the past; (3) local, state, and national governmental and political structures, institutions, processes, and perspectives—and their respective historical evolution; (4) major international structures, institutions, processes, and perspectives that affect social, economic, and political relations among global actors; (5) major works and ideas of important political thinkers from Plato to the present, and how those ideas apply to current political issues and events in the world; and (6) how civic engagement and political participation are important components to successful democratic government.
Throughout all coursework, the objective of the major is to improve students’ abilities to critically analyze and evaluate the merit of ideas and arguments, to reason and think logically, and to express their views—in both oral and written form—using concise, coherent and grammatically correct prose.
Graduate Program, General Overview: The Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree prepares students for entry and mid-level analytic and management positions in local, state, and federal agencies, in non-profit organizations that interact with government, and in corporations that deal with public policy. It provides additional credentials and field experience to students launching their careers, and enhances the skills and credentials of those already employed in such organizations. Whether entering the program with little or no managerial experience or as mid-career professionals looking to earn advanced degrees, students will find quality course work and internship opportunities on a flexible schedule and at a convenient location. MPA graduates advance the social, economic, and political life in the region and Commonwealth through their leadership skills and understanding of the profession of governance.
Specific Learning Objectives of the Graduate Program: The learning objectives of the MPA program are to improve students’: (1) understand the institutional structures and political processes of southeastern Massachusetts, other domestic communities, and, in specific instances, our global community; (2) possess the ability to develop and implement research designs, applying a variety of quantitative and qualitative research techniques such as surveys, focus groups, primary data, secondary data, and field research to policy and program analysis and evaluation; (3) understand the full policy making process, including the political, legal and technical decision making aspects of problem identification, design of policy alternatives, selection of evaluative criteria, assessment of policy alternatives, policy choice and adoption, implementation, and evaluation; (4) understand public sector economics, finance, and effective budget processes and techniques, including information management, technology, and policy; (5) understand the wide range of human resource management issues in an increasingly diverse work force and develop skills in leadership, decision-making, and management control, including information management, technology, and policy; (6) possess knowledge of various theories of organization that describe how and why organizations work as they do, and the ability to apply concepts to real-world situations;(7) possess the ability to synthesize the theoretical underpinnings of public administration with the practical content of ethical and accountable practice in public and community service work; (8) develop competency in participative practice through service learning.
Last Modified: September 1, 2010