ABOUT POLITICAL SCIENCE
The Political Science program at Lenoir-Rhyne University seeks to contribute to the development of an informed and thoughtful citizenry. Students who major in Political Science at Lenoir-Rhyne critically examine issues related to the study of American and world politics. In courses on American politics, students learn about constitutional law, become familiar with the electoral process, and examine the inner-workings of national institutions like the Presidency and Congress. In courses on world politics, students investigate the causes of international conflict and cooperation, learn about American foreign policy, and compare and contrast the domestic political systems of countries around the world. Political Science majors at Lenoir-Rhyne gain the knowledge and skills needed to systematically analyze important past, current, and future political issues.
At LR, students focusing in Political Science but with even more specialized interests have two additional majors to explore.
Politics and Law combines coursework in Political Science, Sociology, Business, Economics, History, and Philosophy to provide a major designed for students with a special interest in the relationship of politics and law and/or for students considering legal careers.
Politics and International Relations integrates courses in Political Science, Economics, Foreign Language, and History for students interested in International Affairs and/or who are considering careers in diplomacy or related areas of foreign service (at home or abroad). Majors investigate the causes of international conflict and cooperation, learn about American foreign policy, and compare and contrast the domestic political systems of countries around the world.
Qualified Political Science students interested in continuing their education through graduate study can easily matriculate into several of Lenoir-Rhyne’s graduate programs, such as the Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Health, or Master in Sustainability Studies. Through LR’s innovative Bridges to Dreams and Alumni Advantage programs, students who complete their undergraduate degrees at Lenoir-Rhyne University are able to complete their graduate degrees in shorter time and at significantly less expense.
LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
Lenoir-Rhyne’s Political Science students have a number of opportunities to gain valuable work and life experiences outside of the classroom environment. The major supports the University’s Model United Nations (Model UN) program, an experiential learning course in which students participate in a mock United Nations Conference. Each year, students research international issues and submit resolutions at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York attended by students from around the world.
Students may also participate in the North Carolina Student Legislature (NCSL) each year, in which students participate in a mock North Carolina General Assembly. Students research public policy issues and submit legislation at statewide meetings attended by student delegations from across the state.
Political Science majors may participate in the Lutheran College Washington Semester. Under this program, students participate in a work/study program in Washington, D.C. Students complete two seminar courses and an internship. The program emphasizes the ethical dimension of important questions of public affairs.
Finally, Political Science majors have opportunities for a wide array on local and regional internships as part of their studies in government, non-profit, and legal settings.
Political Science integrates humanistic study with the scientific approach to provide career preparation for a wide range of professional fields. As a traditional liberal arts program, it furnishes the general strengths related to effective communication, independent and analytical thinking and argumentation, and appreciation of history, philosophy, and current affairs related to the study of government and political action. It also provides professional preparation directly for careers in politics and government at the local, state, national, and international levels.
Accordingly, career opportunities for Political Science major span a very wide range of fields. Professional opportunities exist in government at all levels, in electoral (campaigns and elections), political (lobbying, consulting, advocacy), administrative (government agencies, government management, foreign service), and legal settings (law, public interest activities) are available. Additionally, areas that touch upon governmental actions, such as journalism, business/finance, and/or non-profit organizations furnish especially good opportunities for careers.
The political science program offers majors in Political Science, Politics and Law, and Politics and International Relations, and a minor in Political Science.