2021-2022 Catalog 
    
    Aug 08, 2022  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Government Major


Major Requirements


The major in government requires 9 courses, distributed as follows:

1. Introduction to American Politics (1 course)


2. Introduction to Political Philosophy (1 course)


3. Introduction to Comparative Government or International Politics (1 course)


One course chosen from:

4. Intermediate Courses (2 courses)


Two intermediate courses from 2 additional subfields:

Students who complete both GOVT 060 CM  and GOVT 070 CM  need only one intermediate course from one of these subfields.

5. Electives (4 courses)


At least 4 elective courses in government.

Two or more must be advanced courses (numbered 100 and above).

Notes:


Suggestions for Concentrations


Students should consult with one or more department members to choose their electives coherently and with a view to their goals after graduation. The following concentrations illustrate several coherent options for students majoring in government:

  • Public Policy and Organization: core courses plus 2 courses in public policy ; 2 more electives. This program is useful for future administrators, policy makers, and policy analysts.
  • American Government: core courses plus 2 courses in American government ; 2 more electives. This option is useful for students of politics and public policy.
  • Foreign Affairs and International Relations: core courses plus 2 courses in comparative politics  or international relations ; 2 more electives (often taken in area studies). This combination serves the needs of students interested in foreign policy, relations among other countries, and fundamental issues of development.
  • Public Law: core courses plus 2 courses in constitutional law or legal studies ; 2 more electives. This concentration is attractive to students preparing for legal or paralegal careers.
  • Political Philosophy: core courses plus 2 courses in political philosophy ; 2 more electives. This option is useful for students especially interested in the great issues and traditions of politics.
  • Public Affairs: core courses plus 2 courses in American government  and public policy ; 2 more electives during a semester on the Washington, D.C. Internship Semester . This focus is designed for students interested in government work and practical field experience.

Senior Thesis in Government


The senior thesis is a general education requirement and the capstone experience of a student’s undergraduate education. Students must complete a senior thesis in at least one of their majors under supervision of a faculty reader who teaches within that major, unless granted a special exception.

Students who wish to graduate with departmental honors are required to complete a 2-semester project. Candidates for honors register for a thesis research course in government in the 1st semester and for the senior thesis in the 2nd semester. In addition, honors candidates must participate in a series of non-credit co-curricular thesis preparation programs conducted by the department of Government. The senior thesis and the thesis research course may not be counted as courses in the major. For further information on honors, see Honors in Government  below.

Special Options for Majors


Dual Major


The dual major in government requires a minimum of 7 courses, distributed as follows:

1. Introduction to American Politics (1 course)


2. Introduction to Political Philosophy (1 course)


3. Introduction to Comparative Government or International Politics (1 course)


One course chosen from:

4. Electives (4 courses)


At least 4 elective courses in government.

Two or more must be advanced courses (numbered 100 and above).

Notes:


Honors in Government


Each year the Government department conducts a Government-International Relations senior honors program. Students are eligible for honors if they:

  • Attain a grade point average of 3.50 or better in the major at time of graduation,
  • Satisfactorily participate in a non-credit, co-curricular thesis preparation program conducted by the department of government,
  • Complete a 2-semester, 2-unit thesis in government with a grade of A- (3.67) or better, and
  • Complete a thesis defense and attend a specified number of government-international relations thesis defenses.

 

For additional information on the honors program, contact the chair of the government department.

General Education Requirements for Social Science Majors


For the general education requirement in the social sciences and the humanities, CMC students majoring in a field in the social sciences must take designated courses in all 4 fields of the social sciences (economics, government, history, and psychology), and in 2 of the 4 fields of the humanities (literature, philosophy, religious studies, and literature in a foreign language). Majors with a dual or double major in the humanities will be required to take courses in 3 of the 4 fields of the humanities.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes of the Government Program


Learning Goals


The learning goals of the Government major are :

  1. To place students in the midst of controversy over the great issues of politics and the differing understandings of those issues;
  2. To equip them to deal rationally and prudently with these issues; and
  3. To assist them to communicate effectively.

Student Learning Outcomes


Students in government are taught with the goal of enabling them

  1. To demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to apply the literature and methods of ancient, modern, and contemporary students of politics and government to these issues, be those issues domestic or international.
  2. To substantiate their arguments soberly and logically.
  3. To inform their arguments with philosophic, theoretic, and constitutional principles and with an in-depth knowledge of relevant political institutions and public policies.
  4. To employ quantitative and qualitative evidence where appropriate.
  5. To express themselves effectively orally and in writing.

The Government Department faculty has agreed to assess their students every year. Assessment includes a careful assessment of senior theses. To assure consistency and objectivity, faculty will assess senior theses using a rubric (online at the Government department website) to determine students’ levels of understanding and mastery of these objectives.