Department of Political Science and International Studies

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Department of Political Science and International Studies

228 Faculty Office Building
(585) 395-2584

Chairperson and Associate Professor: Dena Levy; Professor: Stephen H. Ullman; Associate Professors: Andrea Rubery, Mark Chadsey; Assistant Professors: Cynthia Boaz, John Fitzpatrick, Gregory Murray, David E. Staveley.

The Department of Political Science and International Studies offers two majors. The political science major provides concentrations designed for careers in the public and private sectors—ranging from government service and practical politics to such fields as law, state and local government, international affairs and diplomacy, teaching, journalism, and intergovernmental organizations. The political science major is well-suited to many careers where knowledge of government behavior and institutions is useful. The international studies major is multidisciplinary in nature—training students for careers associated with foreign policy, international business, international organizations, and other occupations requiring individuals who are “globally skilled.” International studies is well-suited to a host of professions associated with the emergence of a globally interdependent world.

Political Science Major

Political science is the study of the state and of power relations within states and among them, as they are and as they ought to be. It seeks a better understanding of political and governmental behavior and institutions in order to enable society to use its collective resources more effectively for the general welfare. The principal sub-fields in the SUNY Brockport department are political philosophy, American politics and government, comparative government and politics, and international relations.

Political science is a liberal arts discipline; therefore, the SUNY Brockport department emphasizes its contributions to the general intellectual development of students. Its subject matter is essential for informed, effective citizenship and is especially pertinent for those entering the fields of law, government service, politics, journalism, and social and global studies.

The department administers several student award funds for the Brockport College Foundation including the James A. Schiller Memorial Award, given to an incoming student who has demonstrated an interest in practical politics or public service, intends to major in political science, and plans a career in politics or public service, the Harold Rakov Memorial Award, intended for an upper-division political science major and is awarded on the basis of academic performance and the Paul Hanks Memorial Award, presented to a pre-law student.

Service Courses in Political Science
The Department of Political Science and International Studies offers courses to meet a variety of student educational needs and graduation requirements. These include:

  1. General Education
    1. Social Sciences Knowledge Area courses:
      PLS 111 International Relations
      PLS 112 Comparative Politics
      PLS 113 American Politics
    2. Humanities Knowledge Area courses:
      PLS 203 Political Thought
    3. Comparative Perspective courses:
      PLS 112 Comparative Politcs
    4. Contemporary Issues courses:
      PLS 314 Issues in American Politics
      PLS 338 Global Issues
      PLS 356 Political Economy
      PLS 362 Women in Western Political Thought
      PLS 435 Legal Rights of the Disadvantaged
    5. Perspectives on Women courses:
      PLS 313 Gender Politics
      PLS 362 Women in Western Political Thought
      PLS 435 Legal Rights of the Disadvantaged
  2. Corequisites for other majors. Some political science courses are corequisite requirements for academic majors offered by other departments, such as Criminal Justice.
  3. Free electives. Political science courses may be used as free electives to satisfy intellectual curiosity or to complement other aspects of a student's program.
  4. Overseas academic programs: The department participates in the SUNY Brockport social science programs in London and Paris. SUNY Brockport is home of the most comprehensive overseas education program in the SUNY system; more students study abroad through SUNY Brockport than through any other SUNY overseas program.
  5. Academic internship programs: The department operates the SUNY Washington Semester Program, the premier internship program in Washington, DC. It also participates in the Albany Semester Programs, which introduces students to New York state government. In addition, the department offers internships in campaigns, county and local governments, political parties, and law offices.

Major in Political Science
The following requirements were effective fall 2002: Students who declared their major prior to fall 2002 and have taken and completed either PLS 300 Political Statistics or PLS 302 Political Analysis (or both) do not need to take PLS 303 Political Science Methods.

The political science academic major program requires a total of 36 credits, distributed as follows:

Number A. 15 credits in the following required courses: Credits
PLS 111 International Relations 3
PLS 112 Comparative Politics 3
PLS 113 American Politics 3
PLS 203 Political Thought 3
PLS 303 Political Science Methods 3
Total: 15

B. Twelve credits in upper-division courses (300/400 level), including at least one course from each of the four sub-fields: American politics, political philosophy, international relations and comparative politics.

  • American Politics Courses: PLS 308, 311, 312, 313*, 314, 317, 319, 320, 324, 326, 356*, 361, 362,367*, 401, 402, 412, 420, (492, 493, Albany Semester), (495, 496, 497, Washington Semester),
  • Comparative Politics Courses: PLS 340, 342, 343, 346, 348, 356*, 364, 367*, 383, 437, 438, 447, 448, 470, 475
  • International Relations Courses: PLS 304, 305, 333, 338, 339*, 410, 444, 445, 475
  • Political Philosophy Courses: PLS 313*, 339*, 353, 354, 356*, 362

* Course is eligible to be applied as upper-division requirement in more than one sub-field. Appropriate sub-field to be determined by course instructor.

C. Nine additional credits in PLS electives.
Every political science major must have a faculty advisor who must be consulted at least once each semester.

Minor in Political Science
The political science academic minor program requires 18 credits in political science courses, including two of the four required lower-division courses for majors, and 12 additional credits in upper-division political science courses. Every political science minor must have a faculty advisor who must be consulted at least once each semester.

Pre-law Preparation
Students preparing to enter law school may do so through any of SUNY Brockport’s many academic major programs, provided that their undergraduate program is broad and liberal in the classic sense. More important than specific subject matter, according to law educators, is the development of skills and habits conducive to legal reasoning. Special advisement for students preparing for law school is available through Brockport’s Pre-law Advisement Committee. Contact the Department of Political Science and International Studies, Faculty Office Building, (585) 395-2584.

Political Science Courses

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International Studies Major

International studies is an interdisciplinary major that provides students with a broadly based course of study, focusing on the driving forces in world affairs today. As a sole major, international studies is a excellent preparation for careers in government, international business and public service. As a second major, it complements study in many fields because it centers on the international domain within which a wide range of careers operates.

At SUNY Brockport, we firmly believe that an international studies degree is an education in the future of our nation and the world because an international studies student will be versed not only in the subject areas studied, but will also be trained analytically in problem identification and problem solving where international matters are concerned. Toward this end, international studies students will speak and write at least one foreign language, will have experienced one of SUNY Brockport’s many outstanding study-abroad opportunities, and will be computer literate. Given the rise in global interdependence in communications, transportation, trade, financial transactions, and a host of other activities, a degree in international studies is a passport to the emerging challenges of the 21 st Century.

SUNY Brockport also offers interdisciplinary programs in international business, Asian studies, Canadian studies, and Latin American studies, as well as programs overseas that can be integrated into the international studies major. (See the department chair for further information.)

The international studies major consists of three components: (1) 15 credits of required foundation courses; (2) six credits of required intermediate-level courses; and (3) five credits of upper-division course work in a thematic or functional track.

The Curriculum
The international studies major requires 15 credits of foundation course work, six Intermediate level credits, and 15 credits of upper-division course work in one of six thematic or functional tracks and a foreign language requirement.

PLS 111 International Relations and PLS 112 Comparative Politics are required for the major.

Foundation Courses—Select five courses for a total of 15 credits
*(Delta College Equivalents)

  • AAS 104 Institutional Racism
  • ANT 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (*DCC 215 or 315)
  • OR
  • ARH 202 Survey of World Art II: Renaissance to Modern (*DCC 210 or 310)
  • OR
  • BUS 345 International Business Environment
  • ECN 202 Principles of Economics-Macro
  • ENL 164 Literature, Arts and Culture II (*DCC 210 or 310)
  • OR
  • ENL 165 International Fiction
  • ESC 102 Elements of Geography
  • HST 102 The World and the West: The Modern Era (*DCC 215 or 315)
  • OR
  • PLS 111 International Relations (Required)
  • PLS 112 Comparative Politics (Required)
  • PLS 333 American Foreign Policy

Note: The following Delta College courses have been determined to fulfill INS Core requirements:

  • ANT 100 = DCC 215 or DCC 315
  • ARH 202 = DCC 210 or DCC 310
  • CMC 418 = DCC 220 or DCC 320
  • ENL 164 or ENL 165 = DCC 210 or DCC 310
  • HST 102 = DCC 215 or DCC 315

Upper Division Tracks
Intermediate Level Courses–Select two of five courses for a total of six credits
All international studies majors are required to take two of the following classes.

  • ANT 330 World Poverty and Economic Underdevelopment
  • MC 418 Cross Cultural Communication
  • CRJ 451 International Criminal Justice
  • PLS 338 Global Issues
  • SOC 306 Social Change in the Third World

Upper Division Courses–Select five courses for a total of 15 credits
Electives may not duplicate foundation or intermediate-level courses.

  1. Thematic Tracks
    1. Developing Societies
      • AAS/DNS 330 African Dance II
      • AAS 360 Africa Today
      • AAS/ENL 367 African Novel
      • AAS/HST 460 Modern Africa
      • ANT 317 Culture and AIDS
      • ANT 330 *World Poverty and economic Underdevelopment
      • ANT 332 China in Transition
      • ANT 405 Applied Anthropology
      • DNS 200 Traditional Dance Styles
      • ESC 432 Tropical Meteorology
      • ENL 366 Arabic Culture and the West
      • PLS 364 Comparative Political
      • ENL 367 African Novel Development
      • ENL 474 Caribbean Literature
      • ENL 475 Post-Colonial Literature
      • FCE/WMS 375 Latin American Women
      • HST 361 History of Japan
      • HST 363 Islam
      • HST 376 Modern Latin America
      • HST 388 Traditional China
      • HST 434 Modern Caribbean
      • HST 438 Women and Gender in Latin American History
      • HST 467 Modern South Asia
      • HST 487 Asian Survey
      • PLS 342 Latin American Politics
      • PLS 348 Politics of the Far East
      • PLS 410 International Political Economy
      • PLS 475 Political Geography
      • SOC 306 *Social Changes in the Third World
    2. Former and Current Communist Societies
      • ANT 317 Culture and AIDS
      • ANT 332 China in Transition
      • ANT 405 History of the Soviet Union
      • HST 389 Modern China
      • HST 463 Revolution and Communism in China
      • HST 487 Asian Survey
      • PLS 305 Politics of European Integration
      • PLS 346 Russian and East European Politics
      • PLS 348 Politics of the Far East
      • PLS 364 Comparative Political Development
      • PLS 447 Russia in Transition
      • PLS 304 International Relations Simulation
    3. Advanced Industrial Societies
      • ANT 317 Culture and AIDS
      • ANT 405 Applied Anthropology
      • ENL 355 European Mythologies
      • HST 300 Modern Europe
      • HST 337 Early Modern Europe
      • HST 347 Europe’s Long 19th Century
      • HST 351 Nazi Germany
      • HST 359 European Women
      • HST 361 History of Japan
      • HST 364 History of Britain
      • HST 449 20th Century Europe
      • PLS 304 International Relations Simulation
      • PLS 305 Politics of European Integration
      • PLS 339 The Morality of War
      • PLS 340 European Political Systems
      • PLS 343 Canadian Politics and Society
      • PLS 356 Political Economy
      • PLS 410 International Political Economy
    4. Multi-regional Track
      Concentration of three courses in one of the above areas two courses from two other areas
  2. Functional Tracks–36 Credits
    1. International Environmental Issues
      • ANT 310 World Health Crisis
      • ANT 315 The Migration Experience
      • ANT 321 Culture Change
      • ANT 330 World Poverty and Underdevelopment
      • BUS 345 International Business Environment
      • CHM 372 Environmental Issues
      • CRJ 440 Environmental Law
      • ESC 364 Water Resources Issues
      • ESC 432 Tropical Meteorology
      • PLS 475 Political Geography
    2. International Business Track
      Students must have taken ECN 202 from among the core INS courses to qualify for this track. Students should be aware of business/economics departmental prerequisites, which are strictly enforced. Students must choose five classes from among the following:
      • BUS 335 Principles of Marketing
      • BUS 345 *International Business Environment
      • BUS 433 International Marketing
      • BUS 445 International Financial Management
      • ECN 443 International Economics
      • ECN 453 International Business Seminar
      • PLS 410 International Political Economy
  3. *Indicates a foundation or intermediate-level course that is also available as an upper-level course option. Students cannot use these courses to fulfill both requirements.

Students are required to demonstrate an intermediate level mastery of any foreign language offered at SUNY Brockport. Students may successfully fulfill the language requirement either through achieving a passing grade in an appropriate qualifying exam or completing a 212 level foreign language course.

Students are expected to study abroad and participate in an international internship while fulfilling their international studies major requirements.

Minor in International Studies–18 Credits

Choose four courses (12 Credits) from the following list.

ANT 100 *DCC 215 OR DCC 315 ESC 102 OR PLS 475
AAS 104 ENL 164 OR ENL 165 *DCC 210 OR DCC 310
ARH 202 *DCC 210 OR DCC 310 HST 102 *DCC 215 OR DCC 315
BUS 345 PLS 111 Required
CMC 418 *DCC 220 OR DCC 320 PLS 112 Required
ECN 202 PLS 333

Six additional credits at upper division level (300-400)

NOTE: For students matriculating fall 2000 or later, PLS 111 and 112 are required.
*Denotes Delta College equivalents

The International Business Track
ECN 202 from the INS core is a prerequisite for this track. Eighteen credits are required: BUS 335, 345, 433, and 445, and ECN 441 and PLS 410. Recommended courses are: PLS 300 or equivalent, an upper-division course dealing with the region of the world that most interests you, BUS 365 and one computer science course.

Foreign Language Requirement
Student must demonstrate competence in an appropriate foreign language with the completion of one year of intermediate-level study or an appropriate score on a qualifying exam. Advanced-level study is strongly recommended.

Delta College Global Studies Track
The international studies major may be elected by Delta College students pursuing Option II. (See Delta College entry for details).

Study Abroad
International studies majors are expected to take advantage of one of SUNY Brockport’s many opportunities to study abroad. Overseas programs may take the form of traditional studies or an internship program. Study abroad is possible through Brockport in England, France, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, Greece, New Zealand, Jordan, Mexico, the Czech Republic and Russia. Internships are available with many organizations and businesses, including the British Parliament and Amnesty International’s home office in England, as well as many more in Scotland, Mexico and Costa Rica. Most study-abroad programs and internships count toward completion of the major.

Closer to home, students may also take part in the Washington Semester Internship/Study Program. Work opportunities include the State Department, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the World Bank, congressional committees on international affairs, and the World Health Organization.

Contact Dr. John Perry or Pat Coates, Office of International Education, Morgan III, (585) 395-2119, for more information on study abroad and international internships.

International Organization Simulations
SUNY Brockport takes part in model United Nations and European Union simulations. Both acquaint students with the operations of international politics and the workings of these influential organizations.

International Studies Minor
Students choosing to minor in international studies must complete 18 credits of course work, including a minimum of six credits at the upper-division level. PLS 111 International Relations and PLS 112 Comparative Politics are required. A minimum of two additional courses must be selected from the following list:

  • ANT 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ENL 164 Introduction to World Literature
  • ENL 165 International Fiction
  • COM 418 Cross-cultural Communication
  • ESC 102 Elements of Geography
  • HST 102 The Modern World
  • PLS/INS 475 Political Geography
  • ECN 202 Principles of Economics-Macro
  • SOC 306 Social Changes in the Third World

For appropriate electives, consult departmental listings or see department chair.

International Studies Courses

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Last Updated 7/21/22