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Political Science

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I Major in Political Science?

Political scientists concern themselves with basic questions about law, government, and humanity – questions that confront every society in the world today.   Students who major in Political Science are prepared not only for employment after college, but for life as an informed citizen ready to participate in the activities of domestic and global politics.   

What will I learn?  

You will learn about our political systems, political leaders, government policies, social, and international conflicts, as well as strengthen your analytical, research, and critical thinking skills that prepare you for life after Merrimack.

How many credits or courses do I need to receive a Political Science degree?

The Political Science major consists of 38 credits. 

What are the required courses and do I have to take courses in any particular sequence?

There are four (4) required course; Politics of the United States, Comparative Politics, Political Science Methods, and Senior Seminar.  Students typically take Politics of the United States and POL1500 Comparative Politics before taking upper level courses to fulfill the Major requirements.  Political Science Methods must be complete by sophomore year and Senior Seminar is taken in a senior’s fall semester.  

Can I minor in Political Science?

Yes.  Students can choose to minor in the area of United States Politics, International Relations, or Political Communications. The Political Science Minor requires completing a minimum of 18 credits in courses that satisfy the Minor requirement.

I am interested in a career in Law.  Does Merrimack offer a Pre Law?

Yes. The Pre-Law Minor is an interdisciplinary law minor for students who are interested in attending law school, who plan on pursuing legal related careers, or who want to learn more about different areas of the law. The Pre Law Minor requires completing a minimum of 18 credits in courses that satisfy the minor requirement. The requirement consists of two (2) required courses, three (3) electives, and an experiential component. 

How can I get an internship? Do I get academic credit for an internship?

Students majoring in Political Science should consider taking an internship during their undergraduate years to foster academic experiential learning. Internships are offered in the fall, spring, and summer.  Students can create their own internship with the department’s guidance or choose an internship from our database. The Public Service Fall/Spring Internship is an 8 credit/two course equivalent, with 4 credits towards Political Science and 4 credits toward electives.   Students work at least 20 hours per week in the public service field and have a required research paper.  Students can complete up to 12 internship credits; one fall or spring and a summer internship. For the fall and spring semesters, internships are 8 credits. Students work at least 20 hours per week in the public service field and have a required research paper on a topic related to their internship experience.

What kinds of opportunities are available outside of the classroom?

Students in the Political Science major have many opportunities to learn beyond the classroom. Some opportunities include:

Public Service Internship

Political Science Majors gain knowledge of politics through work with state and local government offices. For more information, please contact Dr. Harry Wessel at wesslh@merrimack.edu

Washington Semester

Students may study in their junior year at the American University Washington Semester Program. Scholarships are available.  

Model United Nations

Students may represent Merrimack College at the annual Harvard Model United Nations. Delegations for over 50 colleges meet for a four-day conference to discuss world issues.  For more information, please contact Dr. Li at lih@merrimack.edu

Junior Year / Semester Abroad

Students may apply to one of several university programs

John F. Kennedy Library

Students may attend a number of special events at the Library, including biennial conference on important events in American politics.

What kind of career path could I expect?

Our graduates pursue diverse careers in the field of law, political science, international relations, public policy, business, non profits and communications.  A large number of political student undergraduate students continue their education in law or graduate school. Our graduates have a solid record of graduate and law school acceptances. The faculty offers strong advisement programs in pre-law, public administration, and international relations. 

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