Political Science is a diverse major that offers something for everyone, with students having the opportunity to study fascinating and relevant subjects such as U.S. Foreign Policy, Public Policy, Political Parties and Interest Groups, Civil Liberties, the American Presidency and Congress, Environmental Politics, Political Theory and Ideas, and Civic and Nonprofit Leadership.
Political science majors at EIU take courses designed to equip them with research, writing, analysis and communication skills--all of which are essential to success in the academic and professional worlds. The department's professors also encourage students to pursue opportunities such as internships, Model Illinois Government, Moot Court and Study Abroad. In addition, a required senior political science capstone course ask students to design a research project that draws from their previous coursework and what they wish to know more about in the study of government, politics and policy.
At Eastern, students may earn the general B.A. in Political Science, which with 39 credit hours readily affords students with the flexibility to double-major or pursue a Minor--or Minors. The Political Science Major also includes two Options available to students with special interests: the International Studies Option or the Civic and Nonprofit Leadership Option. The Civic/Nonprofit Leadership Option in turn has two tracks from which students may select--U.S. Leadership and Advocacy or Global Leadership and Advocacy. For students with excellent academic performance and a strong research orientation, a Departmental Honors Program also is available.
International Studies, Civic and Nonprofit Leadership
Four Year Degree Plan
Course Catalog Listing
http://catalog.eiu.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=34&poid=5161 (International Studies Option)
http://catalog.eiu.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=34&poid=5221 (Civic and Nonprofit Leadership Option)
Study Abroad Opportunities
Study Abroad experiences work well with the Political Science major at EIU, and particularly for the International Studies Option. The department goes out of its way to work in cooperation with the Study Abroad Office to assist students with bringing back coursework from study abroad programs. Furthermore, students who participate in an EIU recognized Study Abroad experience predictably find a good variety of courses as candidates to transfer back for political science credit.
Student Professional Organizations
Students also may participate in associations directly related to the study of politics and government. The Pi Sigma Alpha chapter (the Political Science Honorary Society) is open to students who have distinguished themselves in the classroom. The Political Science Association is a forum for majors and minors to discuss and debate politics and plan activities such as issue panels or civic education forums. Eastern's Political Science majors also are known for their extensive involvement in a variety of campus leadership roles, including Student Government. For example, many Student Body Presidents have been Political Science majors, and Political Science majors also have served in the student representative's position of the university's Board of Trustees.
Professional Development Opportunities
The department has an active internship program that reflects the faculty's commitment to combining the classroom with applied learning, and students may earn academic credit that counts toward the major and overall hours toward the bachelor's degree. Political Science majors have interned in a variety of offices/agencies, such as the State's Attorney; Circuit Court Judges; City Managers and Administrators; state legislative offices; federal, state and local law enforcement; electoral campaigns and political parties; and nonprofit advocacy organizations.