Marlin Nation Orientation: Student Portal

Political Science

Political science is the study of politics and government. While the field dates back to the ancient Greeks, political scientists examine a timely and continually changing set of current events and phenomena. By tackling big questions like how to best reconcile individual desires and community needs or whether citizens can possess freedom and equality or how to choose between competing interests, students of politics learn to examine and critically analyze political ideas, behavior, culture, institutions, and legal systems.

About The Program

Virginia WesleyanUniversity, located in the international port of Hampton Roads, provides students with professional experiences without ever having to leave the region. With Fortune 500 companies, military installations, NASA, and governmental offices all close by, Virginia Wesleyan provides students with unique opportunities to take their political science coursework outside the classroom. Many students study abroad, work in internships, or complete independent research as part of their political science degrees.

Major: Political Science (BA)
Minor: Political Science

Program Chair: Dr. Leslie Caughell
College: Birdsong School of Social Science

Students majoring in political science complete 48 hours in specified course work. Drawing together ideas from economics, psychology, biology, sociology, philosophy, and history, the political science major complements the liberal arts cur ­ riculum. Students can choose to focus on public policy and administration, comparative politics, international relations, American government, pre-law, or can tailor their own unique study experience by selecting some combination of all five areas. Real-life international experiences with internship, study abroad, or simulations supple­ ment classroom study.

Hampton Roads is the headquarters for international organizations, including North American Treaty Organizations Allied Command Transformation (NATO-ACT). Virginia Wesleyan University's established relationships with such organizations provide a unique opportunity for students to develop knowledge of diplomacy in coordination with such entities. The International Organizations and Diplomacy Certificate focuses on the theory and practice of diplomatic actions, with a special emphasis on diplomacy within international organizations. For more information, please contact the Office of Enrollment Services.

Certificate Requirements: International Organization and Diplomacy

Course Number And Title

Sem. Hrs.

POLS 210 Introduction to International Relations 4
POLS 345 International Law and Organizations 4
POLS 347 Model United Nations
POLS 373 Conflict Management
One of the following:
POLS 250 Introduction to International Political Economy
POLS 240 Topics in International Organizations and Diplomacy
POLS 344 European Union in World Politics
POLS 348 International Human Rights
POLS 350 Immigration and Citizenship
POLS 353 Globalization and its Discontents
POLS 440 Seminar: American Foreign Policy
Total 20


Students may elect to complement the classroom experience with an internship opportunity. Internships allow students to gain supervised experience in applying knowledge from the major in real-world settings and in developing professional skills, provid­ ing students with the opportunity to expand their intellectual horizons. Internships provide students a "competitive edge" in the job market or when applying for admission in postgraduate degree programs.

Political science majors leave Virginia Wesleyan with excellent critical thinking and communica­ tion skills, in addition to a broad understanding of culture and history. The skills that students gain through the political science program prepare them for effective citizen participation in the political process. These skills also enable students to pursue careers in a wide array of areas, including work with governments, non-profit organizations, law, international organizations, and private businesses. In addition, a number of graduates seek postgraduate degrees such as J.D., M.A., Ph.D., M.P.A., and M.B.A. degrees.