2014–15 Undergraduate Catalog
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Political Science: General Track
Political Science: International Affairs Track
Political Science: Public Policy and Law Track
Leadership Studies Minor
Political Science Minor
Geopolitics Minor

Global Development Studies Major


Alexander Hall


Political Science and Geography Department Faculty

Seattle Pacificís Political Science program equips students to become leaders and citizens who influence politics and public policy informed by Christian faith and tradition. Political Science majors at SPU wrestle with some of the most fundamental questions underlying faith and the political order:

  • What is the relationship between Christian principles and public policy?
  • How can Christians model both the character and truth of Jesus Christ in the public square?
  • How should we all live in local, national, and global community?

To assist in the exploration of these questions, Political Science majors at SPU receive broad training in political philosophy, government, law, public policy, geopolitics, international relations, and the political behavior of individuals and groups. In addition, majors are provided with peer support and co-curricular activities through the SPU Political Union, a nonpartisan student group.

Study of Political Science is especially useful for careers in law, public administration, government service, international affairs, journalism, teaching, and several fields of business. Dual majors or complementary minors are encouraged. Minors offered by the department include Political Science, Geopolitics, and Leadership Studies.

Special study programs in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere further enrich studentsí academic experience. For more information about these special study programs, contact Dr. Reed Davis (rdavis@spu.edu).

Faith and Politics Component
Political Science majors at SPU are asked to integrate their understanding of the political world with the Christian faith. To facilitate this, the department offers several courses that focus on the intersection between faith and public life:

  • POL 2641 "Christianity and American Politics," which studies the history of Christian involvement in politics from Americaís founding to today.
  • POL 2642 "Christianity and World Politics," which looks at broader global areas and issues.
  • POL 2900 "Foundations for Leadership," which examines the implications of the Christian faith for leadership.
  • POL 3410 "Moral Foundations of Democracy," which explores the moral and spiritual roots of representative democracy.
  • POL 4899 "Political Science Capstone Seminar," which challenges students to reflect on the relationship between faith and politics in light of their entire collegiate experience and is required of all political science majors.

Political Science Internships
Political Science majors at SPU are strongly encouraged to gain real-world experience through internships, and faculty in the department work with students to arrange internships appropriate to their career interests.

Internships are arranged with a wide variety of organizations, including public-policy groups, media organizations, and government offices at both the local and national level. Credit is offered through POL 4940 "Political Internships."

Admission to the Political Science Major and Minor
To qualify for admission to the major, a student must have a 2.5 minimum GPA in previous courses in the major. Students are encouraged to apply for the major by the end of their sophomore year.

Application to this program may be made through the Political Science Major Application or through the Political Science Minor Application. A student must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major or minor.

Requirements for the Political Science Major
For all three tracks, 25 credits must be upper-division.
Political Science majors at SPU choose to organize their studies according to one of three tracks:

  • General, which provides the most flexibility.
  • Public Policy and Law, which is especially appropriate for those considering careers in government or who plan to attend law school.
  • International Affairs, which is designed for those interested in global politics and policy.

In addition to the course requirements for these tracks, majors are encouraged to fulfill their Exploratory Curriculum mathematics requirement prior to the spring of their senior year by taking a statistics course such as SOC 2360 "Introduction to Statistics in Social and Behavioral Sciences," MAT 1300 "Introduction to Statistical Reasoning," or BUS 2700 "Statistics for Business and Economics."

Whenever possible, majors are also strongly encouraged to take POL 4643 "Methods of Political Analysis" in their junior (rather than senior) year.

Any course substitutions must be approved by Dr. Reed Davis (rdavis@spu.edu), the department chair. No more than a total of 10 hours of Internship or Independent Study can be applied in meeting the required hours in Political Science, but additional credits above the required hours may be added.

For students who wish to enhance their degree with additional specialization, applied coursework beyond the required credits and in associated majors or minors can be arranged in consultation with the Political Science advisor.

  • Political Science-General Track
  • Political Science-Public Policy and Law Track
    POL 4940 Internship is strongly suggested as an elective.
  • Political Science-International Affairs Track
    In addition, at least one year of a foreign language or equivalent is recommended, and more than this is strongly encouraged.
  • Political Science Minor
  • Geopolitics Minor

SPU offers no baccalaureate degree specifically in geography, but studies in geography may be combined with political science for a Geopolitics minor.

Geography, along with history, is a critical service component for students majoring in other disciplines such as Social-Science Education, and it provides an important dimension to a liberal arts education within a comprehensive university. For more information, contact Dr. Kathleen Braden (kbraden@spu.edu) or Dr. Ruth Ediger (ediger@spu.edu).

Leadership Minor

Designed for student leaders, this interdisciplinary program draws on courses from such disciplines as political science, sociology, business, psychology, and philosophy.

Admission to the Leadership Studies minor is selective and requires an application submitted to the Office of Student Life. Contact Dean of Students for Community Life Joel Perez (jperez@spu.edu) for application information.

Global Development Studies Major
The Global Development Studies major seeks to prepare students for vocations in global development through a liberal arts knowledge base, applied skills training, and direct, cross-cultural experiences.

Requirements for the Global Development Studies Major
61-67 credits, including 27 upper division
In addition to courses in political science and geography, students complete courses in disciplines such as economics, theology, and health sciences, and complete an internship appropriate to nonprofit or social-venture work.

Admission to the Global Development Studies Major
Students are encouraged to apply for the Global Development Studies major by the end of their sophomore year. To qualify for admission to the major, a student must have taken — at SPU — at least two classes on the list for the major and have achieved at least a 2.5 in each of these classes.

Faculty members in the Department of Political Science and Geography meet each February to examine applications and vote on acceptances. Attainment of the minimum GPA standard does not guarantee admission to the major, as the total number of admissions may be limited by capacity.

Students meeting the minimum GPA but not admitted to the Global Development Studies major will automatically be offered entry to the Political Science major. A student must complete the major requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major.

Special Note: Study abroad can, with advisor approval, satisfy the Cross-Cultural category as long as at least two disciplines in the category are represented.

Application for Global Development Studies Major.

Integrated Studies Major with a concentration in Social Sciences

(for students seeking K-8 certification)

Students who are planning to obtain elementary school certification and are interested in political science or geography must major in the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in social sciences.

  • The concentration consists of courses in history, political science, and geography.
  • Application (PDF) to this major is through the Political Science and Geography Department advisor for the Social Sciences concentration, Dr. Don Holsinger (dholsing@spu.edu).
  • Further information on the elementary certification program is available in the School of Education section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Requirements for Integrated Studies: Social Sciences concentration

Requirements for Elementary Certification

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