Quality Education in the Benedictine Tradition
Aristotle opened my mind to a completely different way of thinking. All I wanted to do was learn more—to understand more deeply.
Dr. Gary M. Quinlivan, DeanAlex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and GovernmentPhone: 724-537-4597
Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government
The politics department at Saint Vincent College goes beyond daily political controversies to examine the underlying questions of political life: What is human nature? Of what does the human life consist? How does that life relate to our community? By the end of their undergraduate education, politics students will be able to view political issues with these questions in mind, allowing for a discerning study of politics from a holistic perspective. Our nationally renowned faculty work to ensure that this knowledge leads to fulfilling personal lives. Our graduates are well prepared to pursue successful careers in law, government, education, foundations, business and many other areas.
Politics has been a subject of study from ancient Greece to the present day. For Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the word politics referred to the activities of the city, the polis. The city, Aristotle taught, is that association that allows a complete human life to be lived. But not every activity of the city promotes the complete human life, or happiness in a comprehensive sense. Political science, originally understood, was the study of the city’s activities in order to understand which modes of political organization were best suited to promoting human happiness.
That study, however, had to begin with the question of human happiness itself:
These are the questions of political philosophy, and no political science is complete without reference to them.
The Politics Department at Saint Vincent College is unique in the extent to which it promotes an understanding of the nature of political phenomena and their relationship to a life not simply lived, but lived well. To this end, the Department offers a curriculum firmly rooted in the Great Books of Western civilization and the great political writings of the American tradition. Along with philosophical grounding, the program seeks to provide analytical competence to understand the contemporary political environment, to address public policy questions and to contribute intellectually and practically to the sociopolitical challenges of our times.
The Department encourages students to see politics whole, recognizing the intimate relationship that exists between wisdom gained through philosophical inquiry, and political knowledge gained through empirical and analytical research. The Department thus helps to fulfill the liberal arts mission of the college. It also takes seriously its obligation to provide civic education: to cultivate the well-educated citizens and scholars who are essential to the long-term flourishing of a constitutional republic.
Politics courses are designed to promote the following learning objectives:
Bachelor of Arts | Bachelor of Science | Graduate Studies | Public Administration | International Affairs | Pre-Law | Politics Minor
Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics: Major Requirements (33 credits) Principles of American Politics - 3 credits Classical Political Thought - 3 credits Modern Political Thought - 3 credits International Politics - 3 credits, or Comparative Politics - 3 credits Institutions - 3 credits American Political Thought - 3 credits Constitutional Law: National Powers - 3 credits, or Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties - 3 creditsDomestic Public Policy - 3 credits Senior Thesis - 3 credits Politics electives (Any PS class except PS 550) - 6 credits
Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science: Major Requirements (40 credits) Principles of American Politics - 3 credits Classical Political Thought - 3 credits Modern Political Thought - 3 credits International Politics - 3 credits, or Comparative Politics - 3 credits Institutions - 3 credits American Political Thought - 3 credits Constitutional Law: National Powers - 3 credits, or Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties - 3 credits Domestic Public Policy - 3 credits Senior Thesis - 3 credits Politics elective (Any PS class except PS 550) - 6 credits Statistics I - 3 credits Econometrics or Statistics II - 3 credits Calculus I - 4 credits
Graduate Study Candidates for the B.A. or B.S. degree who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in politics, government or political science generally will have to show competence in one or two foreign languages as well as quantitative skills. We suggest that students contemplating such graduate studies consider taking foreign language courses beyond the intermediate level. The quantitative skills requirement for graduate school varies.Public Affairs and Public Administration For those seeking master’s degrees in public policy and public administration, it would be advantageous to complete BA 100, BA 101, EC 201, EC 202, BA 350 and EC 360. Students should have further discussions with their advisors.
International Affairs For those seeking master’s degrees in international relations or allied fields, it would be advantageous to pursue two foreign languages and to complete EC 201, EC 202, BA 350, EC 360, EC 351 and EC 353.
Pre-law concentration: students in either the B.A. or B.S. tracks are advised to take both PS 339 and PS 369.
Minor in Politics An excellent pre-law minor for students in other fields.The following six courses are required (18 credits): PS 100 Principles of American Politics - 3 creditsPS 135 Classical Political Thought or PS 136 Modern Political Thought - 3 creditsPS 290 Institutions - 3 creditsPS 336 American Political Thought - 3 credits PS 339 Constitutional Law: National Powers or PS 369 Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties - 3 creditsPS 345 Domestic Public Policy - 3 credits
Variations from above are possible with permission of the Chair of the Politics department. A student may choose, with the departmental advisor and with the consent of the Chair, a program designed to meet individual objectives.