About

Welcome to the Department of Political Science at Norfolk State 

I want to welcome you as the Chair of your department to our political science family of scholars. It is one of seven departments in the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State. Many of you if not all of you, will choose or have already chosen this discipline because of your conviction that we can deliver for you the promise of a better future; a charge that we take very seriously. We know and understand that you have several options and that if you have chosen this discipline, it is with purpose and especially the hope that at the end of your sojourn with us our promise of that better future would have been fulfilled. So, we are honored and at the same time delighted that you are here and not elsewhere. Please believe me when I tell you that we do not take for granted your membership in this exclusive club we call the Department of Political Science. Rather, we strive every day to see what we can do to make your experience more pleasant and certainly more productive. To those of you who are planning to join our family, perhaps in the nearest future, we will also like to extend to you in advance a warm welcome.  

One of the core principles underlining the foundation of the department is to make important contributions to scholarship and learning at Norfolk State University. In this regard, student learning and civic engagement are at the heart of what we do. Our program is designed to enrich your knowledge of the political process, both in the theory and its application. As part of our promise to prepare you for a brighter future, we want you to take full advantage of the opportunities we offer. You will be able to network with policymakers, leaders from the business world as well as and movers and shakers from different occupational backgrounds. We will share with you from time to time opportunities for internships, jobs and volunteering not only within our immediate community but nationwide. If you will like to study abroad while you are with us, we will do our best possible to assist you with scholarship applications to make that dream come true.

We also will like to invite you to join the Political Science Association (PSA) where we have all kinds of civic engagement activities lined up for you. While your membership in this organization is not mandatory, we strongly encourage you to participate in its activities for a number of reasons. Many students around the nation, especially the millennials, are deeply disenchanted about politics today. Like many of their generation, they are understandably tempted to turn away from politics. Yet, a healthy democracy depends on citizens, who are politically engaged—as voters, advocates, policy experts, organizers, journalists, teachers, and political candidates. If we are to meet the great challenges facing our country today, we must keep our students civically engaged. Join us and see what you can learn in this regard.

With that said, if you give us the chance and especially some of your time, we solemnly promise that we will make your experience with us the most rewarding. Again, let me thank you for thinking about joining our family or better still for already entrusting us with your education. We look forward to seeing you.

About the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science 

The Political Science program was created in 1971 and has one curriculum which offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Our curriculum primarily focuses on career areas of interest related to law, public administration, urban planning, U.S. politics and international relations. While these areas of interest are incorporated into one well-structured fundamental political science curriculum, they are not considered nor offered as concentrations or sequences.In addition, the Department has a front row seat in placing students in internships with top lawmakers at the local, state and national levels. Our graduates have interned with U.S. Senators, sometimes securing permanent employment with them after a very successful tenure of internship.  The Department also has expertise in securing study abroad scholarships for interested students. Political Science, as we like to say, brings the global village to your doorstep. With us, the sky is the limit.

 

Mission Statement

The Department seeks to provide instruction in such a manner that upon graduation, students will possess the necessary critical and communication skills together with the content knowledge needed to pursue careers in their discipline or in a closely related field. We also seek to enhance their ability to value cultural diversity and participation in the political process with the ultimate aim of transforming them into engaged and productive compatriots on the national as well as the global stage.

Program Goals

  • Our curriculum will meet the needs and expectations of students enrolled in the program as we help them to understand and appreciate the central role civic engagement plays in our polity thereby stimulating and encouraging their active participation in the political process.
  • Graduates of the program will possess basic knowledge of the political institutions/process of the Amercan political system as well as a working knowledge of the global system to the extent that they can demonstrate critical thinking skills around major political issues of our time.
  • Graduates of the program will possess the ability to communicate their knowledge to the point that they can engage their audience with relative ease and clarity.

Program Objectives

 

  • To provide fundamental training for students planning careers in law, public management, political research, teaching, foreign affairs and urban planning.
  • To prepare students to be able to examine critically, evaluate and analyze contemporary issues in politics.
  • To provide students with the appropriate academic background (i.e., knowledge base and communication skills), necessary to perform well in graduate/professional school as well as in their careers nationally and globally.

 

What We Do, Who We Are

Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. We research political ideas and analyze governments, policies, political trends, and related issues. As political scientists, we are primarily concerned with generating and testing theories about human interactions, specifically in the political arena. Because of this, much of what students learn in political science is a variety of methods for understanding human behavior, theorizing about it, rigorously analyzing data, and speaking and writing about these ideas clearly and concisely. This develops important analytical skills useful in a variety of diverse career paths. In the recent past, our graduates have gone to work for the Department of State as Foreign Service Officers, national and local elected officials, and large companies like ADP. Recent graduates have gone to pursue their Master’s degree at places like Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University in Washingto, Temple University etc. Others have pursued successful career in law as attorneys and even a federal judge.

 

Why Major in Political Science?

In many respects, particularly with those who are unfamiliar with the discipline, there is often a misunderstanding of what political science is all about. Aside from the fact that the subject of politics is important and interesting, majoring in Political Science is also a good investment. It is just that simple. More importantly, politics is all about power: who gets it within the society, how we get it, who gives it, when we can get it, what we can get and in particular how much of it we can get One frequently asked question by students and their parents especially during campus visits and career fairs is this: What can I do with a political science major? 

Do You Know That:

  • The median annual wage for political scientists was $114,290 in May 2017 (Source: BLS).
  • Political Science is one of the top 10 undergraduate disciplines  millionaires around the world chose as major.
  • It opens the door to other professional careers (lawyer, diplomat, journalist, etc.).
  • We empower you by exposing you to how public policies are made.
  • Your degree skills are readily transferable and in high demand in almost any industry.
  • The Department has a front row seat in placing students in internships with top lawmakers.
  • The Department has expertise in securing study abroad scholarships for interested students.
  • Political Science brings the global village to your doorstep.

What You can do with a Degree in Political Science

Perhaps unbeknownst to many, compared to others, Political Science is also relatively a lucrative discipline. To offer some hard data about the tangible worth of our discipline, we will like to refer you to data on the average earning potential of recent college graduates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for political scientists was $115,110 in May 2017. That is compared to $76,970 for other social science majors and just $37,000 forall other occupations. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $56,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $161,890. In May 2017, the median annual wages for political scientists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

  • Federal government, (excluding postal service): $123,230
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: $118,320
  • Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations: $76,790
  • Educational services; state, local, and private: $58,960

 

Careers in Political Science

A bachelor’s degree in political science can lead to exciting careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; precollegiate education; electoral politics; research and university and college teaching. Courtesy of the American Political Science Association, the following are examples of careers for political scientists. For more on the career potential for those with degrees in political science, check out the list of career sectors for political science.

Here are a few of the places you can work and/or jobs you can qualify for with a degree in political science:

  • Political Analyst
  • Political Consultant
  • Congressional Staff
  • Journalist
  • NGOs
  • Think Tanks
  • Intelligence Analysts (CIA, FBI, etc.)
  • All Government Agencies (National, State and Local)
  • Diplomat
  • International Development Worker
  • Multi-National Corporations
  • Legal Profession