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George Sirgiovanni, Ph.D.

(973) 290-4305

Santa Maria Hall 29

Political Science

Program Overview

The study of Political Science provides information and perspectives pertinent to a range of regions and time periods. An awareness of political concepts and interpretations of political events past and present is vital to being an informed American and global citizen in today's challenging and fast-changing world.

Flowing from the Mission of the College of Saint Elizabeth, the Mission of the College of Saint Elizabeth's Political Science Program is to provide a curriculum that fosters students' understanding of political science, in the expectation that this knowledge will enhance their comprehension of present and future political events, conditions, and trends in the United States and elsewhere in the world.


  • Demonstrate broad knowledge of political issues, institutions, history, and ideas.
  • Demonstrate the analytical-reasoning skills needed to evaluate political-science material.
  • Demonstrate the skills needed to write substantive papers on political-science topics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to speak effectively about political-science subjects.
  • Apply the skills acquired from the Political Science Program to post-collegiate endeavors, such as graduate school and employment.


Students who minor in Political Science obtain excellent preparation for careers in law, government service and public policy involvement, and business.  Some students choose to enter graduate programs in Political Science or related fields.


Minor in Political Science

  • PS105 American Politics and Government (4)
  • Two of the following 200-level courses (8)
    • PS221 Law and Contemporary American Society
    • PS231 International Relations
    • PS251 Comparative Politics
  • Two of the following 300-level courses (8)
    • PS361 The American Presidency
    • PS371 American Constitutional Law
    • PS381 Political Thought

Total: 20 credits

* With the approval of the History Program Chairperson, students may take PS 400 Internship and apply it to the minor's 20 required credits. In such cases the Chairperson will determine which course requirement listed above will be substituted for by PS 400 Internship.

Course Listing

Course Level: 1

American Politics & Government*
Credit Hours: 4

This course explores the origins, objectives, institutions, and evolution of U.S. politics and the American system of government. Politics in America will be studied and evaluated from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The increasing involvement of women, African-Americans, Latinas/Latinos, and other formerly marginalized groups in U.S. society will be explored. Current political campaigns and issues will receive significant attention.

Course Level: 2

Law & Contemporary American Society*
Credit Hours: 4

This course reviews and analyzes a range of contemporary legal issues that impact the American people. Course readings will concern personal liberties and governmental regulation, crime and punishment, issues of life and death, individual and group rights and responsibilities, issues involving race and gender, and other legal-based personal and societal concerns in today's America.

International Relations*
Credit Hours: 4

This course surveys the development and evolution of international relations over the course of human history. Early patterns of multi-societal interactions, the emergence and maturation of nation-states, the primary causes of inter-state conflict, differing strategies for maintaining stability, peace, and security among nations, and the achievements of the major inter-governmental organizations will be studied through case-study examples.

Comparative Politics*
Credit Hours: 4

This course reviews contemporary political conditions in major countries and regions around the world. The different systems of governance now in use will be studied, as will the major domestic issues and foreign-policy concerns of the major countries and regions of the world. Historical-background information will be introduced to provide necessary perspectives on the conditions and conflicts affecting current global affairs.

Course Level: 3

The American Presidency
Credit Hours: 4

This course explores the evolution of the Office of the Presidency over the course of U.S. history. Presidential power, as it has been exercised and as it has variously expanded and contracted over time, will be reviewed, discussed, and appraised. Individual Presidents will be studied for the purpose of evaluating their leadership capacities, most critical challenges and decisions, and degree of success or failure in achieving their political and policy objectives. Prerequisites: PS105 [American Politics and Government] and one 200-level Political Science course.

American Constitutional Law
Credit Hours: 4

This course provides a detailed examination of the major Supreme Court decisions over the course of U.S. history. Important questions pertaining to judicial review, federal and state authority, commerce and governmental taxation and regulatory powers, due process and civil liberties, social issues, and the expanding role of the judiciary in the nation's political processes will be critically explored and assessed. Prerequisite: PS105 [American Politics and Government] or PS221 [Law and Contemporary American Society].

Political Thought
Credit Hours: 4

This course examines the principal ideas that have shaped humanity's political systems across the ages. Students will read the most significant writings of major political theorists from ancient and medieval times, the Enlightenment and Industrial Era, and the intensely ideological twentieth century. Emphasis will be placed on Western political thinkers, although consideration also will be given to the major ideas advanced by figures from other civilizations. Prerequisite: Enrollment in CSE's Honors Program or permission of the History Program Chairperson.

Course Level: 4

Independent Study
Credit Hours: 3

An independent study is a carefully supervised reading and research project, designed through consultation between the student and the instructor. Appropriate political-science readings will be assigned, and a research paper on a substantive political-science topic will be due at the end of the independent study. Prerequisite: Enrollment in CSE's Honors Program or permission of the History Program Chairperson.

Credit Hours: 3

This course provides the student with an opportunity to combine learning about political science with practical work experience at an appropriate internship site. These include local law firms, governmental agencies, political campaigns, and nearby museums. Student interns will devote an assigned number of hours (determined by the number of credits being taken) to working on assigned projects and assignments supervised by on-site personnel, in conjunction with a CSE faculty advisor. Prerequisites: completion of two Political Science courses and permission of the History Program Chairperson.

Who We Are

Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

Learn more about the College

College of Saint Elizabeth
2 Convent Road
Morristown, NJ 07960-6989

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