9.37. Politics

Programs offered:

  • B.A. in Politics (TU)
  • Minor in Politics (TU)
  • Minor in Politics (ADP)

As Aristotle observed some 2000 years ago, “Man is by nature a political animal.” Politics shapes who we are and how we live; it animates human nature, forges identities, drives social movements, structures national politics and institutions and molds international relations. At Oglethorpe, students of politics encounter a wide range of opinions, beliefs and scholarly analysis as to the nature of politics and what constitutes the legitimate aims of political action. Differences and disagreements abound, providing a rich environment for students to develop their own informed opinions honed through healthy debate with their colleagues. In addition, Politics majors gain both substantive knowledge and analytic skills. Introductory classes in American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political philosophy provide the foundation for subsequent pursuit of more specialized study undertaken in higher-level courses. Skills acquired include: close critical reading of texts; inductive, deductive and analogical reasoning; substantiating arguments; comparing across cases; and making generalizations.

Oglethorpe’s location provides numerous opportunities to study and engage with real world politics, be they local, national or international. Atlanta is home to the Georgia state government, The Carter Center and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. Students have taken advantage of the Georgia’s Legislative Intern and Governor’s Intern Programs, as well as worked with the Georgia State Legislature, the Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the League of Women Voters, participated in The Carter Center Internship Program and worked with a variety of governmental and grassroots programs.

Resources at Oglethorpe serve to help students engage actively in politics. Through career development, students can identify and create other internships. Oglethorpe’s affiliations with The Washington Center for Internships and the Washington Semester Program of American University allow students to study politics and intern in the nation’s capital. Students can also use internship credit towards their major requirements. In an increasingly globalized world, Oglethorpe’s study abroad programs provide the opportunity to gain in-depth experience of the politics and culture of another country for periods ranging from a week to a semester or a year. Please see information about the center for global education (Sec. 10.5.).

Politics majors contemplate and analyze the different forms of power shaping today’s world, be they individuals, ideas, institutions or coercive force. This knowledge prepares them well for a variety of careers, including law, journalism, government, international organizations, NGO’s, education, business and politics.

B.A. in Politics (see Sec. 8.5.1. for a complete list of B.A. graduation requirements)

  1. Completion of all of the following courses:
    • POL 101 Introduction to American Politics
    • POL 111 International Relations
    • POL 121 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  2. Completion of one of the following courses:
    • POL 341 Political Philosophy I: Ancient and Medieval
    • POL 342 Political Philosophy II: Modern
  3. Completion of six additional Politics courses, two of which must be at the 300-level and one of which must be at the 400-level.
  4. Additional requirements and things to note:
    1. A grade of “C-” or better is required in all courses contributing to the major.

Minor in Politics (TU)

  1. Completion of four courses (worth a minimum of 16 semester hours) distributed among three of the four subfields of the discipline (American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political philosophy).

Minor in Politics (ADP)

The requirements are identical to those for the Minor in Politics (TU) (see above).