The SAGES General Education Requirements include that each student complete one departmental seminar. This is the fourth in the sequence of SAGES courses, normally taken after the First Seminar and two University Seminars. It must, like all SAGES courses, be limited to 17 students, encourage discussion, and promote writing. Departmental seminars, however, are located in a department, can count towards a major, and will emphasize common forms of writing and other communication within that department’s discipline.
Students are not required to take a departmental seminar in one of their majors. However, many prefer to do so. Our department therefore seeks to offer two seminars that have been approved by the SAGES office as meeting the department seminar standards during each semester. Our goal is to ensure students have a choice of topics over the three or four semesters when they are most likely to take this course (Spring of sophomore year through Fall of senior year). Because many of our courses are seminars, we expect students to view departmental seminars as regular POSC courses, and many of the students will take them out of interest, not to meet a requirement. It is not unusual for students to take two or three of our department seminars.
Yet we do want to make sure that no political science major finds herself facing graduation problems due to not having managed to get into a department seminar that fits her schedule. So we remind our students of the requirement when registration opens. We also sometimes will set up a departmental seminar course with a permit. Then for the first week or two of registration, students need to request permission from the instructor in order to register for the course. After that, any student can register. This allows us to give priority to students who need the course to meet their general education requirements.
The Department of Political Science is offering two SAGES departmental seminars in Fall 2016: POSC 346 Women and Politics, taught by Professor Beckwith; and POSC 349 Research Methods, taught by Professor McMann.