Important Information About Political Science Departmental Seminars for the 2012-2013 Academic Year

As part of their general education requirements, all students are required to complete a SAGES departmental seminar. Although there is no rule that says the departmental seminar must be taken in a field in which the student is majoring, most students do so. International Studies majors usually do the departmental seminar in some related field.

Departmental seminars should be completed before senior projects (though this is not absolutely required). They also should be taken after completing the First and University seminars. They are normally completed during junior year. Students who plan to take Junior Year Abroad should plan to take the departmental seminar in the Fall of their return, or the Spring before they leave.

Each departmental seminar is limited to 17 students, should emphasize discussion, and should also emphasize writing. The writing is normally expected to be the kind of writing used in the particular discipline. Because the SAGES capstone requires an oral presentation, oral presentations are also encouraged within departmental seminars.

Permit Process

Because departmental seminars are required for graduation under the SAGES program, and are capped at 17 students, we take care to ensure that juniors and those seniors who have yet to take one do not wait too long to do so, and are able to find places in those courses. The process of registration for Fall 2012 began in April, so they have already had the opportunity. For Spring of 2013 we will remind our majors of the requirement before registration begins in November. We might also set the classes up with a permit required for the first week of registration. Then the instructors would issue permits to students who need the courses to meet the departmental seminar requirement. After the first week we would open up the classes to other students.

Courses Offered

We are offering two departmental seminars for Fall of 2012. However one of them, POSC 363, taught by Professor McHale, is fully subscribed as of June 2012. There is still room in POSC 349, Research Methods, taught by Professor McMann.

As of June 2012 we are planning that the two departmental seminars for Spring of 2013 will be POSC 358, Political Strategy, taught by Professor Buchler; and POSC 378, International Relations Theory, taught by Professor Lavelle.

Course descriptions can be found at