Political Science: Bachelor of Arts Degree
The Political Science Program at UDC prepares students to serve our communities and change the world. Our graduates pursue careers in government, global affairs, education, law, community activism, public communication, and research. Our Political Science curriculum is rich in experiential opportunities including the American Democracy Project, Washington Model Organization of American States, Congressional internships, institutional and community service internships, and our Citizen Diplomat Program. Majors in the UDC Political Science Program acquire marketable skills in effective writing and communication, analyzing social problems and offering solutions. UDC Political Science graduates have professionally distinguished themselves at a global level, including directly assisting presidents of national governments and managing nation-wide university systems. Political Science majors are empowered to become engaged and active citizens attaining rewarding careers in public affairs in support of our communities at the local, national, and global levels.
Political Science: Vision, Mission, Goals, & Student Learning Objectives
To empower students through a rigorous academic curriculum that broadens their knowledge of political institutions and processes; instills social consciousness; and encourages public service and civic engagement in the District of Columbia, the nation, and the global community.
To prepare students for active citizenship by increasing their knowledge of political institutions and governance in local, national, and global communities.
- Prepare students for active citizenship in the changing world of the 21st century by increasing their knowledge of political institutions and governance in local, national and global communities.
- Provide learning experiences through which students develop proficiency in analytical and research skills.
- Provide experiential opportunities designed to model professional and career pathways, as well as prepare students for emerging job market demands.
- Develop collaborative partnerships with discipline-related professional organizations, local and federal government agencies, international organizations, trade and advocacy associations, research institutes, and political science programs at colleges and universities in the Washington metropolitan area.
- Prepare students for post-baccalaureate study in graduate and law school, and entry into the public and private sectors.
Student Learning Objectives
Upon completion of requirements in the Political Science program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of discipline relevant concepts, institutional structures, theories, and methods.
- Analyze political and social problems as they relate to the processes and structures of political and social systems.
- Contrast and analyze diverse perceptions of politics in the United States and the international stage.
- Analyze racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and other politically based national and international and issues in contemporary society.
- Demonstrate discipline-related writing, analytical, communication, and technological proficiency.
- Apply quantitative and qualitative research skills.
- Demonstrate skill-sets associated with career pathways in Political Science.
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Curriculum and Requirements
Students must complete 120 credit hours, including 33 credits required by the major, to earn the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. The core curriculum and plan of study emphasize major areas of the Political Science discipline including:
- American Politics
- International and Global Politics*
- Comparative Politics
- Political Science Methodology and Research**
- Experiential Opportunities***
*A concentration in Global Studies launched Fall Semester 2020 is an interdisciplinary curriculum integration academic courses and experiential activities such as internships or study abroad, to help create global citizens. It compliments all academic degrees with a requirement of 15 academic credits for completion.
**A three(3) course curriculum core (Political Research Skills, Methods of Political Science & Senior Seminar), that trains students to become applied researchers, is the hallmark of the program.
***The Congressional Internship Program and Model International Organizations Simulation programs introduce students to real world scenarios.
Chi Rho Chapter, Pi Sigma Alpha, National Political Science Honor Society
Political Science Students Organization (PSSO)*
Global Affairs and Diplomacy Association (GADA)
The Saudi Political Science Student Association
* PSSO & GADA are UDC Student Government accredited organizations, active in promoting scholarly, social, and professional development activities for majors and interested students.
Dr. Kimberly Crews, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Education and Social Sciences specializes in world cultural geography, population, and interdisciplinary general education. She has held positions in federal and non-profit agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau and the Population Reference Bureau. Her research interests are team-based learning and other pedagogies that help students and faculty think and work across disciplines. She also serves as Assistant Director of the Interdisciplinary General Education Program.
Dr. Monique Gamble, Assistant Professor of Political Science teaches about U.S. Government, race, culture, and policy. Her academic vision is inspired by the intersectional work of Black feminist scholars and a lifetime of Black cultural events. By sharing stories of the human condition and centering them on Black and Brown lives, Dr. Gamble’s academic and creative work teaches about agency and how to think critically about culture and power. Dr. Gamble is currently writing an encyclopedia of LGBTQ representations in popular culture, titled Queer Through the Decades. Her upcoming project is a study of the relationship between increased LGBTQ media representation and queer Black women’s participation in electoral politics since 2016.
Steven Jumper, Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science is a veteran public affairs professional having served in government cabinet-level and corporate executive level public policy roles. In his public sector roles, Professor Jumper served as Deputy Chief of Staff to former DC Mayor Sharon Pratt and went on to serve as Executive Director for Minority Business Development. As Director of Public Policy, Professor Jumper led the public affairs functions for four states and the District of Columbia and federal government. Professor Jumper previously served as co-chairman of the DC Chamber of Commerce government affairs committee and the Greater Washington Board of Trade policy subcommittee where he helped champion legislation important to Washington’s business community. Professor Jumper served on the Board of the Public Affair Council, the leading nonpartisan, nonpolitical association for public affairs executives worldwide.
Dr. Shiela Harmon Martin, Professor of Political Science Dr. Shiela Harmon Martin possesses a diverse professional background that includes teaching in the discipline of Political Science at the undergraduate level, local and federal government service, and administrative leadership in higher education. She specializes in American government, African American politics, and public policy analysis. Dr. Harmon Martin has held positions in two mayoral administrations in the District of Columbia government in the areas international affairs and protocol and in a presidential administration in the areas of public policy analysis and civil rights. She holds professional memberships in the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the National Conference of Black Political Science (NCOBPS). She serves as NCOBPS Archivist and recently launched the NCOBPS Collection at the Atlanta University Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Amanda Huron, Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, specializes in urban geography, geographical systems information and D.C. politics and history. Her research interests are urban geography, affordable housing, social theory, Washington, D.C., and mapping for social change. She has numerous publications focusing on D.C.’s limited-equity housing cooperatives; tenant organizing, and anti-displacement struggles in Washington, D.C. and Johannesburg, South Africa; and the theory of the urban commons. Her recent book, Carving Out The Commons (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) focuses on tenant organizing and housing cooperatives in Washington, DC.
Dr. Guy Shroyer, Division Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science specializes in nationalism and social identity. He is on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Diplomatic Dialogue in the Americas, an international civil society organization recognized by the Organization of American States. His research involves the social semiotics of power and political identity formation in public iconography and monuments, and ethnography relating to the institutional production of national identity in US primary education.
Dr. Jasmine Yarish, Assistant Professor of Political Science received her Ph.D. in political science with graduate certificates in both Black Studies and Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her expertise is in intersectionality (race, gender, sexuality, and space), populist nationalism, urban politics, and democratic theory. Her research aims to extend the idea of abolition democracy theorized by W.E.B. Du Bois to include the political and intellectual contributions made by Black women to the era of Reconstruction (1850-1880). Her archival commitments to revisiting that early period of contemporary political thought, the primary democratization period in American political development, and the unique case of Philadelphia in rethinking the significance of Reconstruction for the discipline of political science place Dr. Noelle Yarish’s scholarship as part and parcel of the growing literature on the “Third Reconstruction.”
Career Pathways and Prospects
Through rigorous coursework, internships, mentoring and networking opportunities in the nation’s capital, the Political Science program is the ideal launching point for a successful career in any of the following areas:
- Local, state, or federal government
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- Nonprofit organizations
- Electoral politics
- Advocacy and organizing
- Research and Analysis
- International relations and affairs
Many political science graduates also successfully pursue law school, including at UDC’s own David A. Clarke School of Law, or other graduate studies.
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Dr. Guy Shroyer, Chair, Division of Social & Behavioral Sciences
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2020 UDC National Conference of Black Political Scientists delegation in Atlanta, GA. For the theme of “War on Blackness,” Benjamin Hoffschneider (left) examined Black women’s maternal mortality, Ruby Branscomb (right) and Randell Thomas (center) explored the housing crisis in DC’s communities of color and the #dontmuteDC movement to amplify DC culture, respectively.