The Politics and International Affairs curriculum includes courses on political research. Introduction to Political Analysis introduces students to the methodology of contemporary political science, including research techniques for studying political behavior. The Senior Research seminar guides students through in-depth research and writing, and Summer research positions with faculty members are also available. In addition, the Politics and International Affairs department offers local, national and international programs for undergraduate students.
Within the Senior Research Seminar, students conduct independent research on a question in political science that is of interest to them. Topics in the past have ranged from the efficacy of the International Criminal Court to ideological bias in the media to the politics of climate change. Students work closely with a Politics and International Affairs faculty member with expertise in the area of their research and produce a significant, original research paper. Students have the opportunity to present their research on campus and at state or regional political science conferences.
Politics and International Affairs students can apply to be faculty research assistants through our Summer Research program. Over the summer, students work closely with a political science faculty member on that faculty member’s research. Students get hands on experience and a deeper understanding of how knowledge is generated in the field through their direct involvement in the research process. Students are provided a stipend for their work.
Throughout the academic year and summer sessions, students can acquire a hands-on learning experience with state and local government agencies, district offices of congressional members, legal settings, campaigns, and non-profit organizations. Placements during the regular year are in Greenville; during the summer session, they can be at other locations, including the student’s home. Students enroll in PSC 506, Fieldwork in State and Local Public Affairs. Contact Professor Teresa Cosby for more information.
The Canadian Parliament program offers an excellent opportunity for students to study the legislative process of another country and to make comparisons between U.S. and Canadian political climates. Students with French language skills are especially encouraged to apply. The program operates during a five-week period from mid-May until mid-June. Find out more information from Dr. Glen Halva-Neubauer.
Unique among American colleges, our internship program in Brussels gives students the opportunity to live and work in the capital of Europe. In addition to finding internships with European Parliament, Research Institutions or Think Tanks, Peace and Conflict Resolution Organizations, or NGO’s and Pressure Groups, students also attend classes at Vesalius College.
As the oldest engaged learning program at Furman, the Washington Experience allows students to work in government, interest groups, non-profits, and media organizations where they can rub elbows with Washington elite, all while earning course credit.