Developing agents of change in the classroom and in the field

  • About This Program

    Our Politics & Society program draws on roots in political science, sociology and economics to give you the diverse skills and experience to shape the world. With internship opportunities in government, law, nonprofits and more right at your doorstep, you’ll get the real-world experience you need for the career you want.

    Degree Options

    Tailor your degree to the future you want by choosing a concentrated degree option, which appears on your transcript.

    American Politics & Public Policy:Discover how U.S. public policies are created and implemented, and how the government agencies tasked with their implementation are managed. Focused on the American political system, this option prepares you for a career in local, state and federal government, nonprofit, law, public policy and more.

    International and Comparative Studies: Explore international affairs, the way politics work in different countries and how governments and non-governmental organizations address social problems that often transcend national borders. Turn your passion into a profession in government, diplomacy, international development and more.

    Law and Justice: Learn about the structural and procedural aspects of the American court system, and the philosophical and ideological foundations that bolster it. Designed for students interested in law, justice and philosophy, this option prepares you for legal, government and public service careers.

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  • Minor(s)

    Politics and the Economy

    Add a breadth of perspective to your degree with our Politics and the Economy minor, helping you land a career in government, public service, business, communications or law.

    Political Science

    Our Political Science minor gives you a foundation in American government and international politics that enriches your studies and your resume -- helping you land a career in government, public service, nonprofits, international affairs or law.

  • Meet Our Faculty

    staff photo

    Melinda Negron-Gonzales

    Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator
    Politics and Society Program
    Social Science Division
    Pandora Mill Building

    staff photo

    Stephen Pimpare

    Lecturer, American Politics & Public Policy
    Politics and Society Program
    Social Science Division
    Pandora Mill Building

    staff photo

    Michael Contarino

    Professor Emeritus
    Politics and Society Program
    Social Science Division
    Pandora Mill Building

    staff photo

    Thaddeus Piotrowski

    Professor of Sociology
    Politics and Society Program
    Social Science Division
    Pandora Mill Building

  • Experience


    Our campus is in the heart of the region’s cultural, economic, entertainment and government activity — putting unlimited internship opportunities at your doorstep. We’ve partnered with local businesses to give you the real-world experience that sets you apart. Politics & Society majors have interned at many high-profile organizations in the area, including:

    • Ascentria Care Alliance
    • Manchester City Hall
    • New Hampshire Republican State Committee
    • Office of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter
    • Turkish Cultural Center
  • Get More Info

    Tell us a little bit about yourself to access our downloadable major sheets, which include more information and the course sequence for each program.

    Request more information about our campus and programs!

  • Your Career

    With diverse concentrations and a highly flexible curriculum, your Politics & Society degree will open doors to limitless career and graduate education opportunities.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positive growth in many related professions between 2012 and 2022. Make an impact with career possibilities in industries like government, politics, international affairs, journalism, law, business and more.

    Job Title Job Growth Median Salary
    Arbitrator, Mediator or Conciliator 10% $61,280
    Fundraising Manager 13% $95,450
    Market Research Analyst 32% $60,300
    Political Science Teacher, Postsecondary 15% $72,170
    Political Scientist 21% $102,000
    Sociologist 15% $74,960
    Survey Researcher 18% $45,050
    Urban or Regional Planner 10% $65,230
  • Student Stories

  • Course Descriptions

    Click on each course title to read the full description. For all courses offered at our campus, click here

      POLT 401 - Politics and Society

      Introduction to the nature of politics and political institutions. Emphasis on political behavior and continuing issues of modern politics, such as power, authority, legitimacy, freedom, and order
      Credits: 4

      POLT 402 - Introduction to American Government

      Power and competition in American politics focusing on: voters and elections; public opinion and the media; interest groups and political institutions - the President, Congress, and the Courts. Examines critical political issues from the founding of the nation to the present.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 403 - United States in World Affairs

      Introduction to United States foreign policy since the end of World War II examining the foundations of American policy, the origins and conduct of the Cold War and the dilemmas of the post cold War era. Explores contemporary problems facing United States foreign policy such as the international economy and transnational global issues. 403W is writing intensive
      Credits: 4

      POLT 407 - Law and Society

      January Term 2012 Course details

      Introduction to the ways in which law operates in modern society: its forms, functions, underlying values, and the consequences of its application in particular regimes. Topics include the psychological bases for legal obligation; the evolution of particular legal doctrines; the philosophical underpinnings of legal responsibility; the relationship of law to social structures; the relationship of law to morality; the nature of legal reasoning; and critiques of law.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 500 - (M1) - American Public Policy

      Foundational public policy course examining policy choices and conflicts, how policy decisions are made, how policies are assessed, the development of potential policy solutions, and the politics of policy-making. Students engage in a task force project that simulates public policy processes and culminates in a policy recommendation at the end of the semester. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 520 - Justice and the Political Community

      Origin of the idea of justice; relationship between politics, justice, and morality; selections from Plato, Aristotle, Roman, Islamic, and Christian political philosophers.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 521 - Rights and the Political Community

      Human rights and the quality of communities as expressed in Hobbes, Locke, Mandeville, Rousseau, and others. Group 8.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 522 - Dissent and the Political Community

      Current political ideologies and controversies in America and abroad; liberal democracy and its critics since the 19th century. Group 8.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 524 - Politics and Literature

      Classical and contemporary works of literature to illustrate perennial issues in political philosophy; among authors studied are Aristophanes, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Melville, Tolstoy, and Sartre. Group 8.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 555 - Politics in Russia

      Develops an understanding of politics in the Russian Federation. Surveys the political history of Russia from 1900 until the collapse of the Communist Party and the dissolution of the USSR. Focuses on the development of the Federation's institutions, with emphasis on the Presidency and the Parliament, federalism, the role of the people, transformation toward a market economy, and the Federation's status as a democracy.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 557 - Politics in Italy

      Credits: 4

      POLT 560 - World Politics

      Examines the structures, processes and issues that shape contemporary international relations. Topics included are: the rise of the nation-state system and its current prospects; national and international security in the post Cold War era; problems of the international political economy; international conflict resolution; human rights; and global environmental politics.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 562 - Strategy and National Security Policy

      Provides an overview of U.S. national security. Examines the nature of security, evolution of strategy, and the history of the United States approach to its national security. Focuses on the policy and decision-making processes, the use of force in international affairs, and the capabilities of the U.S. military. Concludes with treatment of specific issues, including the current American security environment-- state and non-state threats, contemporary military strategy, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, peacekeeping, coercive diplomacy, alliances, and conflict management and resolution. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      POLT 708 - Administrative Law

      Examines the legal rules governing regulatory agencies, in the U.S. Topics include regulatory adjudication and rulemaking, legislative and executive control over administrative agencies, judicial review and public participation. Course examines federal and state levels of government
      Credits: 4

      POLT 762 - International Political Economy

      The evolution of international economic regimes (monetary, trade, development). Particular emphasis on theoretical approaches to explain current economic problems: systematic theories (interdependence, hegemonic stability); domestic determinants (bureaucratic, interest group); and decision-making theories (rational choice). Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      PS 407 - Politics, Law and Contemporary Society

      This course examines the foundation and structure of the American legal system and the complex relationship between law, politics, and contemporary social structures, including the philosophical and historical origins of law and the concept of sovereignty. Using case studies and United States Supreme Court decisions, the course considers the philosophical, historical, economic, environmental, and sociological underpinnings of contemporary legal and politics issues.
      Credits: 4

      PS 501 - Social and Political-Economic Theory

      Classics of sociological and political economic theory, as well as contemporary thinking in conservative, classical liberal, modern liberal, and radical political economy. Emphasis on the historical context in which these ideas emerge, and the links among them. Readings and discussions include such thinkers as Comte, Spencer, Weber, Durkheim, Locke, Marx, Smith, Riccardo, J.S. Mill, Shumpeter, Keynes, Hayek.
      Credits: 4

      PS 502 - Political Psychology

      Political opinion, identity, and belief-formation and reinforcement. The roles of cognition and emotion in how political identities, opinions and beliefs form, change and resist change. The implications of idea-framing in the acceptance and rejection of political concepts and ideologies. The role of social contexts and the media in creating conceptual boundaries in contemporary politics. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      PS 503 - Political Theory and Historical and Social Context

      Course analyzes and evaluates the roles of political philosophy and historical circumstances in politics through the readings of selected works by political philosophers and political leaders whose writings combine political philosophy with historical analysis. Special attention given to the nature of argument, choice, and leadership in political behavior. Authors studied include Machiavelli, Madison, Marx, and Lincoln.
      Credits: 4

      PS 504 - Empire, Democracy and War

      The United States, the world's oldest and most prominent constitutional democracy, is frequently characterized as an American empire, and empire maintained not only by its political ideals and its economic strength, but also by war. Through the reading of selected ancient and modern works by major political philosophers, historians, and political leaders, this course examines empire, democracy, and war as recurrent political concerns and as the actual experience of different regimes throughout history, including the United States. Works by, among others, Aristotle, Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Kant, Clausewitz, and Lincoln are supplemented by selected historical studies and by analyses of American policy since World War II.
      Credits: 4

      PS 505 - Political Violence and Terrorism

      This course provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of political violence and terrorism. It covers the psychological and sociological roots of terrorism, the organizational patterns of cells, groups and networks, and the role of ideology and identity in shaping goals, targets, and tactics. No credit for students who have previously taken PS 651 Special Topics: Political Violence and Terrorism. This course will serve as a requirement in the forthcoming Homeland Security major.
      Credits: 4

      PS 506 - Civil Society and Public Policy

      Explores how grassroots advocacy organizations and social movements mobilize human and material resources in order to shape public policy and what tatics and organizational and communication strategies lead to success. Provides students with hand-on learning through service learning project at a local organization. Policy areas may include immigration, environmental conservation, women's issues and more. Instructor permission required.
      Credits: 4

      PS 507 - Justice Law and Politics

      This course examines the relationships among law, politics, and social structures and how much relationships shape our conceptions of justice. We explore philosophical and historical origins of US law and such concepts as due process and sovereignty. We examine the foundations and economic, environmental, and sociological underpinnings of contemporary legal and political issues.
      Credits: 4

      PS 508 - Supreme Court in US Society

      This course examines Supreme Court legal holdings from the creation of the American Republic to the present, with attention to the social and historical contexts in which holdings have been made. We examine Constitutional issues, the process by which the Court examines such issues, the ways in which political and social context has framed and influenced Court decisions, as well as how the Court has influenced politics and the broader society.
      Credits: 4

      PS 509 - Political and Social Change in Developing Countries

      Overview of the pressing social, political, and economic issues in the developing world. Analysis includes: political development, including different forms of authoritarianism and democracy; international political economy and models of macro-economic development; international and national aid programs aimed at reducing poverty. Case studies include China, India, Iraq and more.
      Credits: 4

      PS 510 - Politics of Food

      This course examines the politics of how food is produced, marketed and distributed in the United States, with attention to how the American food system has changed since World War II. The ethics and nutritional and public health implications of current agricultural policies and practices are looked at carefully, as are the environmental impacts of current practices. The impact on international food prices and markets and world hunger are also examined.
      Credits: 4

      PS 511 - Women and War

      Explores impact of war on women as both victims (i.e. refugees, rape victims) and participants (i.e. warriors). Covers issues such as women in combat as soldiers and terrorists, women's rights, sexual violence and rape during warfare, women's roles during peace-building etc. Case studies include Bosnia, Liberia, Afghanistan, USA, Colombia, and more.
      Credits: 4

      PS 695 - Independent Study

      Independent study on specific topics in Politics ans Society. Project must be approved by the project supervisor Politics and Society Program.
      Credits: 1-4

      PS 701 - Senior Project and Interdisciplinary Seminar in Politics and Society

      Students undertake internships or other approved field projects with organizations such as political campaigns, media organizations, government offices, business or community groups. The seminar component enables students to share and analyze these experiences, employing readings, discussions, collective behavior games, and speakers. Permission required.
      Credits: 4

      PS 702 - International Relations: Interdisciplinary Approach

      This course explores International Relations Theory as developed by political scientists, subjected to critical insights from other disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, political economy and history. Course first surveys the historical development of International Relations Theory, beginning with Thucydides and Macchiavelli, and proceeding through 20th and 21st century realist, liberal, Marxist and constructivist theories. Theses theories are then examined critically in the light of insights from psychology, anthropology and political economy. Pre or Coreq: PS 501 or PS 401 or permission of instructor. Special fee.
      Credits: 4

      PS 703 - Dictatorship and Democracy

      This course examines the theoretical debates in comparative politics and political sociology regarding the social and economic bases of dictatorship and democracy, as well as the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. The course considers different conceptualizations of democracy, as well as competing theoretical agruments regarding the causes of democractization. Readings draw on case studies from different regions, including Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
      Credits: 4