THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
- FALL 2024 COURSES
- NEW LEGAL STUDIES MINOR APPROVED
- ENROLLMENT IN MAJORS
- DR. SHUM’S EXPERIENCES AS ELECTION OBSERVER IN TAIWAN
- PRE-LAW NEWS
- INTERNSHIPS IN SENATOR CASEY’S OFFICES
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- FACEBOOK PAGE
Here is a list of Political Science, Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Global and International Studies courses that we intend to offer at Penn State Behrend in Fall 2024.
- PLSC 001 - American Politics (GS, US)
- PLSC 003 - Comparing Politics around the Globe (GS, IL)
- PLSC 007N - Contemporary Political Ideologies (GS/GH)
- PLSC 014 - International Relations (GS, IL)
- PLSC 017N - Introduction to Political Theory (GS/GH)
- PLSC 178 - Organized Crime, Law, and Politics
- PLSC 200N - Government and Politics of Europe (GS/GH, IL)
- PLSC 210N - Rights in America (GS/GH, US)
- PLSC 230 - American Political Campaigns and Elections (GS, US)
- PLSC 442 - American Foreign Policy
- PLSC 456 - Politics and Institutions of Latin American Nations
- PLSC 472 - The American Legal Process
- SOC 001 - Introductory Sociology (GS)
- SOC 012/CRIMJ 012 - Criminology (GS)
- GLIS 102N - Global Pathways (GS/GH, IL)
Please note that all students in the International Relations option of the POLSC major should be taking PLSC 200N next semester (if they have not taken it already).
All students in the Crime and Law option of the POLSC major should be taking PLSC 472 next semester (if they have not taken it already).
Penn State University has approved a new Legal Studies minor. The minor is available at Behrend, at University Park, and at any Penn State campus that offers the needed courses.
The minor requires the following courses offered at Behrend for 18 total credits:
- PLSC 1 - 3 credits
- CRIMJ 100 - 3 credits
Choose two of the following courses: PLSC 210N, PLSC 471, PLSC 472, PLSC 473 - 6 credits
Choose two of the following courses: PLSC 177N, PLSC 178, PLSC 202, PLSC 223N, PLSC 419, PLSC 471, PLSC 472, PLSC 473, PLSC 480W, PLSC 482, PLSC 487 - 6 credits
At least 6 of the total credits toward the minor must be at the 400-level.
Other courses offered at other Penn State campuses may also count toward the minor.
The minor does not yet appear in the Bulletin or on LionPath. Students will be able to enroll in the minor once it appears on LionPath later this semester.
Students who are eligible to enroll in a major (usually completion of 30 or more credits, with a GPA of 2.0 or above) are strongly encouraged to do so. If you are of fourth semester status or later as a Penn State student, you need to enroll in a major right away to receive proper advising and other forms of assistance. If you are a third semester student, you are usually eligible to enroll in a major.
Students enroll in a major or minor via LionPath and the “Update Academics” tab.
Enrollment in the POLSC major provides at least four benefits:
- The ability for academic advisers to make needed degree substitutions, including proper placement of transfer credits on degree audits
- Eligibility to be invited to certain events, such as dinners with alumni and community leaders
- Eligibility for certain awards open only to POLSC majors
- Notifications about certain jobs or internships for POLSC majors
The Penn State Behrend POLSC major currently has four options:
- Politics and Government (General Option) - This option allows students to choose their own concentrations of coursework within political science and helps to prepare students for a variety of careers, including government employment, social studies secondary education, activist politics, and graduate school in political science.
- Crime and Law - This option requires coursework in criminology and law and helps to prepare students for careers in law or criminal justice, including students planning on law school.
- International Relations - This option requires coursework in international politics and comparative politics and prepares students for careers with international institutions or in business in other countries, and for graduate school work in international affairs.
- Public Policy - This option requires coursework related to how to make government and policy decisions effectively and prepares students for careers with government offices, businesses, interest groups, or think tanks related to public policy, or in public administration, or for graduate degree programs in public policy or public administration.
Each option requires completion of 36 credits of PL SC courses and 6 credits of general education courses from other relevant fields. To learn the requirements of the options, see the Bulletin listing.
Review the lists of approved courses.
Students are allowed to complete more than one option within the POLSC major if the requirements of each option are met.
Professor Maggie Shum was invited to a week-long electoral observation tour organized by Friends of Hong Kong and Macau Association (FHKMA) and Mainland Affairs Council for the national elections in Taiwan that took place on January 13, 2024.
During the tour, the group visited the electoral headquarters of the three major parties: The Democratic Progressive Party (PDD), Kuomintang (KMT), and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), as well as attended talks and panels focusing on Taiwan–China relations, U.S.-Taiwan relations, and Taiwan electoral politics.
Below are some takeaways from Professor Shum's experience with the tour:
- The “China factor” certainly played a significant role in the rhetoric of the election. On one hand, the DPP highlighted its commitment to safeguard Taiwan’s identity, its democracy, and freedoms (in contrast to China). The KMT, on the other hand, framed the vote choice in terms of war and peace, presenting themselves as a party that would not provoke China, resulting in an increasing risk of war with China.
- While the Chinese government and some media portrayed the result of the election as the Taiwanese people’s choice between “unification” and “independence,” this dichotomy does not accurately reflect the mainstream attitude on this issue. According to a poll conducted by the Election Study Center at National Chengchi University, the percentage of Taiwanese people who strongly support “unification” and “independence” were 1.6 percent and 4.5 percent respectively. A majority of Taiwanese (88 percent) actually prefer maintaining the status quo.
- Interestingly, the emergence of TPP as the third contender of the presidential race signals another layer that is often overlooked by international media. The TPP candidate Ko Wen-je managed to capture much of the youth votes (heavy use of social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram) and those who have grown tired of the dominance of the DPP and KMT. While Ko was rather vague on his stance on the “China factor,” he connected with the younger generation on domestic issues such as rising housing prices, stagnating wages, education, etc.
The incumbent party (DPP) got an unprecedented third consecutive presidential term with current Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te winning 40 percent of the vote, followed by the KMT (33.5 percent) and TPP (26.5 percent). However, president-elect Lai Ching-te will likely face challenges in pushing forward a DPP agenda as the party failed to capture a majority in the Legislative Yuan (congress). This means that the TPP will likely play a pivotal role in forming a coalition in the legislature.
Dr. Shum plans to give a talk on campus in the near future about her experiences as an election observer in Taiwan.
Are you interested in attending law school but don't know what to do? Pre-Law Adviser Melissa Shirey can help you navigate the law school application process. For students thinking of law school for the Fall of 2025, it is recommended that you take the LSAT in the Summer of 2024. Registration for the June LSAT test dates is in April - just three months away. Attorney Shirey can also suggest some free resources available online to help you prepare for the LSAT.
If you have questions or concerns about the law school application process or the LSAT, please reach out to Attorney Shirey. She can be reached via email at [email protected]. She also has office hours most Fridays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Kochel 155 (please check the schedule on her door for any changes).
Applications are now open for Summer 2024, available on Senator Casey's website. The applications close on February 25. Internships are paid $16/hour and are intended to be full time for each six-week session.
Students with ties to Pennsylvania are encouraged to apply. Interns receive a firsthand look at how policy is formed and implemented as well as how Senate offices assist and connect with constituents. These experiences are a great introduction to public service and the work of the United States Senate.
Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, associate teaching professor of Political Science, will moderate a panel about Ukraine’s Domestic Policy on February 3 for the Contemporary Ukraine Program’s conference on Decolonizing Ukraine in Theory and Practice at Harvard University.
The Behrend Political Society will be meeting this semester every Monday at 5:00 p.m. in Reed 114. To get involved, contact President Bella Eibl at [email protected].
College Republicans meets every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. this semester, usually in Reed 113. On the evening of February 28, they will be hosting a Turning Point USA session on Election Integrity in the McGarvey Commons of the Reed Building. Speakers will include Seth Keshel of the Election Fairness Institute and Toni Shuppe of Audit the Vote PA. To get involved or to confirm room numbers for an upcoming meeting, contact President Anthony Farrar at [email protected].
To get involved with College Democrats, contact President Mars McAninch at [email protected].
All students and alumni are invited to like the Penn State Behrend Political Science Facebook page, get updated news, and find out about events.