THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
- POLITICAL SCIENCE END-OF-SEMESTER GATHERING
- STUDY ABROAD IN TORONTO NEXT SUMMER - APPLICATIONS OPEN
- IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ENROLLING IN MAJORS
- PLSC 419 - A COURSE ABOUT ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
- NEW MINOR IN POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY
- FREE STUDENT ADMISSION TO JEFFERSON EDUCATIONAL SOCIETY GLOBAL SUMMIT
- PRE-LAW ADVISER NEWS
- STUDENTS AND ALUMNAE IN THE NEWS
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- FACEBOOK PAGE
Political Science End-of-Semester Gathering
Date: Tuesday, November 28
Time: 7:00 p.m.
We will have members of our amazing faculty and advisory board sharing how a degree in political science advanced their career in private and public sectors as well as in academia. Current political science majors will also talk about opportunities and their engagement inside and outside of campus. Lastly, this will be an informal networking session where you can interact with all participants while having some yummy dessert and coffee.
Applications for the North American Politics course and program in Toronto next May and June are now open on the Penn State Global Programs website.
The course, taught by Dr. Robert Speel, takes place on the Toronto Metropolitan University campus in downtown Toronto, and combines Penn State and Canadian students in one classroom for discussions about the comparative politics of the United States and Canada and on international relations between the two countries.
Among the topics to be discussed will be a comparison of the development of separate political cultures, comparisons of government institutions, election systems, relations between national governments and states and provinces, and comparisons of each country's policy approaches toward the economy, health care, gun control, language, free speech, legal marijuana, abortion, medically assisted suicide, and the role of religion in education. Issues important in international relations between the two countries will also be discussed—this includes trade, border security, prevention of terrorism, and control of the Arctic. Class excursions will visit the Ontario Parliament Buildings and Fort York, site of an important battle in the War of 1812.
A lot of financial aid is available from Penn State Global Programs for students in the course. All students, including those who are not Pennsylvania residents, pay in-state Pennsylvania summer tuition for the course.
We are still determining full financial details, but the costs are among the lowest of any Penn State summer study abroad program because of the low transportation expenses involved in getting to Toronto. There will be $500 grants offered to cover living expenses for the first ten Behrend students with completed applications, provided by the Penn State Behrend School of Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund. Behrend alumna Barbara Welton has given generous donations to cover the expenses of many cultural and historical excursions while in Toronto.
Students stay for a month in single private rooms with private bathrooms on the Toronto Metropolitan University campus in downtown Toronto.
Questions can be directed to Dr. Speel at [email protected].
If you are eligible to enroll in a Penn State major and have not yet done so, it is important to know that enrolling in the Behrend political science major does NOT increase Penn State tuition costs. Penn State does increase tuition for all students who have reached 60 credits or above. Tuition for POLSC majors (and other majors) at Behrend is actually significantly less expensive than for PLSC majors and other majors at University Park.
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. 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.
Students are allowed to complete more than one option within the POLSC major if the requirements of each option are met.
PLSC 419 - The Bureaucratic State - examines the effect that the vast network of governmental agencies has on the lives of everyday Americans. These agencies (e.g. the E.P.A., the F.D.A., the D.E.A., etc.) that were created mainly to implement policies, have become so powerful that they now help create policy as well.
"Administrative Law" is the study of how these large agencies wield power, as well as how the agencies themselves are governed. This course provides a student with the opportunity to study administrative law, an important and largely unappreciated area of American government and life. The course will include examination of many legal cases about how bureaucratic agencies make decisions, such as the issue of Airbnb rentals in Pennsylvania, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions that blocked Trump administration goals under the Administrative Procedure Act.
Penn State has approved a new minor in Politics and Public Policy. The minor is available at Behrend and at University Park and at any other Penn State campus that offers the needed courses.
The requirements of the minor are:
- PLSC 1
- PLSC 202
- STAT 200
- 9 credits (3 courses) from an approved list, including at least 6 credits at the 400-level
The approved list includes the following courses taught regularly at Behrend:
ECON 102, ECON 104, PLSC 177N, PLSC 223N, PLSC 419, PLSC 442, PLSC 473, PLSC 482, PLSC 489, SUST 150N
The full list of approved courses, including those taught at other Penn State campuses, can be found in the Penn State Bulletin.
Students interested in this minor should be sure to take PLSC 1 next semester if they haven’t already, and to take PLSC 202 if they have already taken PLSC 1. While PLSC 1 is usually taught every semester, PLSC 202 is usually offered once every two years. PLSC 419 is also recommended for next semester.
Students get free admission to Jefferson Educational Society Global Summit events in Erie by signing up online using the code "eriecountystudent” — for others, admission is usually $25-$35.
Many prominent authors, journalists, and political leaders are speaking during the Global Summit in Erie over the next two weeks.
Are you interested in law school or a career in law but not sure where to begin? Please consider meeting with Attorney Melissa Shirey, Behrend’s pre-law adviser.
For current seniors that would like to attend law school in the Fall of 2024 – this is a crunch time! Most schools recommend getting applications in before the end of the year and the earlier the better. Submitting early applications can raise your odds of acceptance due to the rolling admissions cycle used by most law schools.
Current juniors that are thinking about law school for the Fall of 2025 should start preparing for the LSAT next semester and plan on taking the LSAT in the summer of 2024.
For juniors and seniors, the LSAC (Law School Admission Council) has two upcoming digital law school forums. The next forum is in November and there is also one scheduled for February. These forums offer an opportunity for aspiring law students to learn about law school, connect with law school representatives, and learn about the financial aid and admission process.
Please email Attorney Shirey at [email protected] if you would like to schedule a time to meet with her. Or you can check out her open office hours, which are posted on her office door (155 Kochel).
Behrend Political Science student Eric Oelhaf published a commentary in the Wall Street Journal’s “Future View” from students about the U.S. border migrant crisis earlier this month.
Attorney Melissa Shirey, Behrend pre-law adviser, and a Behrend alumna, will be joining the team of attorneys with Penn State's Office of Student Legal Services (SLS) effective November 6, 2023. SLS was created in 2010 and provides services to the students at Penn State from legal representation to advice, referrals, document preparation, and support for other legal-related matters. Attorney Shirey's focus will be primarily with students at Penn State's Commonwealth Campuses, which includes Penn State Behrend. More information and details will be shared in next month's newsletter.
Diane Chido, lecturer in Political Science, writes biweekly articles for the Jefferson Educational Society on Global Affairs in a series called "The Wider World." The series is intended to provide a fuller context to events and topics readers may see in headlines but not fully understand. The two most recent columns are on the history of the Palestine conflict back to the Ottoman Empire and the global implications of the current crisis. These and other articles on subjects as diverse as the war in Ukraine, demographic crises, migration, the Sahel, and corruption, can be found on the JES Quick Reads page.
Dr. Robert Speel, associate professor of Political Science, was interviewed earlier this month for an article in the Sunbury Daily Item about the election for a new Speaker of the House.
- College Republicans meets every Monday at 3:30 p.m. in 113 Reed. They also have political information tables set up outside Bruno’s on Tuesdays from noon to 3:00 p.m. Earlier this month, they hosted a candidate forum on campus with Erie County Council candidates Brian Shank and Kim Hunter. To get involved, contact President Anthony Farrar at [email protected].
- To get involved with College Democrats, contact President Mars McAninch at [email protected].
- To get involved with the Behrend Political Society, contact President Madison Kwiecinski at [email protected].
All students and alumni are invited to like the Penn State Behrend Political Science Facebook page and get updated news and find out about events.