Dec 05, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Political Science

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(248) 370-2352
Fax: (248) 370-4299

Department website


Chairperson: Peter F. Trumbore

Distinguished professor emeritus: Sheldon Appleton

Professors emeriti: Thomas W. Casstevens, Robert J. Goldstein, William A. Macauley, Roger H. Marz

Professors: David A. Dulio, John S. Klemanski, Paul J. Kubicek, Terri L. Towner, Peter F. Trumbore

Associate professors: Cristian Cantir, Douglas Carr, Matthew Fails, Diane Hartmus, Roger Larocca, Laura Landolt, Nicole Asmussen Mathew, Claudia Petrescu, C. Michelle Piskulich, J. Patrick Piskulich, Julie Walters

Assistant professors: Cody D. Eldredge, Sung-eun Kim

Special instructor: Alan David Epstein

Internship directors: Diane Hartmus (Public Administration), David A. Dulio (Political Science and International Relations)


Political science offers a concentrated and systematic study of politics at all levels of government and in many different cultural and national settings. Policy making, political institutions, law, political behavior, administration, international politics, foreign governments, and theories and philosophies of politics and government are among the many topics covered in the department’s course offerings. The aim of the department’s general educational courses is to increase students’ awareness and understanding of the broad realm of politics and government. Many students electing a major from the Department of Political Science wish to prepare for careers in all types of fields given the set of skills students develop (e.g., critical thinking, data analysis, writing, etc.) in their studies. Fields closest to the discipline include government, law, public policy, practical politics like campaigning and lobbying, or the teaching of government and social studies. Students earning a degree from the political science department also go on to careers in the non-profit and business sectors and a wide range of graduate programs.

The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in political science is the department’s broadest program and is appropriate for students with an interest in government and politics or students who intend to enter law school or graduate school. Two specializations within the major, Courts, Justice, and Politics, and Campaigns and Elections, allow for more a focused plan of study. The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in international relations is a multidisciplinary major, which is housed in the Department of Political Science, and focuses on global politics, economics, history and philosophy. This major is ideal for students interested in working with a multinational corporation, an international development agency or a government institution such as the Department of State. Two specializations available with the major, Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy, and Global Justice and Sustainability, allow for more a focused plan of study. The department also offers a major in public administration leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. This program is designed to provide appropriate analytical skills and prepare students for direct entry into public service or for specialized graduate programs in public administration and public policy. The Master of Public Administration degree is also offered by the department (see the Oakland University Graduate Catalog), which is a member of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

Departmental Honors and Scholarships

Departmental honors will be awarded to students who have attained an overall grade point average of at least 3.50. Scholarships are available annually on a competitive basis to qualified department majors.

Requirements for a major in political science with other concentrations

Students in political science may pursue a regular major in political science with a number of interdepartmental concentrations. These include American studies, environmental studies and urban studies.

Recommended Courses for Pre-Law Students

It is recommended that political science majors interested in law school elect the law-related courses offered by the department. These include, but are not limited to:

 ,  ,  ,   and  . For advice in planning for law school, contact the department’s pre-law adviser, Prof. Julie Walters. The student should also consult the Pre-law Studies website, accessible through the department’s webpage, as well as the associated section of this catalog.

Advanced Seminars

From time to time, the department offers advanced seminars in which a topic or problem is studied in depth, and in which significant individual student research is presented for analysis.

Political Science - Detroit Mercy Law School, Michigan State University Law School, and Wayne State University Law School 3+3 Programs

The Department of Political Science participates in the Oakland University - Detroit Mercy Law School, Michigan State University Law School, and Wayne State University Law School 3+3 Programs, which allow students the opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree (BA or BS) and a law degree (JD) in a minimum of 6 years. Students majoring in political science, international relations or public administration and public policy may participate.

A total of 30 credits from Wayne State University’s Law School, Michigan State University’s College of Law, or University of Detroit Mercy’s Law School will be counted toward the undergraduate degree for one of these majors. Students must complete the coursework as specified by the major, along with the university’s general education requirements, and then can apply the 30 credits as elective credits toward the 124 required for the undergraduate degree. The 12-credit College of Arts and Sciences Exploratory Requirement is waived for those who participate.

Students interested in this opportunity should contact their academic adviser in the First Year Advising Center, the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office or the Department of Political Science. Contact the department at (248) 370-2352 or via to find out the name of the pertinent faculty adviser in the Political Science Department.

Additional Information

Students are limited to 8 credits of independent study (PS 3996  or PS 4995 ) in any one semester. Applicants must seek departmental approval at the beginning of the semester prior to that of the internship. Public administration majors are required to complete 4 credits of PS 4950 , but no more than 4 credits of PS 4955  may be counted toward the major in political science or international relations. Permission forms are available in 418 Varner Hall.

Schedule of classes

Specific offerings for each semester may be found in the Schedule of Classes.



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