Bachelor Degree (B.A.) in Politics
ENGAGE RESPONSIBLY WITH THE WORLD
In this compelling major, you will have the opportunity to develop a knowledge of politics grounded in a deep understanding of the perennial questions of political life – with the goal of becoming thoughtful and well-informed citizens of the nation and the world. Following the Catholic, Benedictine intellectual tradition, the department looks to the promise of human community today while finding inspiration in the greatest thinkers of the past. Emphasis is placed on the serious study of great works of political philosophy, as well as the writings, documents, and deeds of American thinkers and statesmen. We offer courses in the American founding, political philosophy, international relations, public policy, institutions such as Congress and the Presidency, as well as experiential learning opportunities like Moot Court and internships.
The Politics Department aims to empower students to engage in intelligent analysis of the essential questions of political life and enable them to communicate these ideas effectively. Further, we seek to equip students with knowledge of the fundamentals of the discipline in the subfields of political philosophy, American politics, law, and international relations. Finally, we strive to prepare students not only for success in their careers or graduate studies, but also to lead lives of integrity and to be a blessing to themselves and their communities.
Possible career paths:
Civil Servant, Congressional Aide, Journalist, Policy Analyst, Lawyer, Lobbyist, Intelligence Officer, Foreign Service
Average Class Size
In addition to the specific requirements listed in the section below, all students at the Abbey are required to earn credits in our core liberal arts curriculum.
Liberal Arts Core:
PO 201: The American Constitution
PO 250: Justice and the Good Society
PO 299: Introduction to International Relations
PO 309: Constitutional Law I: Government Structures OR
PO 310: Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
PO 315: Research Methods in Politics
PO 331: The American Congress OR
PO 332: The American Presidency
PO 361: American Political Thought I: American Founding OR
PO 362: American Political Thought II: American Heritage
5 additional Politics electives at 300 level or above
1 Economics course EC 201 or above
PO 490W: Senior Thesis
General Elective Courses
Regular consultation with a faculty advisor is recommended.
*It is the student’s responsibility to verify that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.
In Introduction to International Relations, you will study diplomacy, violent conflict, humanitarian aid and other concepts which shape our changing world.
In Constitutional Law I, you’ll discover how America’s unique Constitution sets the operating terms on which everything else in political life depends.
The American Congress will familiarize you with the practices of, and theory behind, the Legislative Branch of America’s Government.
American Political Thought I considers the foundational contributions of thinkers such as Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Hamilton to the early formation of the United States.
In American Political Thought II, you will encounter the political ideas of major figures whose actions and writings influenced the development of post-Civil War and 20th Century America, including: Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Orestes Brownson, Mark Twain and Woodrow Wilson.
Possible internships exist within local government, with non-profits or with think tanks. Many students apply for summer internships in Washington, DC in congressional ofﬁces or through special programs offered by organizations like the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, or the Hertog Foundation.
More about the experience
PATRICK MCHENRY ‘99
“Had I not experienced the Abbey, I don’t think I would be in Congress today. I don’t think I would be as happy personally and have a fulfilled spiritual life and fulfilled personal life as I do without my Abbey education and training.”
GRACE BRUNO ‘17
Legislative Assistant, U.S. Senate
“The Government Program at Belmont Abbey assumes a holistic approach to teaching our American political tradition, which offers students a full understanding of our government’s originating principles and the philosophies it draws upon. Studying the founders and the writings of those who influenced them provides insight into our great American experiment and inspires an appreciation for our foundation, which is of crucial importance as we observe the 21st Century political landscape. My education in the Government Program was an ideal beginning for my career in politics and public policy, and continues to influence me today.”
MICHAEL MEAD ‘18
Former Communications Director, Congressman Greg Murphy
“Belmont Abbey’s classical liberal curriculum and government program in particular helped me gain an incredible appreciation for the brilliance of the underpinnings of western civilization and the American founding. My Government and Political Philosophy degree introduced me to a wide array of thinkers from Aristotle to James Madison who have molded my beliefs about the role of government in a free society. I am truly grateful to have benefitted from the fantastic faculty and curriculum that I was offered at Belmont Abbey College.”
VINCENT GINSKI ‘17
Strategic Initiatives Director, Gaston Business Association
“This program has directly impacted my life and career in incredibly positive ways. Once you begin applying this type of education to all aspects of life, you will appreciate just how prepared you are to head out into the community and make a difference. You will learn that you think differently than most others — and that’s a good thing.”