Frequently Asked Questions

Questions

 

Where can I obtain useful worksheets to help me plan the completion of the PLSC or IR major?

I'm glad you asked. Try these:

International Relations Worksheet
Political Science Worksheet

Can courses taken for the PLSC & IR degrees count towards the General Education requirements?

    Yes and no. In most cases, courses in a student's major discipline may not be used to complete the General Education curriculum. There are some exceptions, however. You may use courses in your major discipline to fulfill the Non-Western Traditions, Numeric/Symbolic Reasoning, and US History portions of the General Education curriculum.

For Political Science Majors, this means that you may not use any PLSC course to satisfy the Social Science (S/) requirement.

    PLSC majors may, however, satisfy the following GenEd requirements with PLSC courses:

  • NUMERIC/SYMBOLIC REASONING: PLSC 251.

  • NON-WESTERN TRADITIONS: PLSC 202, 228, and 240.

  • U.S. HISTORY REQUIREMENT: PLSC 110 and 211. (Note: Only students who earned 85 or higher on the NYS U.S. History Regents Examination may use these courses to satisfy this requirement).

    For International Relations majors, because of the interdisciplinary nature of this program, you may use courses from the basic requirements to satisfy the Social Science (S/) general Education Requirement.

What is the "Writing Requirement" and how do I know whether I have completed it?

    One of the college requirements for the Baccalaureate degree is "completion of the writing requirement." (See Bulletin p. 47). Students automatically satisfy this requirement by earning a grade of "C" or higher on the paper you submit to any 300 level PLSC course they take in satisfaction of the major requirements. As long as you earn a "C" or higher on the paper for one PLSC 300 level course, you need not do anything additional in this regard, as the department will complete the necessary paperwork.

I wish to pursue a double major in PLSC, IR and/or another discipline, how many credits can I cross-count.

Those who are considering a double majorshould keep in mind the college regulation regarding number of credits which may be double counted (p. 40 Bulletin): “at least 24 hours of a second major must be distinct, i.e. not applied toward any other major”.

Political Science is a 30-credit hour major; thus only six credit hours may be double-counted in both majors if you wish to pursue a PLSC/IR double major.  In practical terms for students in the new version of the IR major, this means that PLSC 120 and PLSC 140 may be double-counted, but all other Political Science courses taken for the IR major (such as PLSC 246, the capstone course PLSC 345/346, or any of the electives in the Thematic Cluster Track) may NOT be used for the PLSC major.

Can courses in my second major satisfy the General Education requirements?

    Yes. Courses in the discipline on record as your second (or third, or fourth, etc.) major may be counted toward General Education.

For PLSC, the basic requirements include: “ Two additional courses at the 200-level” and “One additional course at the 200 or 300 level.” What is the difference between these, and can I use 300 level courses instead of 200 level courses?

There is no real difference. To fulfill the basic requirements, you must complete 9 hours of 300 level work distributed as per the field requirements and an additional nine hours of elective 200 or 300 level coursework in PLSC.

For the PLSC Field Requirement, how do I know that I have completed “one in each of the three subfields studied at the 100-level or in PLSC 230”?

    PLSC course numbers indicate which subfield the course satisfies. If you look carefully at the numbers, you will note that at the 100 level: 110 = American; 120 = Comparative; and 140 = International. Additionally, PLSC 230 = Theory.

The same second digit notation holds true at the 200 and 300 level. Thus, any course with the number 31_ = American, 32_ = Comparative, etc. To satisfy the field requirement, you must complete at least three of the following four: 31_; 32_; 33_; and 34_.

What is the difference between the Old and New IR Major?

    Several major changes were made in the Basic Required Courses.  First, the Global Issues class was converted from a 100-level introductory course to a 300-level capstone course (PLSC 346).  As such it will be offered in alternating semesters with Theories of International Relations (PLSC 345).  Capped at twenty students, these two capstone courses will provide a seminar format and increased coherence of the major in the junior/senior years.  Only students choosing the IR major after August 2003 make this choice between PLSC 345 and 346; those choosing the IR major before August 2003 may choose among GEOG 381, PLSC 202, PLSC 345, PLSC 342, PLSC 348, and SOCL 337.  In addition, reflecting the heightened attention to culture in IR, a culture requirement was added; the menu of courses which complete this include PLSC/PHIL 202, PHIL 214, PHIL 215, ANTH 100 and ANTH 301.  Finally, PLSC 120 Comparative Politics was added as a Basic Required Course, reflecting the faculty’s sense that it was a crucial prerequisite for many of the upper-division courses in the major.

The regional Thematic Cluster Tracks were also streamlined into two groups, European Systems and The Developing World.  Those interested in Asian studies and Latin American studies may still pursue their interest, but should do so by selecting the Developing World track.  Of course, the respective interdepartmental minors in Asian and Latin American studies remain alternatives outside the IR major.

The new bulletin also reflects a number of new courses which have been added to the appropriate Thematic Cluster Tracks, as well as deletions of courses no longer offered by various departments participating in the major.

How do I know which applies to me?

    The IR major was revised significantly in spring 2003 and these revisions are reflected in the Undergraduate Bulletin 2004-2006.  THE REVISED MAJOR APPLIES TO ALL STUDENTS WHO ELECTED THE MAJOR AFTER AUGUST 2003; ALL STUDENTS WHO ELECTED THE MAJOR BEFORE AUGUST 2003 ARE GOVERNED BY THE PREVIOUS STRUCTURE OF THE MAJOR AS FOUND IN THE 2002-2004 BULLETIN.  WHEN MEETING WITH THEIR ADVISORS TO REVIEW THE PRE-GRAD CHECK IN THEIR JUNIOR YEAR, STUDENTS SHOULD ASCERTAIN THAT THE CORRECT VERSION OF THE MAJOR HAS BEEN USED.

What if I took INTR 100 but did not declare the major until after the new major took effect?

    If you took INTR Global Issues in Fall 2003, you may use it either as part of the Basic Required Courses (if you elected the major before August 2003) OR as a 100-level elective in your chosen Thematic Cluster Track (if you elected the major after August 2003).  In this latter case (as an elective), you should file a waiver form with Dr. Goeckel’s approval.

When/How should I declare a thematic cluster track?

    You should declare a track as soon as you have decided by filing a standard (yellow) form for declaring/changing a major. 

If you do not declare a track, the default mode is Global Political Economy.  If your track is incorrectly recorded, your pre-grad check and eventually your graduation will be jeopardized. Students are encouraged to submit a change of major form as soon as they know which track they will pursue.

What is the language requirement for IR?

    All IR majors must complete a foreign language at the 202-level, in other words beyond the College requirement of 201-level.  The bulletin indicates the means of completing this requirement (p. 248).

Please note that Geneseo’s offerings of non-traditional foreign languages are limited by demand and resource constraints.  Efforts are now being made, for example, to sequence the offerings of some languages, such as Russian, Chinese, or Japanese.  Students who wish to take a non-traditional language for the IR requirement should consult with the Chair of Foreign Languages and begin at the 101 level on a timely basis and sustain their progress until completion of the 202-level requirement well before graduation.

I am an International ESL student, what do I need to do regarding the language requirement?

    International students who have completed TOEFL for admission to Geneseo are considered to have met the requirement, as documented by Ms. Mary Hope, Director of International Student Services.

Can I count language courses taken via a study abroad program to satisfy the language requirement?

Yes

What is the Study Abroad/Internship requirement?

    The major requires students to study abroad or complete an internship in international affairs.  The preferred option is study abroad, so that students may fully experience cultural differences.  Geneseo offers numerous programs, including some organized by the PLSC Department (i.e., the Moscow Program offered yearly by Professor Goekel) as do many other SUNY campuses.  The Study Abroad Office of Dr. Stephen Burwood can assist you in locating programs suitable to your interests and background.  The Geneseo study abroad fair offers another chance to familiarize yourself with different possibilities. 

Before studying abroad students should review potential course offerings of the host institution with the IR Coordinator for the purpose of credit toward the IR major.  Generally three credits may be applied to the Thematic Cluster Track. 

International relations internships are extremely limited in the Geneseo/Rochester area; students interested in international internships are advised to participate in the Washington Semester program.  All internships must be pre-approved and supervised by a faculty member.  Students interested in internships are encouraged to meet with Marilyn Klotz, internship coordinator for the 2007-2008 academic year.

I am an international student, how does the study abroad requirement affect me?

    International students are considered to have met the study abroad requirement as a result of their status at Geneseo.

That sure does sound complicated, will I be able to complete the IR degree in four years?

    Yes. However, transfer students in particular may have more challenges in completing their degree in four years, as a result of the study abroad/internship requirement, as well as the rotation of courses.  In particular the courses at the 300-level in the tracks may be offered infrequently.  You should take them when they are offered and not defer them thinking you will take them in your final semester at Geneseo; some of the Basic Required Courses on the other hand are offered every semester. The Department is under no obligation to offer a directed study in order for you to complete your major in the time period you prefer.

I still have questions, what should I do?

    If you have any questions about the IR please contact your advisor (for declared majors) or the Program Coordinator, Jeremy Grace, at grace@geneseo.edu or 245-5455. The PLSC/IR offices are in Welles 3.