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Politics, Philosophy, and Law Department

The Political Science program provides many educational opportunities for the undergraduate student, with particular strengths in comparative politics, relations and legal studies.

The Philosophy program offers its majors and minors a variety of courses in traditional areas of philisophical inquiry and encourages a broad range of classes in other discplines to create a well-rounded education for the philisophical mind.

Philosophy is the rational investigation of truths about reality, knowledge, and values essential to understanding the place of human beings in the world. Political Science is the systematic study of political systems, behaviors, and processes, as well as the systems of thought which underlie political structures. Both of these disciplines include within their scope the study of logic, the scientific method, and the investigation of ethical and political values. Together they provide reflective insight for themselves, as well as other fields of study.

 

CAREERS

The study of Philosophy, Political Science, and Law at UW-Parkside offers opportunities toward many fulfilling careers or further training in graduate school.
 

International
With the analytical tools of Philosophy and Political Science, one can understand complicated international dilemmas. From reading the newspaper to taking a job at the United Nations, Philosophy and Political Science are strong backgrounds. Americans employed abroad may work as foreign service officers for the Department of State, as Peace Corps volunteers, or as employees for any number of non-governmental organizations.

Federal
There is a myriad of jobs among the various branches of the U.S. government for which Philosophy or Political Science is an appropriate background. Such career opportunities might range from an intelligence specialist with the CIA, to a program analyst with a regulating agency, or a research assistant on Capitol Hill.

State and local
Job opportunities for Philosophy and Political Science students have increased substantially in this sector as a result of the expansion of executive and legislative responsibilities in such areas as pollution control, consumer protection, and industrial development.

Many students who intend to go to law school see a Philosophy or Political Science degree as an appropriate stepping stone. A number of courses are available to expose students to contemporary social and legal issues of the day.

Law School

Law School Admission Council Online

LSAT/GRE Sample Logic

Writing for Law School Admission

There are various courses/materials that might be pursued for additional preparation.  Talk to your advisor about how to prepare for the LSAT.

Undergraduate training in Philosophy or Political Science provides you with analytic skills that are transferrable to the world of business. Studying public administration, organizational theory, and international politics may be particularly helpful to those interested in business careers.

A background in Political Science provides excellent preparation for a career in journalism, particularly for political reporters who need to be especially literate in the workings of government.

 

Interest groups are major agents in the political process. They represent virtually all sectors of American society, including business interests, civil rights organizations, environmental activists, and organized labor. Such groups need a range of specialists with backgrounds in Philosophy, Political Science, and Law.

A Philosophy or Political Science major offers excellent preparation for continued study in graduate school. Students who aspire to earn either a master's degree (M.A., M.S., MPA, etc.) or a doctorate (Ph.D.) in either discipline have a number of career opportunities open to them. While most people with advanced degrees in Philosophy and Political Science are employed as college and university professors, graduate training can also lead to employment in government, professional research organizations, and other interest groups.

Graduate School

All reputable graduate schools require that you take the Graduate Record Examination(GRE). Their on-line site is: GRE

The following are commercial GRE prep sites.
Cutts GRE Tutorial
Princeton Review
Kaplan

USAJOBS provides data on jobs in the federal government. Searches can be conducted by geographic area, or specialized categories. On-line application forms are available. 

For jobs in Wisconsin, contact the UW-Parkside Career Center or Wisconsin.gov.

RESEARCH

The Partisan Impact on Local Government Dissemination of COVID-19 Information: Assessing US County Government Websites

Hansen_Michael2

University of Wisconsin Parkside assistant professor, Dr. Michael Hansen, of the Politics, Philosophy, and Law Department, published COVID-19 research with three undergraduate students and a Swedish Ph.D. candidate. The team found a positive relationship between Democratic vote share in the 2016 election and a county government’s dissemination of COVID-19 information on their websites. On average, the results indicated that citizens in predominately Republican counties have less opportunity to acquire information and knowledge about the virus on official local government websites.

Continued below

The team, comprised of Dr. Hansen, Isabelle Johansson, and UW-Parkside students Kalie Sadowski, Joseph Blaszcynski, and Sarah Meyer, investigated the correlation between a county’s publication of COVID-19 information on government websites and the county’s partisanship. Local government websites were studied for a number of reasons, most importantly because “county governments have an obvious incentive to reduce the spread of the disease, one would expect that county governments would make a similar active attempt to educate their citizens on how to stay safe.” In order to determine the mass partisanship of a county, the team used Hillary Clinton’s 2016 county vote share, which is easily obtained from states’ election commission websites. When asked about the project, Dr. Hansen said “I created this project so that students could gain the research assistant experience. In addition, I believe that including students in the research process gives them a larger stake in their education, as well as valuable tools for future career success.”

In this study, the team reviewed every county website, including all associated pages of the main website page, in the U.S. (3,082 counties) for mention of COVID-19 using website search functions, even recording the simplest mention of COVID-19 as the reason a particular governmental building is closed as a positive mention from April 17 – April 24, 2020. In addition to the mere mention of COVID-19, the team further records whether the county website shares information on how to stay safe during the pandemic or provides an external link to guidelines on staying safe.

As seen in Figure 1. the study found that out of the 3,082 county governments in the U.S. 25.5% of the websites did not mention COVID-19 at all, and more surprisingly, 39% of county websites did not provide any information on, or link to, safety precautions in regards to the virus. (5.1% of county governments did not have an official website.) In addition to these results, the study found that there is a positive relationship between the amount of COVID-19 cases in a county and whether a county government website mentions COVID-19 and provides safety information. The results also indicate that there are positive statistically significant relationships between 2016 Clinton vote share and both mentioning COVID-19 on the county government website and providing safety information related to the virus.

Graph to tie into Hansen's research

For more information about this research contact Dr. Michael Hansen at hansenm@uwp.edu.

 

Student Researcher Sarah

Sarah  |  My contribution to the project included collecting data from county government websites and coding it. As the project progressed, I specifically focused on collecting data regarding information on COVID-19. This opportunity allowed me to gain invaluable research experience and being a published coauthor as an undergraduate has been a wonderful opportunity.

Joe's image

Joe  |  Working on the transparency in local government project for the political science department has been an intriguing experience. Examining all the city governments in the State of Wisconsin and county governments across the United States allowed me to get a better understanding of how local municipalities conduct their business. Local governments seem to be overlooked and not get much attention despite having a direct impact on everyday citizens. I am grateful to have been a part of a project and study that explored local government transparency.

Kalie Sadowski headshot

Kalie  |  My contribution to this research project included manually retrieving data from county government websites to measure transparency between the community and government institutions. Beyond data collection, I was able to navigate through hundreds of county websites and identify how county governments were updating their residents on COVID-19 safety procedures, precautions, and guidelines. This opportunity with Dr. Michael Hansen gave me the chance to utilize skills I have learned in my political science and research methods classes at UW-Parkside. I am proud to say I am a published co-author on a COVID-19 publication! This research experience at UW-Parkside solidified my love for political science and will be very beneficial as I continue my education through law school

4-Year Degree Guarantee Program

  • Associate of Arts in Professional Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Concentration in Law
  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Ethics Certificate
  • Social Justice Certificate

Earn all of these credentials in 4 years GUARANTEED. With integrated and aligned majors, minors, certificates, and general education courses you will be on a clear path to graduation from day one. 

intern

INTERNSHIPS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE


The primary purpose of the internship program is to give students the opportunity to experience the workings of politics and government first-hand. For this reason it is expected that much of the student's learning in the program will come from his or her unique position as a member of the staff in a public service or agency office and from the mountain of daily information they will absorb from public documents and office briefing reports. As a supplement to this learning and as a way to make the student, as a participant intern, more aware of their roles in the overall political process, he or she must fulfill the following requirements.
 

10 Points
1. Completion of a weekly log or journal which should include:
a) a description of work performed.
b) a list of insights and behavioral patterns discerned about the judicial system and government that day;
c) reminders about duties which should be performed during the next day or week.
d) total number of hours worked.

10 points
2. Completion of a portfolio containing all work --e.g., legal research or reports drafted, specific assignments carried out, extensive projects, agency publications, etc. (Both log and portfolio will be submitted to the Internship Director along with the final term paper).

30 points
3. Completion of a paper of 10-20 typewritten pages related to the area of specialty where the student is placed. The paper is expected to be library researched and deal with current problems experienced by the agency. In addition to the popular internet for information, students are also expected to refer to scholarly books and journals.

10 points
4. Class Presentation and Class Attendance

40 points
5. Evaluation of Intern by Agency Supervisor based on hours*
a) Attendance
b) Activities completed
c) Professional Responsibility and Growth
d) Quality of work completed

*Hours
Students are expected to spend at least 3 hours at the internship site for every credit they are taking. For example, a student signing up for 3 credits should plan on spending 9-10 hours at the agency per week.

PROGRAM CONTACT

Geneva Whitmire  |  (262) 595-2177  |  whitmire@uwp.edu

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Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement Classification
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