Why Study Political Science at New College?

Few other liberal arts colleges in the country can offer the challenging curriculum and high level of faculty expertise you will find in New College's Political Science program. Our faculty offer real-world experience gained through service in the Florida Legislature and as directors and managers of such influential national and international organizations as the U.S. Department of Energy, the World Bank and the Marine Policy Institute at Mote Marine Laboratory.

Political Science area of concentration

Political Science is concerned with the study of politics in many settings. It is particularly useful to students who wish to go on to government service, law, diplomacy, and higher education. Central to the discipline is knowledge of the government and politics of nations and their sub-units; political philosophy (both classical and modern) international and comparative studies; public organization and politics. Basic knowledge of cognate fields and methodologies is also important.

Within general guidelines, however, students have considerable flexibility in planning their studies; some concentrate particularly on the politics of the United States, while others develop an interest in areas such as Latin America, Europe or Africa, and create their own interdisciplinary programs.

(See also Public Policy and Urban Studies)

View Political Science Academic Learning Compact

View Political Science courses offered in last 5 years


Area of Concentration Requirements

Requirements for graduation with an area of concentration in Political Science:

  • At least one introductory level class.
  • Overall distribution of Political Science classes should contain at least one class in three of the following subfields.
    • a. American Politics
    • b. Comparative Politics
    • c. International Relations
    • d. Political Theory
  • A minimum of two advanced seminars (at least one each in two different subfields).
  • Research Design Workshop (recommended for second- and third-year students).
  • Introduction to Statistics or equivalent (such as Quantitative Political Analysis I)
  • Senior Thesis or Portfolio Project in Political Science.
  • Baccalaureate Exam and Oral Defense of the Thesis or Portfolio Project.
  • Total course minimum: 8 Political Science classes or tutorials (not counting thesis tutorials), plus statistics.

Highly Recommended: Introductory work in Economics, History, Sociology, or Philosophy.

Requirements for “double” area of concentration: Same as for “single” concentrators

Requirements for “slash” with Political Science listed first: Same as for “single” concentrator.

Joint Disciplinary AOC Requirements

Requirements for “slash” with Political Science listed second:
A minimum of six courses covering at least three of the subfields listed above and including one introductory course and one advanced seminar.

NOTE: Political Science considers a secondary “slash” to be the equivalent of a minor.
Students are encouraged to obtain field experience through internships or other work experience with agencies of government, political parties, interest groups, etc. In recent years, students have interned with U.S. congressmen, the governor of Florida, the American Civil Liberties Union, and county planning agencies. They have helped in political campaigns, handled publicity for the Sarasota Peace and Justice Center, challenged decisions of the local Airport Authority, and become radio news announcers. Occasionally, students with highly specialized interests, such as Urban Studies, plan to spend a semester at another college or university; this is encouraged when appropriate. Those with interests in comparative politics and international relations are encouraged to spend a semester abroad.


  • Frank Alcock, Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies
  • Amanda Fidalgo, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Keith A. Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty Chair
  • Barbara Hicks, Professor of Political Science; Director, International Studies Program
  • Jack Reilly, Associate Professor of Political Science
  • Nat Colletta, Adjunct Professor of International Studies

Recent Theses

  • The Moral Majority and the Interaction of Religion and Politics in America
  • Islam and Politics in Egypt and Iran
  • The Urban Policy of the Italian Communist Party
  • Pluralism in the Defense Appropriations Process
  • Small Local Governments in Florida: Mayor vs. Manager
  • What Must Remain Public? Essays on Privatization, the Constitution, and Public Administration
  • Race Riots in the United States: Two Explanatory Models
  • Tainted Transitions: The Historical Legacy of Imperialism and the Failure of Democratization in the Caucasus

Careers of Political Science Graduates

Communications Coordinator
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida

Community Engagement Coordinator
Realize Bradenton

Development Specialist
Mental Health Community Center, Sarasota, Florida

Policy Fellow
Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis Associates, Washington, D.C.

Community Initiative Coordinator
SCOPE, Sarasota, Florida

Community Coordinator
Boyer & Boyer, P.A., Sarasota, Florida

SAMPLE PATHWAYS to complete AOC Requirements

These pathways show how you could complete the AOC requirements within four years at New College or within two years after earning an associate’s degree. Please consult with your academic adviser to determine the most appropriate courses for your area of concentration.

Thesis is ideally completed over the entire fourth year, but particularly focused students are able to complete it in a single semester after Research Design. Additional relevant coursework and tutorials are recommended with consultation with the student’s advisor.