The Political Science Department has two well-established internship programs, one in the state legislature and a second that places interns in the offices of local, state, and national government officials in Richmond and Washington, D.C. Additionally, the department has established an internship program at the United Nations in New York City. These programs are designed to integrate academic knowledge with the practical experience of working for officials of the government. Academic Simulations (Model U.N./Model A.U.)
The department offers opportunities to participate in academic simulations such as the Model United Nations or Model African Union. Students earn academic credit by role-playing as diplomats representing a nation or non-governmental organization in a simulated session of an international organization. Participants research a country, investigate international issues, and travel to a conference for debate and collaborative problem-solving.
Independent Study and Student Research
Independent study courses for juniors and seniors, as well as senior projects, are available for students who show superior ability and strong personal motivation. These programs allow students to integrate classroom knowledge with independent research, special readings, and individual instruction from one or more of the political science faculty. In addition, students may take advantage of opportunities to present their research, either from independent study or from significant class projects, at major disciplinary conferences. Student AssociationThe Political Science Students Association works to bring together students of political science at Randolph-Macon College. Membership is open to all interested students, whether or not they major or minor in political science. The group organizes various events, including an Election Night Watch Party; trips to various speakers in the Richmond metropolitan area; and an annual Spring trip to Washington D.C.
Pi Sigma Alpha
Randolph-Macon College maintains the Chi Iota chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the only honor society for college students of political science and government in the United States. Under the direction of Professor Badey, Pi Sigma Alpha honors those students who have maintained an overall record of excellence in the field of political science. Each Spring, the chapter hosts an induction luncheon where incoming and graduating students are congratulated by their peers and faculty.
Through R-MC’s January term travel programs, political science majors can access a variety of travel experiences. For example, in January 2010, political science students in Professor Badey’s Major Governments of Western Europe course toured Paris, Brussels, and other European political and cultural centers.
The department specifically offers political science courses in partnership with a number of institutions in Europe, including Wroxton College in England and the Sorbonne in France. In addition, the department works closely with students who pursue other travel and study abroad opportunities to ensure they meet all major requirements for graduation.
Most political science majors complete a major research project in their senior year, guided by a faculty member in a Senior Seminar. This collaborative, small class experience provides the support and direction each major needs to undertake a significant exploration of a social scientific research question. Students have the opportunity to present their research to the college community during R-MC’s Research Day.