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.
John Endean '11 interned with Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) in January 2011.
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.
In the Fall of 2010, the R-MC delegation to the Model African Union met with the Congolese Ambassador to the U.S. in Washington, D.C.
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.
Kris Garwood '12 presented his research on human rights at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Political Science Association in Chicago.
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 (see course offerings here). 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.