Political science department changes course requirements

Kelly Tunney

Beginning this fall, political science majors will have the option of changing their catalogue year, giving them more elective options to focus on their concentrations. The catalogue year is the year students enter Kent State.

This new track reduces the number of required core courses in the major from seven to four and increase the number of elective courses in the major from four to seven. The core requirements for political science students act as introductory courses. All majors still have to take the senior seminar course.

Incoming freshmen will be required to follow the new track, but current students have the choice to switch.

Thom Yantek, director of undergraduate studies for political science and associate political science professor, said increasing the political science elective courses will allow students to personalize their major.

“What students are going to be able to do with the new major is design a major that is a little more in sync with their wants,” he said. “They can take more courses they really want to take as opposed to courses that we want them to take.”

Yantek was part of the undergraduate committee that started working on the changes last year after members expressed interest about allowing more electives.

“We didn’t go into it initially with the rationale in mind of freeing up the major,” Yantek said. “We were just doing some bookkeeping and looking at course titles and course sequences when some of the newer members of the faculty started indicating that maybe there were too many requirements and not enough electives. That just got the ball rolling.”

Despite the political science major requirements changing, the minor will stay the same, Yantek said.

Yantek said in order to change to the new catalogue year, current students can go to the College of Arts and Sciences office after the changes take effect in the fall.

Stephanie Mehle, senior political science and justice studies major and member of the undergraduate student committee of the political science department, said students should consider their credits earned before making the switch.

“I think it’s important for students to know that if they want to change to the new catalogue year they can, no matter where they are,” she said. “It depends on what would personally benefit them.”

Tommy Walsh, junior political science major, said he is still debating whether he will switch.

“It’s not much of a difference for me, so I don’t know if I’m going to be switching,” he said. “But we can’t switch anyway until next fall, so I’m going to talk with one of my counselors and see what he says is my best options. We’ll just have to go from there.”

Contact Kelly Tunney at [email protected].