May 22, 2024  
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Political Science

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Faculty and Fields of Interest

Dilshod Achilov comparative politics, democratization, political Islam, Middle Eastern politics

Heidi Berggren American politics, political behavior, women and public policy

Robert Darst international politics, environmental politics

John Fobanjong American government, civil rights, ethnic politics, public administration, international relations (Africa)

Shannon Jenkins American politics, state and local, research methods

Kenneth L Manning (Chairperson) judicial behavior, constitutional law, American politics

Avery E. Plaw political theory, contemporary political theory, history of moral and political thought

Douglas Roscoe American politics, political institutions, research methods

Peter Sandby-Thomas Comparative politics, international relations, Asian politics

Political Science offers a variety of courses in the major subfields of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, public administration and public policy. The program emphasizes the development of analytical and communications skills linked to a substantive understanding of politics, governments and administration. These skills and a knowledge of political science are useful in a broad range of career pursuits.

UMass Dartmouth Political Science graduates are pursuing successful careers in state, local, and federal government; public law, administration, social work, urban planning, the diplomatic service and business. Some have careers in politics as elected officials or legislative aides; or in lobbying, campaign management and polling analysis. The departmental program offers several opportunities for student internships that provide practical experience in many of these areas. Finally, many of the department’s graduates enroll in some of the nation’s leading law, graduate and professional schools where they go on to careers in college teaching, law and corporate management.

The Political Science faculty is active in research, government and community service; and publishes many books and articles in the several subfields of the discipline.

The Political Science Department participates in UMass Dartmouth’s programs to prepare teachers who are highly qualified, helping provide opportunities for students to receive both initial and professional licensure. Specifically, the department supports students who seek initial licensure as a Teacher of Political Science (grades 5 through 8 or grades 8 through 12) through the Post-Baccalaureate Education Certificate and professional licensure as a Teacher of Political Science (grades 5 through 8 or grades 8 through 12) through the MAT program. In order to plan to take appropriate prerequisite and enrichment courses, students should indicate their interest both to their political science major advisor and to an advisor in UMass Dartmouth’s Department of Teaching and Learning.


Every student is assigned a faculty advisor upon enrolling in the political science major. Political Science majors are strongly encouraged to visit with their faculty advisor on a regular basis, preferably at least once each semester, to insure that they are aware of the department’s major requirements and are making satisfactory progress toward meeting those requirements. Consultation with an adviser during the course selection period each semester is required.

Program Outcomes 

We aim to prepare graduates who are informed, critical, and articulate concerning public affairs.


By “informed,” we mean graduates who:

  • understand concepts, theories and empirical findings in political science;
  • possess basic research skills including research design, data analysis and interpretation; and
  • can access, understand and synthesize professional and popular writing on public affairs.


By “critical,” we mean graduates who:

  • formulate arguments and analyze their structure and quality; and
  • assess the relevance and weight of evidence.


By “articulate,” we mean graduates who:

  • write clearly and persuasively; and
  • form and answer political science research questions using research skills and appropriate evidence; and
  • organize their ideas in a focused paper or presentation.

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