The political science program helps students to develop a comprehensive awareness of the history of American law and the common law tradition in a comparative, global perspective. Through the program, you'll have opportunities to engage with national and international political systems in classes, test yourself against world-class competition in mock trial, and seize internship opportunities around the U.S. and beyond.
All courses in political science make extensive use of the "case method" of instruction and Socratic-style dialogue. "Our classes are very interactive," says Dr. Brad Best, associate professor of political science and a specialist in the fields of American politics, public administration, public policy and public law. "They are really lively discussions of course materials and contemporary issues. They are certainly not passive experiences."
Through the program, you'll hone your scholarly skills with an intensive, well-integrated program taught by professors who work closely with you on research, seeking internships and finding jobs. Upper-level courses help you gain confidence in the field through their emphasis on class material from professional literature.
BVU was among the original 12 founding members of the American Mock Trial Association, which started in 1985 and today has over 500 registered teams. In recent years, the BVU team has earned trophies for "best attorney" and "best witness" at regional competitions. Students are also able to earn academic credit by participating in the program.
Mock Trial isn't solely a co-curricular; in concept, it extends to coursework. "Our students are encouraged to break down the 'fourth wall' of the classroom," says Lisa Kesting-Best, associate professor of political science and a licensed attorney with trial experience. "For legal courses, I introduce students to the trial process in class. Rather than me just lecturing, we'll explore trials by going through the process of one."
BVU has a longstanding relationship with the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, an organization that matches students with internships in Washington, D.C. The Center has placed BVU students in internships in the White House (Bush and Clinton administrations), Congress, law firms, policy think tanks, the Department of the Interior, and various law enforcement agencies. The Washington Center's London Program placed a student in a policy advocacy organization, where she helped to raise awareness of human and women's rights issues.
Most programs coordinated by the Center last one semester. In addition to arranging internships, the Center helps students find housing and manage aspects of life in Washington. Financial support for participation includes aid to help offset living expenses, provided by an endowed fund, for which all BVU applicants to the program are considered.
For more information on the Washington Center, visit http://www.twc.edu/.
For more information on internships, visit the SSPR internships page.
Three BVU political science students are interning in Washington, D.C. this semester at locations that include the White House, a law firm, and the Naval History and Heritage Command. Read more...
We challenge the students to confront the most difficult puzzles of political life the most basic of which is how are we to live together and govern our shared lives. How do we collectively solve problems?