The Department of Politics aims to teach, energize, support, and inspire students.
The facts, theories, and skills we ask students to learn are designed to help them succeed personally, professionally, and as community members and citizens of the world. The subject matter is politics, and so our goal is that every graduating Politics Major is knowledgeable about politics and political study, as well as skilled in information gathering, analysis, research, critical thinking, conceptual comprehension, and written and verbal communication.
SUNY Potsdam students pursue the study of politics to prepare for careers in law, government, foreign service, public policy, social action, teaching, business or some combination of these fields.
Still, others are drawn to politics because they realize how significantly politics shape our lives, from interpersonal to international relations. Whether students desire a particular type of employment for which a degree in political science uniquely prepares them, or hope to gain a deeper understanding of how individuals and groups can live together under conditions of greater equality, peace and justice, their course of study in the Politics program will lead them to engage in highly systematic, sophisticated and creative forms of analysis and problem-solving.
“I didn’t know where I wanted to go, or what to do with my life. It seemed like the politics professors genuinely cared. So I enrolled into some international relations courses and then got exposed to the idea of going to Croatia, to do a summer study abroad. I was grateful for those unique experiences.” –Rachel Rudd '19
SUNY Potsdam Student Receives Educational Opportunity Award, Accepted to Johns Hopkins University
Politics student Ramatu Muhammed ’21 has been honored for her outstanding work in international relations as the recipient of the 2020 Norman R. McConney Jr. Award. Muhammed is one of 45 students who recently received the SUNY-wide award, recognizing those who thrive despite obstacles to their success. Muhammed has also been accepted into a master’s program for international relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies—a top program of its kind in the world.
Raising the Bar
As a preamble for her education and career, Sara Behuniak ’14 found herself playing the role of a lead defense attorney in high school. A reading of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” set the stage for a mock courtroom trial as Behuniak and her classmates brought the pages of Capote’s non-fiction masterpiece to life—and in doing so, she found her true calling.
SUNY Potsdam Partners with University at Buffalo Law School for 3+3 BA/JD Program
Motivated SUNY Potsdam students interested in a legal career can now jumpstart their studies at the University at Buffalo School of Law while completing their undergraduate degree, under a new accelerated 3+3 Bachelor of Arts (BA)/Juris Doctor (JD) agreement between the two institutions.
Born to a German mother and Croatian father, SUNY Potsdam Instructor Michael Popovic witnessed the atrocities of war during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. This personal connection to genocide and violence piqued his interest in the field of international studies, a major he helped to establish in 2015.