The department continues to innovate and create new curriculum options for our students. In fall 2019, the department is rolling out two new curriculum changes: undergraduate tracks and a Concurrent B.A./B.S. in Political Science and M.A. in Security Studies degree.
The undergraduate tracks allow students to indicate an area of emphasis or specialization on their transcript. Kathy Lillich, academic advisor for the department, believes that track options will be a recruitment tool and be beneficial to students in demonstrating an area of interest within the discipline of Political Science. Lillich states “the track options give students the opportunity to develop substantive knowledge in a particular area of interest in Political Science, creating a marketable skill set that can help them really stand out in the post-graduation job market.
Students can select one of five track options that align with their academic interests and career goals. Each track requires nine credit hours, and is composed of a mix of required courses and elective options. Students can choose one of the following track options:
- Public Service: designed for students interested in a administrative position in the public or non-profit sector
- Global Politics and Security: designed for students interested in international security, diplomacy, international organizations, and related non-profit organizations
- Society and Environment: designed for students interested in social and environmental problem solving, agricultural and food-related private businesses, and non-profit and political advocacy groups
- Politics of the Global South: designed for students interested in careers that impact or involve the non-Western world and knowledge of African, Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern countries.
- Law: designed for students interested in the legal profession in any capacity, working in private business, or government and legal relations
In addition to the undergraduate tracks, the Concurrent B.A./B.S. in Political Science and M.A. in Security Studies degree provides students with a way to maximize their time and tuition funds. With careful attention to undergraduate course scheduling, this concurrent degree can be completed in five years as opposed to the traditional six years to obtain the degrees independent of one another. One important advantage of this program is that a total of nine credit hours can be applied to both degrees, so overall tuition cost is reduced by a corresponding amount.
Students graduating from this concurrent degree program will leave their time at K-State well situated for the job market. The interdisciplinary nature of the Security Studies program will provide them with the needed context to enter into professional careers in international affairs. The range of students enrolled in the program includes field grade officers in the U.S. military, international students, and recent graduates from traditional undergraduate programs. Having that type of diverse student perspectives in the classroom, as well as instruction by award winning faculty, will prime graduates from the program for success.