Frequently Asked Questions about the Concentrations

Q) What is the purpose of these concentrations?

A) In the 2000-01 academic year the Department of Political Science introduced the Global and International Affairs (G&IA) Concentration, along with a Politics and Law (P&L) counterpart. The G&IA Concentration is designed to acknowledge those political science majors who have oriented their studies toward global and international affairs, and provides a framework for course selection. The P&L Concentration does the same for those political science majors who have focused their studies on the intersection of law and politics.

Q) Are political science majors required to pursue one of the Concentrations?

A) No. Pursuing one (or both) of the Concentrations is optional and completely at the discretion of students. The Concentrations are merely intended to recognize those students who have chosen to focus their studies in these directions.

Q) What are the Concentration requirements?

A) The requirements for the G&IA Concentration include a minimum of four (4) courses in comparative politics and an additional four (4) courses in international relations. The requirements for the P&L Concentration include a total of nine (9) courses, of which at least four (4) must be core law-focused classes with the remaining courses being those that are related to, though not necessarily exclusively focused on, law and politics. Concentration worksheets are available from the Concentration advisors as well as on-line ( for the G&IA Concentration and for the P&L Concentration).

Q) Are the course requirements for the Concentrations in addition to the course requirements for the major?

A) Courses may count for either the major or the Concentration OR BOTH. For example, PHIL 146 counts toward the Concentration in Politics & Law but it does not count as a political science course toward fulfilling the requirements of the major. On the other hand, PLSC 117 Introduction to World Politics counts as a political science course toward fulfilling the requirements for the major but it does not count toward the Politics and Law Concentration. BUT, PLSC 331 Constitutional Law counts both toward the Politics and Law Concentration and toward fulfilling the requirements of the political science major.

Q) Is successful fulfillment of the Concentration requirements noted on my transcript?

A) No. Such a designation on students’ transcripts requires approval from SUNY Central in Albany. We have looked into the possibility of initiating this, but are not optimistic that it will happen soon. You will, however, be provided with a Concentration certificate upon successful completion of the Concentration (and the requirements for the major). And of course, you should note the fact that you are pursuing (or have completed, as the case may be) the Concentration on your resume and in any other way that you see fit.

Q) Are only the courses listed on the Concentration information sheets valid toward the Concentration requirements?

A) Not necessarily. There may be other courses offered in the Department of Political Science, other departments at Binghamton University, or at other institutions that can fulfill the Concentration requirements. If you have questions regarding other specific courses that may count toward the Concentration, please see the appropriate Concentration advisor.

Q) How do I register for either of the Concentrations?

A) The first step is to obtain a list of courses that count toward each Concentration from the Concentration advisors or on-line. Dr. Sieberg’s office is located in LNG 88; Dr. Martinek's office is located in LNG 53. You should complete a Concentration course list with your Concentration advisor. If you successfully complete the requirements for the concentration—and for the major in political science—a certificate of completion will be sent to you upon graduation.

Q) What if I register for the Concentration but subsequently decide not to pursue it?

A) That is your decision - there is no downside to registering but not completing the requirements.

Revised September 14, 2006