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Department of Political Science

Department of Political Science

A Political Science Degree is a pathway to law school, graduate school, or employment with government agencies or private sector organizations (businesses, interest groups, research organizations). While no specific undergraduate major is required for law school, the political science program addresses the communication skills, critical understanding of institutions, behaviors and values, and analytical thinking recommended for the study of law.

Greetings From the Chair

My name is Fred Gordon and I am the Chair for the Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Administration. I would like to welcome you to our department. As Department Chair and MPA Director, I thought I would tell a little about my background and our department. I grew up in New Jersey and lived in a lot of northeastern cities like Pittsburgh and Baltimore. I earned my Masters in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. I worked seven years in non-profit management before returning back to graduate school to earn my PhD in Political Science from the University of Southern California. I like basketball and occasionally check out the Hawks in Atlanta, but always attend CSU Cougar games. I hope you will check out the background of my colleagues on our department website and get to know them personally.
Politics has been described as the process of who gets what where and why in society. We have made every effort to bring politics to life. We are a department that touches community in many ways. In March 2015, our department participated in the commemorative 50th anniversary of Dr. King's historic civil rights march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. One of our students Kwane Boyd was interviewed on national television. Faculty have participated and shared their research endeavors by presenting at local, state and national political science seminars. Many of these initiatives include student participation. Dr. Sprayberry (History Department Chair) and I are currently interviewing former Freedom Riders. We videotape the interviews. Our plan is to create a written anthology to capture the experiences of these civil rights activists.
As a part of our commitment to community, students are encouraged to include an internship as part of their CSU experience. Professor Bridget Downs oversees our internship program. Students have interned in a wide array of places including the District Attorney's Office, Georgia Legislature, Public Defenders, Solicitors Office, Mayors' Office, Fort Benning, and at the RiverWarden.
Politics is the means to get things done and no surprise, we focus on elections. We frequently hold educational forums addressing political issues. Some of our faculty including Nick Easton and Tom Dolan have been interviewed on local television so always be on the lookout for CSU faculty on the evening news!!
We also encourage our students to study abroad. We work very closely with the Center for International Education, which includes a summer 2015 overseas class in Oxford, England. We also have a wide array of international sponsored events. Dr. Tom Dolan is a Korea expert and teaches several defense and national security classes.
The why in politics can be addressed by taking our political theory courses. Dr. Okura and Dr. Vidal offer a host of political theory bases courses which will challenge you. You will undoubtedly gain a deeper perspective on how decisions are made by taking some of their classes. Dr. Kimberly Gill offers courses on legal analysis. Her work addresses gender concerns and the legal environment. Our MPA program also features additional full time professors Drs. Rebecca Toland and David Kerr. They teach health and justice policy related courses.
The academic year 2015-16 will be our best year yet. First, we are growing!! Philosophy recently joined our department. We have three philosophy professors (Drs. Dan Van Kley, David Wisdo, and Marcus Wiedler) who offer classes that can be applied to your political science degree. Dr. Nicholas Bolden (PhD Auburn 2015) has recently joined our department. He teaches urban politics, American Government and a wide array of graduate classes, so please keep your eye out for him. We are launching new initiatives as well, like our global studies class which will include travel to Istanbul, Turkey during Spring Break 2016. We are expanding in the MPA program as well. Our new tracks will include criminal justice, environment, social welfare, urban policy, and Homeland Security. We plan to implement this program by Fall 2016. Excited?
Please mark your calendars for September 17 where we will present a luncheon program at the Schwob Library in honor of Constitution Day. This program is for both graduate and undergraduate students. As the 2016 election heats up, so will we and we hope to see you in class and at events. However, we also have an open door policy, so feel free to stop by our offices as well or be on the lookout for our welcome back party. I wish all students a hearty welcome back to CSU and hope that you have a very successful year.
Fred Gordon
Chair, Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Administration


News: Political Science faculty present research in Washington, DC

News: Political Science professor named Educator of the Year

NEW: The Bill Chappell Memorial Scholarship will assist students in Columbus State's Master of Public Administration program. The CSU Foundation is accepting contributions to the fund. Go to for instructions on donating by check and credit card or call 706-507-8955 for more information.


Constitution Day

Hallock Lecture Series