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  Old Westbury Home > Politics, Economics & Law > Majors & Minors

Majors & Minors

Undergraduate Degrees

B.A. in Politics, Economics & Law
This curriculum has various objectives: to introduce students to the disciplines of political science, political economy and economics and to examine how these different areas intersect to shape U.S. and international law, institutions, and policies. Such a course of study provides the student with a strong background in the historical development of corporations, social welfare policies, labor organizations, and civil liberties and civil rights movements.

PES also provides students with an opportunity to develop an international perspective in the study of politics and economics - a vantage point vital in today's global marketplace. The global component focuses on issues such as international trade, foreign debt, economic inequality and environmental concerns, as well as institutions such as the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund.

Each day, PES classes cover topics ranging from Presidential election campaigns to Third World development, from theories of value to reform of the U. S. tax system, from the nature of innovation to the origins of organized labor. As wide as the variety of topics available to be reviewed are the array of comparative, historical, institutional, experimental, or theoretical approaches faculty use to promote learning.

B.A. in Industrial and Labor Relations
This is a multidisciplinary major, administered by the Politics, Economics, and Law Department. Through the vantage point of worker/employer relations, it explores the history, contributions, and problems of working people and their institutions in contemporary society, as well as the theory and practice of various management methods and models, from scientific management to modern human resource management. Foundation courses introduce students to the analytical tools of political science and economics that are useful in the specialized study of labor-management issues.

Core courses emphasize current labor-management and labor-government issues, including collective bargaining, grievance procedures, arbitration, labor and employment law, public policy, and labor economics. Electives allow students the opportunity to further explore labor-management issues from the perspectives of management, unions, history, economics, sociology, politics, law, and public health.

The curriculum recognizes that globalization of labor markets and production is rapidly changing the labor-management environment. Multinational corporations, with their enormous size and ability to relocate production and other facilities, have upset the post-World War II balance of power with unions. Thus, courses emphasize the dynamic nature of current labor-management relations.


Global Studies
Offered in cooperation with the Modern Languages and Sociology Departments, the Global Studies minor contains two options. The first option brings together the international and regional courses offered in Modern Languages and Politics, Economics & Law to enhance students' understanding of the issues and challenges associated with the present stage of economic globalization, and to prepare them for a rapidly changing world. The second option (ML/PES) recognizes the importance of foreign language study. It requires two years of course work in a foreign language: one year as part of General Education, the second year within the minor.

Industrial and Labor Relations
A minor in Industrial and Labor Relations is intended to assist students in career advancement, whether in the private or public sector. It also would indicate to graduate and law schools a secondary subject area of interest on the part of applicants. Finally, and most importantly, it enables students to plot out a cohesive area of study secondary to their major, enhancing the quality of their education.

Pre-Law Studies
Law schools maintain that there is no particular undergraduate major that will best prepare students for admission to the study of the law. In accepting applicants, all use LSAT scores, GPA's, reference letters, personal written statements, and various indicators of applicants' interest in and suitability for entry into the profession. However, schools have identified the requisite skills for success in the completion of a law degree. They include analytical and problem-solving skills; the ability to reason, to construct a logical argument, and to present that cogently orally and in writing. A strong liberal arts education is crucial in developing these abilities. Through a curriculum that crosses the disciplines of American Studies, History & Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law, and Sociology, students access a range of courses which contribute to a knowledge base that is pertinent to law studies. The curriculum of the minor pulls together courses in the liberal arts disciplines of economics, history, philosophy, political economy, political science, and sociology.

Public Policy
In conjunction with the Health & Society faculty of the Biological Sciences Department and the Sociology Department, the department offers this minor to give students an opportunity to explore the role of government in addressing current issues of public concern.


Did You Know?

Maryann De Leo, a 1977 graduate of the Media & Communications program within the American Studies Department, was honored with an Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 76th Annual Academy Awards for her work as producer and director of "Chernobyl Heart," a film about the effects of radiation on the children of Belarus, Russia, 16 years after the infamous nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl.

The JP Morgan Chase Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to support the Curriculum Materials Center in the College library.

Women's volleyball coach, Marjahna Vickers, was named the 2005-06 College Female Coach of the Year by the Nassau County Sports Commission after leading the Lady Panthers to 21 wins and the most successful season in the program's history.

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