department of political science

206 Washburn Hall, 80 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

– 401.874.2183

Think Big, We Do.
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Students in our URI Bikes Not Bombs service learning course send bikes to people in Africa who don’t have access to transportation.

See the big picture.

A complex maze of challenges faces our world today, and most of the problems—economic, environmental, social, or health-related, just to name a few—are interconnected. Although many of the scientific, financial, and technical solutions to these problems already exist, the barriers to fixing them are often political.

Studying political science opens up the whole world to you, giving you the tools you need to understand—and move—those barriers.

Yes, you can change the world. We’re counting on it.



URI’s Departments of Political Science and Economics have co-launched a spring 2016 semester study abroad program in Cuba.

The University of Rhode Island is offering a study abroad program in Cuba for the Spring 2016 semester.  Cuban society is a unique blend of African, European and American influences in the midst of significant social and political change.  The program will be centered in Havana, where students will study with Cuban professors who are affiliated with the Institute of Philosophy, along with University of Rhode Island faculty members.  All instruction is in English. Students will attend daily classes and fulfill academic requirements for a full semester 12 – 15 credit curriculum.  They will also take trips in and around Havana, and attend lectures and presentations by journalists, artists, writers, politicians, and other notable members of Cuban society.

The study abroad program is designed for students majoring or minoring in Economics, Political Science, Spanish, History, Communications, Art History, Urban Studies, Latin American Caribbean Studies, and International Relations as well as students who can apply these academic credits toward other degree programs.

In addition to a full academic curriculum, students will receive exposure to an array of cultural activities and field study trips to significant sites in Cuban culture and history. Students will live in clean, modern, safe shared apartments in the lovely Miramar neighborhood of Havana, an arrangement designed to encourage direct interaction with the Cuban people.

Program Highlights

 The program will run from approximately February 1, 2016 to April 29, 2016

  • Students will depart from Miami, Florida
  • In addition to daily classroom presentations, students will travel around Havana for special sessions, interviews, performances, and museum visits, and will interact with artists, musicians, diplomats, journalists, and other academic professors
  • On some weekends, and during spring break, students will participate in longer field trips throughout the country to explore other beautiful cities and different regions of the island. They will also explore organic farming, tobacco production, fishing and marine enterprises, and daily life among Cubans in various smaller cities and rural areas.
  • Students will be housed in a modern, secure, air-conditioned apartment complex, outfitted with a pool, in the suburbs of Havana. Apartments include full kitchens, bathrooms, and 2 bedrooms.  They will interact with students from other American educational institutions as well as other Cuban professionals.  The complex is located near local markets and stores, and students will be given a weekly stipend with which they can shop for and prepare most of their meals in their individual apartments.

Program Requirements

  • Interested students must be degree seeking full-time students of sophomore standing or above at the University of Rhode Island
  • Students must have an overall 2.5 GPA
  • Participants must either already possess or be able to obtain a valid passport

 Courses Offered  

Students will enroll in at least 12 to 15 credit hours of three credit courses to maintain full-time status.  Required courses are:

LET 151: Introduction to Contemporary Cuba

PSC 312: Topics in Political Science: Politics of Latin America

ECN 390: Topics in Economics: Economic Development and Social Movements in Latin America

PSC 415: Dynamics of Social Change in the Caribbean: The Cuban Revolution

In addition, students may enroll in PSC 375 (Student Experiential Learning), where they will have the option of completing an individual project focusing on journal writing, art, literature, music, urban studies, or other relevant topics. We expect that opportunities to further Spanish language skills will also be available.

Students will be instructed by professors associated with the Institute of Philosophy in Havana, Cuba, as well as courses monitored by URI faculty.

Program Costs

Tuition and fees: $6408

Institute program costs:  $7787

****Program fees include roundtrip airfare from Miami to Havana, visas, insurance, room and board, transportation within Cuba, and all costs associated with student trips.  Additional costs beyond the tuition and program fee include passport fees, any personal travel and other personal expenses/spending money and  some meals during excursions over the semester.

Financial Aid and Scholarships (updated to match URI)

  • Most types of aid may be used for URI and URI sponsored/approved programs, including the Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants, Federal Perkins Loans, Health Profession Loans, URI Foundation Scholarships and grants, State Scholarship and Grants, and Federal William D. Ford Direct Loans
  • Other scholarships may be available (e.g., Gilman Scholarship)
  • Federal College Work Study awards are not transferable
  • Tuition waivers do not apply
  • Check with the Office of International Education and Enrollment Services for additional financial details

Application Process

  • Application deadline – October 15, 2015. Online applications available August 17th on the Office of International Education website.
  • Students must complete and submit the online application, and participate in an interview with one of the directors of the program.
  • Study Abroad Advising – Students should complete a Prior Approval Form and meet with their academic advisors to verify what courses meet the requirements for their major or minor.
  • For additional information contact Program Directors Professor Maureen Moakley,  or Professor Richard McIntyre,

Why Political Science at URI?

Our faculty are winners of prestigious teaching awards and leading researchers in areas ranging from post-Cold War Russian relations and technology’s impact on political campaigns to the role of emotions in decision making. They’ve also made regular appearances on NPR and PBS, consulted for the World Bank, written for CBS News on election night, chaired state-wide environmental committees, and led overseas undergraduate learning programs. Just imagine what they can teach you.

Political science continues to be the most popular undergraduate major for students pursuing a degree in law, and we offer a customized pre-law program if law is the path you choose. There are other options too—in both academic (such as a Ph.D. in Political Science) and applied fields (such as a Masters in Public Administration). Our curriculum focuses on building advanced research skills, giving you a big advantage over students from other schools, whatever program you choose.

Political science majors have ample opportunity to learn outside the classroom. In fact, unlike most majors, experiential learning is a required part of our undergraduate curriculum. Every 300-level Political Science class includes the immediate application of the classroom knowledge to the outside world. We also offer a number of internships—and since our students are often interested in international politics, we strongly encourage them to study abroad in one of the many opportunities available at URI.

Copyright © 2015 University of Rhode Island.

The University of Rhode Island
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