Oxford Program

NIU Political Science Courses at Oxford University

NIU POLS majors in London

Summer 2015 Program Description

Summer 2015 Program Overview/Application - Deadline April 15, 2015

For nearly fifty years, Northern Illinois University and Oriel College have offered an exciting five-week summer program of courses that are designed to take advantage of the unique resources of the British setting, including Oxford University, nearby London, and other field trip sites of historical, cultural, and political significance. Faculty members live and dine in the same halls as students so those formal class meetings can be supplemented by individual tutorials and informal conversations. Enrollment in all courses is deliberately kept low in order to permit maximum interaction between students and faculty.

In recent years, faculty members in the Department of Political Science have traveled to Britain to teach NIU Political Science majors and other interested students enrolled in this excellent study abroad program.

Where does the program take place?

The program is held at Oriel College, founded in 1326 and considered to be one of the most beautiful of the 34 colleges that make-up Oxford University. Oxford is less than 60 miles from London and Stratford-upon-Avon, with frequent and inexpensive bus service to both cities. Cambridge, Canterbury, and other places with literary, historical, and political connections are within 100 miles, and there is virtually no place in Britain or, indeed, Europe that cannot be visited on a weekend trip.

Who is the program intended for?

Although this is an academic program, it has been designed with a variety of audiences in mind. Non-traditional students (i.e., professionals, individuals with an interest in the subject matter, etc.) as well as currently enrolled NIU students are encouraged to participate in the program. All participants will receive academic credit, and students who are not currently enrolled in an academic program at NIU will be enrolled as visiting students (at the undergraduate level) or Students-at-Large (at the graduate level).

What courses are available for academic credit?

In recent years courses have been offered in Biology, English (with an emphasis on Shakespeare) and Political Science. Each subject is offered on four levels -- general undergraduate, undergraduate major, graduate, and advanced graduate with reading lists and assignments appropriate to each course level. Students should register for the course number appropriate for their situation or needs. All courses carry three semester hours of credit, with the exception of some biology courses. Students may register for one or two courses. Exceptions regarding the number of courses allowed must be reviewed and approved by Professor Gabriel Holbrook, College Coordinator.

When do classes meet?

Classes will meet at hours to be announced (typically, two 2-hour sessions a week for undergraduates with additional conferences for graduate students) Mondays through Thursdays, leaving three-day weekends for study or travel.

What type of accommodations and meals are offered?

Students will reside in modern single rooms in Oriel College’s James Mellon Hall. Breakfast will be served daily and dinner will be served each Sunday through Wednesday in the 17th-century Hall.  Students will be responsible for the purchase of all lunches, as well as dinners on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Students will have access to the College Library and other Oxford libraries.  The college has a laundry room, and dry cleaning is available nearby.

What field trips are offered?

The program cost includes one trip to Stratford-upon-Avon with tickets to a Royal Shakespeare Company performance, and other trips to sites of academic interest, to be announced.  Optional trips, at the students’ expense, will also be offered, and students will be encouraged to travel on their own.

What political science courses will be offered this year?

Summer 2015
Little England or Great Britain?
Professor Michael Clark

Britain has a proud and rich political history. At one point in time, Britain’s military, political, and economic influence was so vast that she had an empire that spread from one side of the globe to the other. But two world wars later, and the subsequent rise of other nations (the US, China, Germany) has left Britain far less influential. In this course we will explore Britain’s place in the world and some of the contemporary issues with which she is wrestling. On the home front, devolution and calls for independence leave Scotland on the verge of leaving the kingdom rather less united, whilst calls for a referendum on EU membership could leave Britain on the outside of European affairs. What Britain has given to the world, and what she can potentially offer, are concerns that define her past, present, and future. To better grasp British influence we will supplement our Oxford seminars with field trips to the Houses of Parliament, the British museum, and the Imperial War Museum.

Political Science Courses Available for Credit at NIU at Oxford (Summer 2015)

POLS 395: Contemporary Topics in Political Science (3 semester hours) - UG
POLS 495: Seminar in Current Problems (3 semester hours) – UG
POLS 496: Independent Study in Political Science (3 semester hours) - UG
POLS 498: Seminar Abroad (3 semester hours) – UG/GR
POLS 595: Seminar in Current Problems (3 semester hours) – GR 
POLS 696: Independent Study in Political Science (3 semester hours) – GR
POLS 798: Foreign Study and Internship - (3 semester hours) - GR 

For more information about NIU at Oxford, please contact the College Coordinator, Professor Gabriel Holbrook of the Department of Biological Sciences at gholbrook@niu.edu or one of the political science professors listed above.