Program Overview:

Major in Political Science

Both a humanistic and social scientific discipline, political science is dedicated to the study of power, politics and government. Political science tries to understand how politics works. Why do countries fight wars? Why can’t the Democrats and Republicans in Congress cooperate with each other? Why are some countries rich and others poor? What does it mean to act ethically in politics? Political science develops skills in critical thinking, data analysis and ethical reasoning, and cultivates knowledge about current and past political events across the world. A background in political science is virtually indispensable for work in politics and government and a number of different careers related to law, journalism, science, business and medicine.

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate the capacity to think critically about local, national and global politics
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the major forms of government in the world, political and economic relations among nations and key works of political inquiry
  • Use various social science methodologies common to the field of political science, including political theory
  • Write persuasively and communicate effectively
  • Work independently and conduct independent research

Required Courses

  • 3 of the following introductory courses:
    • POLI SCI 201 Introduction to Political Theory
    • POLI SCI 220 American Government and Politics
    • POLI SCI 221 Urban Politics
    • POLI SCI 230 Introduction to Law in the Political Arena
    • POLI SCI 240 Introduction to International Relations
    • POLI SCI 250 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • 6 additional 300-level political science courses
  • POLI SCI 395 Research Seminar
  • STAT 202 Introduction to Statistics

Program Details

While political science is a venerable discipline, it is also exciting in its continual relevance and the diversity of its subjects—political theory, international relations, comparative politics and American politics. Political science deploys multiple methods—qualitative, quantitative, historical, comparative, interpretative and critical—to investigate a plethora of topics and issues, among them war, strategy, law, legislation, local politics, public life, voting, public opinion, authority, urban dynamics, poverty, human rights, social capital, executive power, foreign policy, trade flows, international organizations and revolutions in all parts of the world. Political science provides a broad liberal arts education while focusing on politics and public life, and contributes to civic education by offering student-citizens the means to better understand and engage politics and public life.