The Department of Political Science is committed to a liberal arts tradition that integrates scholarly inquiry with respect for the dignity of the person and vocational and career preparation. The department seeks to prepare students for a life of active citizenship and participation in the shared endeavors of a democratic society by engaging the discipline of Political Science as well as a diverse set of local, national, and global communities.
Our curriculum provides students with a broad understanding of how politics affects their lives both individually and collectively as well as specialized knowledge of particular subfields in the discipline. We emphasize not only substantive knowledge about politics and governments but also the development of skills necessary to understand and analyze political phenomena in a changing world. The curriculum promotes comprehension among all students of connections between theory and practice; provides students the foundation essential for successful post-graduate education; and seeks to realize the full potential of each student by requiring them to master the skills of written and oral communication and analytical problem solving. Students are also encouraged to participate in complementary activities that allow them to explore professional and vocational options while offering life experiences that deepen their knowledge of an increasingly diverse and pluralistic world.
The department is guided by the belief that teaching, scholarship, and service are symbiotic pursuits. The department affirms the importance of teaching, advising, and mentoring as central to its mission. The department endorses the definition of scholarship offered by the American Association of Higher Education and the Carnegie Foundation, both of which identify the scholarships of teaching and learning, application, engagement, and discovery as significant foundations for sustained professional development. The department also recognizes the importance of university, professional, and community service and the need to meaningfully contribute to the goals of each organization or community one chooses to serve.