The Department of Political Science offers coursework and programs that are unique and innovative, integrating the traditional fields of American government, legal studies, and international relations in order to prepare you for a life and a career in an increasingly globalized world. You will study the ways in which governments address fundamental issues of power, justice, liberty, and order, as well as examine the impact of advances in science and technology on these themes. The department teaches not only the mechanics and strategies of the political process, but also examines limitations on government authority, and responsibilities of citizens.
political science courses
average class size
degree tracks: politics and the life sciences, digital politics and organization, and political institutions
Students take coursework that examines the general themes of political science and explores the impact of globalization, advances in the life sciences, and the use of information technology in today’s political arena. Program electives allow you to further examine American politics, international relations, and comparative politics, which provides an integrated national and global political perspective. The degree program is flexible enough to accommodate a double major and offers options for a 4+1 BS/MS in science, technology and public policy or a 4+1 BS/MBA through Saunders College of Business.
The American politics immersion introduces students to the fundamental principles, institutions, and issues of American government. In addition, the strengths and limitations of American constitutionalism are emphasized throughout and current political and policy questions facing the country are examined. The overarching intention of the immersion is to give students the necessary tools to deliberate upon the political questions of the day and to actively participate in the political process.
The purpose of the American politics minor is to study the basic principles and institutions of the American political order and their implications for current political practice. The strengths and limitations of American constitutionalism are emphasized throughout and contemporary political and policy questions facing the country are examined.
The ethics immersion helps students to understand more deeply the nature of ethical thinking, to recognize and understand ethical dilemmas in private, professional, and public settings, and to think clearly and critically about possible answers to ethical problems. The immersion also provides students with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with some of the most influential writings and thinkers in the philosophical canon. Courses are especially well suited to students considering careers in law, medicine, business, or politics.
The international relations immersion combines the study of the complexities and shifting trends of international politics with the study of the global system. Particular emphasis is placed on the interactions and interconnectedness of nation-states at the international level and other participants in international affairs, such as international organizations, non-governmental organizations, sub-national entities, and individual citizens. Global issues studied include democratization, international and regional conflicts, terrorism, international trade and economic integration, economic development, international law and organizations, and human rights. This immersion is closed to students majoring in political science.
The international relations minor helps students to make sense of the world through exploring ideas that have shaped it. Students explore the thoughts of various thinkers and approaches to international relations and use these perspectives to understand key themes in world politics. Important topics include democratization, globalization, terrorism, war and peace, human rights, and international law. Students reflect upon the interplay between domestic and international politics and how changes in the world order affect the internal politics of various countries.
The political science immersion emphasizes the interdependence of domestic politics and international relations in the age of globalization. The immersion brings together components of American politics, international relations, and comparative politics to provide students with both national and global perspectives on politics. Perhaps most important, the political science immersion seeks to help students make sense of the increasingly complicated political environment that confronts them in their role as citizens.
The political science minor emphasizes the interdependence of domestic politics and international relations in the age of globalization. The minor brings together components of American politics, international relations, and comparative politics to provide students with both national and global perspectives on politics. Perhaps most important, the political science minor seeks to help students make sense of the increasingly complicated political environment that confronts them in their role as citizens.