The Department of Political Science has a long and rich
tradition of providing a quality undergraduate education.
Whether you’re planning to major in political science or just
take a course or two to develop your civic competency, you will
find the department’s faculty to be committed to teaching and
working with you.
Our seven full time faculty members offer forty courses in five
sub-fields of political science: American politics, comparative
politics, international politics, public law, and political
theory. All courses are designed to help students develop their
analytical, verbal, writing, and research skills. On occasion,
special topics classes are offered when the need arises.
Examples of recently offered special topics include The Politics
of Non-Profits, Agents and Others: Ethical Politics in the
Modern World, Election Statistics 2004, and Religion and
American Politics. The department also offers a research methods
course and encourages students to take research courses from
other departments, such as geographic information systems,
mathematics, and statistics.
Political scientists seek to understand how governments,
political institutions, and the political processes impact our
lives individually and collectively. The department’s
curriculum is designed to help students develop the analytical
and research skills critical to sophisticated political
analysis. In consultation with their academic advisors,
students are able to choose courses within the major and in
other disciplines that will provide the framework for developing
The entering student is encouraged to take an introductory
course in American politics, comparative politics, or
international affairs. These provide the student with a broad
understanding of major national and global issues along with an
overview of major institutions.
Most of the introductory courses are also part of the
university’s Common Curriculum and are open to all students.
Students with AP credit should consult the chair of the
department to be assured that they have not already received
credit for a course they might choose.
The Bachelor of Arts degree in political science requires 11
courses in the political science curriculum. Generally, at
least one course must be taken in each of the five subfields of
the discipline, and students have the option to choose from one
of five concentrations: General Political Science,
Comparative/International Politics, American Politics, American
Politics, and Law, and American Public Policy. In some
concentrations, students must also complete courses in other
departments. By taking six courses from the department, a
student may minor in political science.