Political science encompasses the study of governments, public policies and political processes, systems, and political behavior. Our discipline is rooted in the study of power and our faculty are interested in helping students understand the complexity associated with its exercise. The study of politics fosters critical thinking, equipping students with the analytical tools to approach the fundamental problems of political life in a rigorous and systematic manner. It is true to the holistic and integrative spirit of liberal thinking in its many connections to other disciplines and modes of inquiry. It helps to develop a spirit of civic-mindedness and engagement with the world around us. Toward these ends, the breadth of our offerings is intended to impart general knowledge in our students, while specialized courses permit students to explore topics in greater depth, and our senior seminars provide an invaluable capstone experience. Mindful of our role in supporting a well-rounded liberal arts education, the Political Science Department embraces a multiplicity of approaches and methods in its curriculum, from reading primary texts to exposing students to cutting-edge research both in the classroom and beyond.

Our students acquire a diverse set of skills that can be applied to a wide range of post-graduation opportunities including: graduate school, law school, careers in teaching, public service, journalism, business, and international service.

Specific Goals

  1. Make connections between the discipline’s main subfields through courses on campus and abroad, experiential learning, and academic internships.
  2. Think critically and exercise critical judgment in the study of political science and in political life.
  3. Develop research and analytic skills.