Political Science

Chair: Associate Professor Giovanello

Interim Chair (fall semester):  Associate Professor Husser

Political Science seeks to understand the ideas, individuals and institutions engaged in making public policies that influence the lives of people in communities ranging from local to global. Courses investigate current issues and opinions, the process by which voters or leaders make decisions, the behavior of organized groups and governmental agencies, the relationships between nations and classic questions of how societies balance freedom, social justice, order and efficiency.

Students in this discipline are encouraged to develop critical reading, writing and research skills (often using computer programs); participate in role-playing simulations of local governments, legislatures, the United Nations and international relations; work as interns at the local and state level in government agencies, election campaigns and law firms; and spend a semester in Washington, D.C., working in executive and judicial agencies, the U.S. Congress, interest groups and international organizations.

The department offers majors in Political Science and Policy Studies as well as minors in these fields. Students can concentrate their coursework in one or more subfields: American government, international relations, comparative politics, law and political theory. These programs help prepare students to enter graduate and law school and pursue a wide range of careers in legislative, executive and judicial agencies, business, teaching, journalism, interest group advocacy, campaign management and international public service.

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