The department offers students the opportunity to pursue either a major or a minor in political science. In relatively small, discussion-oriented classes, students engage with questions fundamental to the academic study of politics. For example, how does a critical engagement with politics and political thought help us to understand power in contemporary and historical terms? What sorts of power relationships do we see at work in modern institutions such as states, global capital, and the media? And, how do subordinate groups and individuals resist and transform systems of power?
In our department, we explore these questions and more, by exposing students to multiple perspectives on the most consequential, often controversial, issues of our times. Such issues may include questions of war and peace, democracy, the environment, the delicate balance between security and freedom, and the evolving conception of what it means to be a citizen. Whatever the issue before us, the goal of the department is to cultivate in its students an ability to critically examine political questions from a variety of perspectives, and enable them to better interpret their own experience of the world. As measures of our success in meeting these goals, we expect students to: demonstrate knowledge of the interconnections of political institutions, movements, concepts, and events from multiple intersecting vantage points; identify important contested assumptions, ideas, and intellectual debates in the relevant scholarly literature; and pose critical questions about power relations as they investigate key political questions in a globalizing world.
Many of our students seek to translate what they have learned in the classroom to ‘real world’ experiences beyond the campus gates, in the form of internships and service-learning activities. Upon graduation, some of our students choose to pursue graduate study in political science and related disciplines. A significant number of our graduates opt for law school. Our graduates have been uniquely successful in obtaining admission to some of the finest law schools in the United States. Finally, many of our students seek out immediate employment upon graduation, pursuing careers in teaching, public policy, business, and government-related activities.