Political science is the study of politics and power from domestic, international and comparative perspectives. It includes scholarship in administration, behavior, diplomacy, ideology, institutions, interest groups, law, policy, strategy, theory and war. The undergraduate program in political science is designed to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the discipline, viewed as a specific set of strategies for understanding political life. Though conceptual, historical, structural, institutional and behavioral knowledge are delivered throughout the curriculum, the stress of the program is on giving students the theoretical insights and methodological skills needed to ask and answer political questions. The emphasis is less on learning the facts of politics than on being able to recognize, evaluate and use the intellectual tools of the discipline.
Students will leave the program with an understanding of the basic modes in inquiry in political science: normative, empirical and comparative analysis. The core curriculum is designed to give students a broad theoretical framework in political science and an introduction to research methods. Upper division courses give students the opportunity to build specialized knowledge in political science through two of five concentration areas: American politics and political behavior, international relations and comparative politics, public administration and policy, public law, and political theory.
Political science provides a foundation for career development in law, politics, public service, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, business, academics and other fields. Students in the program are also encouraged to take advantage of a variety of internship and service learning opportunities.