An education in political science enables students to identify, analyze, and critically interrogate relations of power and governance. Whether the particular topic is legislative systems, law, urban development, relations between national governments, parties and elections, social movements, or classical and contemporary theories of “the best” regime, coursework in political science provides the opportunity for in-depth study of the distribution, maintenance, and legitimization of political power.
Consistently ranked among the top political science programs in the nation, the department incorporates a strong commitment to excellence in both research and teaching. Students benefit not only from access to faculty’s cutting-edge work, but also from their dedication to developing students’ skills in critical thinking, writing, and analytic techniques. The department offers opportunities for individual, supervised study, through research fellowships, independent reading/research, and honors theses. Students also have the opportunity to gain practical experience through internships and service learning. Among the many career paths that political science concentrators pursue are law, journalism, policy development and implementation, business, teaching, and work in governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Classes in political science are organized into 4 topical areas, or subfields:
- American Politics
- Comparative Politics
- World Politics
- Political Theory
The department also offers introductory and advanced courses devoted to research methods. We encourage those considering course work in political science—as concentrators, as minors, or more generally as students interested in the study of politics—to contact our undergraduate advising office.