Are you interested in understanding why our government makes the decisions it does? Are you interested in the American political process? What is happening in international affairs? State or local politics? Political philosophy? Political Science classes offer exciting opportunities to explore all of the above—and more.
Political science provides an environment for intellectual inquiry into how power and resources are allocated in societies. Political scientists study how we organize ourselves and make decisions about the society in which we live. At its core, it is about how we find common solutions to common problems.
Almost as old as society itself, Political Science focuses on fundamental questions of governance: given that some sorts of governments are necessary for the survival of society, how should they be constituted and how can they most effectively serve the people they govern? How should power be exercised? What limits should there be on power? What constitutes justice, and who should administer it? How? Toward these ends, we analyze the theories of behavior and governance, as well as the institutions, procedures, and policies that enable us to share the world. We also study the people who constitute these governments in terms of their values, political behavior, and appraisals of their government. We delve into the relationships between the governors and the governed.
We don't only want to know that a new Supreme Court justice has been nominated; we want to know how and why the court functions as it does and whether the nominee might alter the role of the court in the future. We don't only want to know that the United States toppled the Iraqi government; we want to know what impact it will have on the development of future Iraqi governments and whether public opinion in the wider world may limit future U.S. foreign policy actions in the region.
As both a liberal art and a social science, Political Science includes subfields in American government and politics, which focuses on American institutions and processes; comparative politics, which deals with institutions and processes of other nations; international relations, which examines the relationships among governments and international entities; and political philosophy, which grapples with the broad ideas upon which governments are formed.
For students who are considering political science as a major, the field offers opportunities to pursue a number of exciting careers in government as well as in business and nonprofit organizations. According to the Princeton Review, the diverse skills that a political science major develops make it one of the ten most popular majors in the country!
Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work in congressional offices, NASA, the Social Security Administration, and the US Army. Others have chosen private sector jobs such as international banking, law, network access specialist, and contract specialist working on government contracts. Other common career fields include lobbying, business, education, defense, intelligence, political consulting, polling and campaign management, interest groups and associations, communications, international organizations, community service, and non-governmental organizations.
A major in political science also prepares students for graduate study in such fields as law, political science, international relations, public affairs, public administration, business, public policy, public management, and philosophy, among others.
Whether you are interested in taking one or two classes or majoring in Political Science, please feel free to drop by Morton Hall 250. Faculty members will be happy to talk with you about our class offerings, major and minor requirements, and career possibilities.