The discipline of political science introduces students to critical thinking about the intellectual origins, defense, and critique of government, politics, and society in the United States and throughout the world. Political science classes focus on fundamental questions of governance: How should state and society be organized? How do the values of civil society and economy influence political thinking? Who should exercise political power and who should not? What constitutes justice?
To answer these and corollary questions, faculty members and students engage in empirical research and ethical critique of current events and competing explanations of those events. They take into account politically relevant conceptual elements and practices embedded in or struggling against the intellectual foundations and elaborate edifices of diverse political arrangements and causes.
Political science faculty members profess certain acumen in the discipline within which they teach and do research--constitutional law, international relations, political philosophy, comparative politics, American government--and thus have accumulated more accurate and sophisticated explanations and discoveries into the human condition, particularly as they relate to living socially and making decisions collectively. Faculty members actively engage in research and scholarship to enrich the department's classes and strengthen its academic programs that lead to the BA in political science and the MA in public affairs.
The mission is to stimulate students' critical and creative thinking, develop and promote their analytical abilities, and increase their proficiency in writing about the nature of governance, policy-making, and world events. These skills will enhance the ability of students to move into exciting careers, whether in the legal profession, government, business, non-profit organizations, the defense community, or graduate school.