Students and faculty in the Political Science Department tackle the public issues of our age by together studying, teaching and learning about politics, government and public policy. The "science " in our title refers to our effort to pursue our studies objectively and scientifically, although our classrooms, offices and hallways are often the sites of lively partisan and ideological debate.
Our varied courses cover the full spectrum of political science, from US politics and public administration to public law, comparative politics, international relations and political theory. Faculty members are expert in each of these areas, noted for their scholarship, practical political experience and dedication to teaching.
The department's excellence in teaching extends beyond the classroom to mentoring students, career guidance, an extensive internship program, a Model United Nations program, and an active student organization (Pi Sigma Alpha). In addition, the department sponsors a variety of special events such as annual trips to the state capitol and the state supreme court, our own department graduation convocation, panel discussions and guest speakers ranging from Holocaust survivors to mayors and US Senators.
Our faculty supports and encourages students beyond our classrooms through advising and mentoring, frequent contact at events and in the community, publication of a department newsletter and by providing information about careers and connections with our many successful alumni. The department also awards several scholarships, including two for internships in the state capitol.
The study of political science prepares students for a variety of careers including the law, teaching, government service, legislative staffing, political consulting, interest group representation, international relations and business, nonprofit and other organizations, as well as for graduate school. Contact the department for a list of occupations of our many successful graduates.
Our advisors assist students in designing a BA in Political Science to meet their individual interests, needs and goals. Students planning a career in government or public management may opt for our more specialized BA in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration. The department also offers a graduate program in public administration to prepare students for administrative and professional careers in public service.
Students begin their political science major by consulting an advisor. Students choose their own advisors in political science so that they can be sure to have an advisor who shares their special area of interest, whether it is international relations, comparative politics, US politics or political theory. Special advisors are available for students aiming at careers in law, teaching and public administration. New students are welcome to talk with any faculty member or with the department chair as their initial advisor. Contact our department office for names, office hours and phone numbers.
Getting the political science classes you need won't be a problem. We schedule classes for the convenience of students and offer enough sections to keep all necessary classes open. We also offer a large number of night classes and rotate them so that students who can attend only at night can get classes they require. All of our classes are taught by professors - not graduate assistants - and most upper division classes are small, so you can be assured of personal attention from your professors.