Learning Objectives

  • Breadth
    Students should possess a broad knowledge of the theory and methods of the various branches of the discipline.
  • Application
    Students should be able to apply a variety of techniques to identify, understand, and analyze domestic and international political issues and organizations.
  • Disciplinary methods
    Student should be able to formulate research questions, engage in systematic literature searches using primary and secondary sources, have competence in systematic data gathering using library sources, government documents, and data available through electronic sources, should be able to evaluate research studies, and should be able to critically analyze and interpret influential political texts.
  • Communication Skills
    Students should master basic competencies in oral and written communication skills and be able to apply these skills in the context of political science. This means communicating effectively about politics and/or public administration, public policy, and law.
  • Citizenship
    Students should acquire an understanding of the role of the citizen in local, state, national, and global contexts and appreciate the importance of lifelong participation in political processes.


Our capstone course, POLS 190 Senior Seminar, is the primary vehicle for assessing our overall success in meeting these five learning objectives. This course, taken in the final semester before graduation, affords our faculty an opportunity to evaluate what percentage of our graduating students have attained success in each of the five categories. In addition to the evaluation of the instructor, the seminar's culminating papers are saved and periodically assessed by the Department Curriculum Committee.