Political science can be summed up as the study of power: how power is aggregated and exercised.
Political scientists examine the process of group decision-making and ethical implications, leading us to consider concepts of community, identity, justice and citizenship. In the American politics field, our department offers courses on the presidency, Congress, the courts, media and politics, parties and elections, constitutional law, civil rights, gender issues, women in politics and political leadership. Students can take courses in ancient, medieval and modern political theory as well as theory courses organized around themes like global justice, ethics, citizenship and religion and the state.
In the international field courses are offered on international environmental issues, international organizations, international political economy, American foreign policy and the causes of war along with courses on the regional international politics of East Asia, the Middle East and the European Union. Comparative courses include surveys of politics in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, Europe, and Russia and the states of the former Soviet Union, as well as thematic courses on democratization, political development, religion and politics, gender and politics, and ethnicity.
Each semester, the department designates one course at the 100 level as an honors course. Honors courses provide advanced students with seminar-type experiences that feature vigorous discussion, the opportunity to interact with other highly motivated students, and an intense commitment to developing writing skills. Learn more about the Honors Program in Political Science.