Political science, broadly defined, is the study of political power and the ends to which that power is used. It is "scientific" in the sense that there is a systematic body of knowledge about political behavior which can be studied empirically, normatively, and experientially.  It is "political" in the sense that it concentrates on the institutions and processes of political systems that exercise power in an authoritative way.  But in a broader sense, political science also studies the larger issues of justice and the ways in which the use of political power advances or retards the achievement of justice.

Political science prepares students for possible careers in public administration; federal, state, and local elected office; public policy analysis; lobbying, journalism, political consulting, law, and graduate work leading to teaching, research, or administration at the university level.

Political Science Program Learning Objectives

1.  Knowledge

1A.  Understanding Political Systems:  Knowledge of the functioning of key political systems including local, state, national or international institutions or organizations working outside of government, and/or the political and policy output of those systems.

1B.  Understanding Political Concepts and Theories:  Knowledge of key historical or contemporary concepts and theories in political science.

2.  Skills

2A.  Critical Thinking Skills:  Ability to analyze and critically evaluate political issues and phenomena based on underlying arguments, assumptions, and evidence.

2B.  Political Analysis Skills:  Ability to use quantitative or qualitative analysis skills in interpreting and analyzing political data, indicators, trends, cases, etc.

2C.  Reading and Writing Skills:  Ability to read and comprehend political science texts and write clear logical prose.

3.  Engagement

3A.  Political Engagement:  Understand the theoretical or practical value of active participation in local, state, national, or global citizenship, along with its potential consequences; or realize one’s own competence or efficacy in the political sphere.

For additional information on studying Political Science, contact:

Ronald Stockton, Ph.D.
Political Science Discipline Representative

2070 SSB, 593-5384