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College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

BA in Political Science, Option in General Political Science

Overview

Politics is the study of public power: Who has it? Who influences it? How does it work? Political science focuses on local, state, national, and international levels. The lessons of politics apply in all areas of life, including family, relationships, job, and health.

The BA in political science offers great flexibility. Students choose courses from a rich curriculum across the various subfields of political science. Electives allow students to concentrate on a particular area of interest. Additionally, most students add a minor or pursue a second major. Political science students also gain professional experience through internships in government, politics, advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations, think tanks and corporations, and many easily incorporate study abroad into their major. Students get to know their professors, and our graduates return to campus often to share their experiences with current students.

Mission

The mission of the Political Science Program is to provide students with the educational experiences and environment to become familiar with and competent in the attitudes, subjects and skills of the discipline of political science, the capacity to attain career success that allows them to utilize the knowledge, skills and judgment acquired in our program, and a sense of civic responsibility.

Goals & Objectives

  • Knowledge: Students will understand the structures and processes of various types and levels of governments (particularly in the United States), the theoretical underpinnings of governments, and the role and influence of political actors outside of government, such as political parties, interest groups and the media.
  • Inquisitiveness:Students will ask relevant questions within the field and understand and appreciate multiple perspectives.
  • Skill and Judgment:Students will have effective written and oral communication skills, as well as critical reasoning and research abilities to perform evidence-based analysis of human behavior and events in various political contexts.
  • Professionalism:Students will understand the unique perspective of political science in the analysis of international, national, state and local governments and politics, and the societies, groups and individuals that shape them.
  • Citizenship:Students will understand the importance of participation in a democratic society and will have internship experience with a public or private political organization.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students can distinguish among theories of politics and analyze current political situations in theoretical terms.
  • Students can describe basic structural components of national government (legislative, executive, and judicial) and explain their relationship to each other and to subnational units.
  • Students can identify the various types of actors in international relations and relate these in describing current global issues.
  • Students can apply their political science knowledge and skills in applied settings.
  • Students can formulate hypotheses, construct research designs, and apply appropriate analytical skills, including quantitative reasoning, to the study of political science.
  • Students can locate appropriate sources by searching electronic and traditional data bases.
  • Students can use and cite appropriate sources correctly.
  • Students can write and speak with sufficient clarity to convey their attitudes, knowledge, and skills.