Department Information

Political Science

Professors Mattiace (Chair), Bloeser, Callen, Christie-Searles, Gehring, Harward, Kirschner, Smith, Tamashiro, Wesoky

The Department of Political Science offers courses in: Culture and Politics; Globalization and Transnational Politics; Institutions and Processes; Policy Studies; and Problems in Democracy. These courses are designed to help students understand politics, political behavior, and political life and discourse, as well as the institutions and processes through which public policy is formed, in different political systems by: a) examining enduring value issues such as freedom, justice, equality, order, and power; b) exploring the practical and ethical implications of contemporary issues in public policy; c) providing alternative methodological approaches (quantitative, interpretative, dialectical, literary, cultural) to the analysis of politics; d) studying the great texts of political thought; and e) leading students to examine critically their own political beliefs and values and those of others.

Political Science Learning Outcomes

Students in the Political Science department are expected to achieve the Learning Outcomes listed below in three areas: Values, Knowledge, and Skills.

Values. Students will:

  • Value the rights and responsibilities that spring from membership in a democratic political community.
  • Appreciate the diversity of values and beliefs that constitute different political traditions.

Knowledge. Students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic political institutions and processes that shape both domestic and global politics.
  • Be able to apply disciplinary knowledge to critically assess important public issues.
  • Understand theoretical approaches to the study of power, authority, and justice.

Skills. Students will:

  • Be able to critically examine political phenomena, evaluate conflicting arguments, assemble and present empirical evidence, make reasoned conclusions from that evidence, and connect these conclusions to theoretical paradigms and/or practical experiences and considerations.
  • Be prepared to engage in informed, literate conversations, both written and oral, regarding important political issues.