The study of political forces, institutions and policies
The mission of the Political Science Department is to provide a theoretical understanding of the nature and functions of government and politics, the characteristics of political systems and the processes and behaviors associated with governing, and the content and analysis of public policy. The political science curriculum provides background knowledge and analytical skills for involved citizens; it prepares students for teaching in the social sciences; and it establishes a foundation for professional careers in law, government, higher education and public service.
Strengths of the Program
The political science program offers a challenging curriculum that encourages students to develop analytical thinking and writing skills and the ability to think quickly and work effectively alone and in groups. Our graduates have the skills, experience and confidence needed to succeed in whatever path they choose: graduate or law school, government, the non-profit world or business.
Our award-winning Model UN Team travels to New York each year to work with students from all over the country and the world. During the week the team effectively role-plays its assigned country in high-pressure negotiations. It’s the highlight of the year for our International Studies students!
Political Science majors are required to do an internship during their junior or senior year, but are encouraged to seek out real-world experiences even earlier in their academic career. Our students regularly work on political campaigns during election years, intern with mayors, Senators or Members of Congress, assist county attorneys or public defenders, and work with local, national, and international non-profits and other interest groups. Internships can be done locally during the school year or in Washington DC, Chicago, or other locales during January term or over the summer.
Internships and other experiences not only provide students with insights on potential careers and some work experience; they also can offer valuable contacts in the field. Many of our graduates have secured their first job with the help of people they met through their internships.