Undergraduate Major

Why Study Political Science?

Politics have been put under scrutiny in a systematic way since the ancient Greeks. Aristotle even called it the Queen of the Sciences. Our own Constitution is the product of both the scholarly study of political theory and a practical framework for political institutions and norms. Our faculty in the Department of Political Science engages Politics in a scientific and rigorous way to understand human behavior and world events. Study Political Science to prepare yourself for a career in campaigns, public policy, business, administration, political advocacy, or public service, but also to become an informed and active citizen.

Political Science is a broad and rich discipline. Some of our faculty conduct research on the psychology of why people behave the way they do politically. Other faculty study institutions such as legislatures, courts, and bureaucracies both as organizations and as political actors themselves. Others seek to clarify recent constitutional and legal issues. Many of our faculty study foreign political systems to learn the peculiarities of different political systems comparing them regionally and globally. Our political theorists are intellectual historians and social critics interested in the millennia-long quest for the good society. Still others are policy analysts and dedicated students of American politics. Many are statistical theorists and specialists in surveying political attitudes. Our comparative and international relations experts investigate the causes of war and the conditions for peace among nations.

Political Science majors are comfortable at the intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences. Poli Sci majors can apply rigor to problems and they can articulate solutions with clarity and with an analytical command of data. Poli Sci graduates move into a wide spectrum of positions that demand well-honed writing and presentation skills. Poli Sci graduates can apply reason and rigor to problems that are often consumed by ideology and emotion. Other disciplines also stress rigor, but Political Science will keep you honest. The ability to define a problem and contribute to its solution while placing it within political, social and cultural realities is a rare skill indeed, with applications well beyond the narrow confines of political work. The wide range of intellectual, analytical, qualitative, and quantitative skills and a broad knowledge of world events that Poli Sci majors develop form the cornerstone of a powerful liberal arts education.