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Undergraduate Program

The Political Science Department is oriented toward both teaching and research and has multiple missions.

  • It offers a balanced curriculum for undergraduates to study the art and science of politics
  • It offers training for students preparing to become professionals in law, political science, politics, and other fields
  • It exists as a research faculty seeking new knowledge about government and politics
  • All members of the faculty have national and international reputations in their fields of scholarship

These research and teaching interests vary widely. Interests of Department faculty include (among others):

  • Political parties, campaigns, elections and citizen political behavior in North and South America
  • The presidency, legislative institutions and politics
  • Race relations and public policy
  • American and comparative judicial institutions and politics
  • International organizations, international law, and international cooperation
  • Democratization and political and economic inequality
  • Causes of war, the bases of peace, and the foundations of human rights
  • American foreign policy
  • Ethical and epistemological foundations of politics and political science
  • Classical, empirical, feminist, and formal political theory

Political science majors may participate in independent study, selected topics seminars, first year writing seminars, the honors program, directed study, and internships. Average class size is close to thirty—small classes make personal contact with the faculty relatively easy. Students participate in the governance of the department through the Undergraduate Political Science Association.