Political Science 2024-25

Political science is interested in the question of power—how it is created, exercised, justified, and challenged to engage in problem solving, facilitate citizen action, and participate in world-making. Political scientists study democracy, war, group conflicts, law, rights, wealth distribution, and authority, as well as the individuals, institutions, and social forces that shape them. As a social science, the study of politics considers both the dynamics and ethics of power, which in turn involves conceptions of community, identity, justice, and citizenship. The effort to understand politics aims not only to describe and explain, but also to improve collective life. To this end, the Political Science Department strives to cultivate in its students the habits and skills of clear thought, rigorous analysis, and effective argumentation in writing and speech.

The Political Science major requires nine courses. Traditionally, students organize their major through the subfields that structure the discipline of political science (American politics, international relations, political theory, and comparative politics). Occasionally, students propose and develop individual concentrations that reflect their particular interests, regardless of subfields. More information can be found on the Political Science site.

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