Department Chair: Clark Merrill, Ph.D.
Aristotle described political science as the “highest and ruling science” for human actions because it aims at the human good in the most comprehensive sense. Those who study political science inquire into the permanent questions of justice and the good life, as well as the particular, urgent decisions facing leaders and citizens in the United States and the international arena. The Department of Political Science and International Relations provides students with essential knowledge of institutions and regimes, legislation and constitutional law, diplomacy and war, while also grounding students in the teachings of the great political philosophers.
Our program offers a major and minor in Political Science and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations. Course work covers the full range of the discipline’s subfields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory. Majors may complete a concentration in American Government or in International Relations and Comparative Politics; alternatively, they may major without a concentration.
Our challenging curriculum hones students’ skills of critical reasoning, research, writing, speaking, planning and organization, teaching them how to gather relevant information, form logical and clear arguments and articulate their thoughts. With this training, our majors are well prepared for both graduate programs and professional careers. While many attend law school, others find success in such fields as international relations, national intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, lobbying, teaching, business, and the nonprofit sector.
Through the University’s accelerated program, highly motivated and qualified undergraduates can earn both a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in international relations within five years.
Not more than three Political Science transfer courses, with the permission of the department chair, may be applied toward fulfillment of the major or minor. Majors and minors are expected to achieve grades of C- or higher in all Political Science courses.
Joint Bachelors/Master’s Degree program leading to a Master of Arts in International Relations
Political Science students, who plan to earn a graduate degree in international relations, may take advantage of a five-year program developed for undergraduates who qualify and are highly motivated. This program allows students to complete their undergraduate and graduate degree requirements within five years rather than the usual five and a half years, studying full-time. Candidates for the program must apply by February 15 of the junior year. All acceptances are conditioned on successfully completing the undergraduate degree. Students interested in pursuing a five-year program should contact their advisor as soon as they develop that interest.
Program and Course Listings
The University confers undergraduate degrees in the following disciplines:ConcentrationMinor
The University offers a number of single discipline and interdisciplinary minors which students may complete to enhance their education.