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Department of Political Science

Majors and Minors

The political science curriculum allows students to identify and define important issues in the world, think critically about those issues and encourage others to make a positive difference.

You’ll gain essential analytical and problem-solving skills as you learn to develop and evaluate arguments using various methods of analysis.

We offer a bachelor’s degree in political science, and minors in political science, human rights and conflict resolution, and national security studies.

Sample Courses

POLS 354. Political Campaigns and Elections

A seminar examining the theoretical, historical and political principles of political campaigns and elections in the United States. Particular attention is given to understanding the various factors that influence individual election outcomes; how elections impact the operation of government and public policy; and influences on elections, such as the media, political action committees, and political parties.

POLS 340. Might and Right Among Nations

The main purpose of the course is to acquaint students with the evolution of international relations thought by means of a critical examination of classics in the tradition of political philosophy. Readings will be drawn from works of classical thinkers, including Thucydides, Machiavelli, Grotius, Hobbes, Rousseau and Kant, as well as some representative contemporary theorists. From these will emerge the concepts, assumptions and issues that continue to dominate thinking about world politics today, including the legitimate basis of political authority, the nature of sovereignty, the implications of “human nature” for world politics, and the possibilities and limits of international ethics.

POLS 358. Modern Political Thought

Political thought of the Renaissance to that of the late 19th century, as represented by such thinkers as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche. Particular emphasis is placed on the aspirations of liberalism and the criticisms these aspirations inspired.

POLS 410. Ethnic Conflict and Nationalism

Conflicts in the Balkans, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Darfur, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Sri Lanka and India, among others, have led to tremendous human suffering and massive political mobilization. This course provides an overview of the causes, character, and dynamics of ethnic conflicts and the strategies that can be employed to resolve them. It discusses the relationship between the theory of nationalism and ethnic conflict and puts issues accompanying ethnic conflict in a broader context of international politics. A number of exemplary case studies are considered to illustrate causes, trends and consequences of conflicts and to discuss their resolution

Full curriculum

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