Department of Political Science

Political science students concentrate on political ideas, institutions and behavior; rights and responsibilities of citizens; and the relationship of people to government. In addition, students gain a broad knowledge of domestic and foreign political institutions, processes and problems.

For Aristotle the good of political association embraced all the other goods. Rousseau said simply, “everything is rooted in politics.” It may be, Max Weber thought, “organized domination,” but it is also “independent leadership in action,” a calling that demands “passion and perspective.”

Undergraduates come to the subject for varied reasons. Some imagine themselves in the halls of power and seek the fast track of political involvement in parties, candidates and issues. Others consider politics a spectacle to be analyzed from a distance: the sweep of space and time shows the tragedy of clashing nations and peoples or the comedy sometimes afforded by campaigns and elections. Still others bristle with oppositional energy and are eager to imbibe the skills of the reformer. The study of politics can be approached as one of the humanities, good for sharpening the brain. More typically it is approached as systematic preparation for the law, government service, administration, journalism, teaching, lobbying, non-profit activities, the intelligence services, the military and police, corporate strategy, the organized opposition to some or all of the above, and last, not least, research.

TU political science graduates have been admitted to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Northwestern Law Schools, the University of Michigan, Texas, University of Texas, and the University of Chicago, and graduate programs at Duke University, the London School of Economics and Cambridge University.

Chris Lastrapes

Alumnus to appear on Jeopardy!

Chris Lastrapes (BS/BA ’03, MA ’05) has joined a growing list of TU students and...