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Program Objectives

Students who complete the undergraduate program will:

  • Students who complete the undergraduate program in political science will be able to evaluate political ideas, institutions and processes within states and in a global context. By the time students have finished the three introductory 2000 courses, they will have competency in (at least) one of the three Learning Outcome rubrics listed under each of the subfields.
  • Students will have an in depth knowledge of at least one of the following subfields: American politics, international studies, and political and legal theory. By the time they complete the major, students will have competency in all three Learning Outcome rubrics in their chosen field and should understand the importance of accepting the responsibility of citizenship.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to defend a thesis in written and oral format.

Students from the American politics subfield will be able to:

  • Demonstrate substantial knowledge of current political and governmental structures and processes in the United States;
  • Explain the development of American political institutions, as well as the social, cultural, and historical contexts in which they were formed; and
  • Comprehend the history and meaning of American political ideas, being especially attentive to the ideological conflicts that have characterized our political history.

Students from the international studies subfield will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the main theoretical perspectives that facilitate an understanding of politics within and among states;
  • Recognize the patterns of interaction among actors of the global community and have an informed awareness of the structural, social, economic, and political factors that shape those interactions; and
  • Understand in a comparative context the political structures, institutions, governing processes, and cultures of a diverse selection of developed and developing countries.

Students from the political and legal theory subfield will be able to:

  • Demonstrate familiarity and engagement with the great thinkers and political ideas that have shaped the development of political life in the West for over 2500 years;
  • Be aware of contemporary debates about recurrently contested political ideas, such as equality, liberty, virtue, tolerance, and justice; and
  • Understand the major schools of constitutional/legal thought and interpretation.