Mission and Student Learning Outcomes


The Political Science Department offers a diverse and flexible curriculum designed to help students prepare for meaningful careers in government, public service, law, journalism, teaching and other related areas. Students work closely with faculty advisors to plan their study and are encouraged to sample widely from a variety of course offerings. Students also participate in community service and/or research activities appropriate to their career goals and interests.

Student Learning Outcomes

Political Science Outcome No. 1 : Knowledge of the Field -- Concepts, Theories, and Methods

  • Students learn the defining concepts and theories political scientists use to study and explain political phenomena in the discipline.
  • Students learn about the methods and tools political scientists use to make and substantiate their claims to know.

By situating political phenomena in a broader social, economic, cultural, and historical context political science students learn that political science is inherently interdisciplinary. Students in political science learn and apply concepts, theories and methods from political science and other disciplines to understand and explain complex social and political phenomena.

Political Science Outcome No. 2 : Writing -- Academic Writing and Information Literacy

  • Students learn to effectively use argument and to communicate claims to know in academic writing appropriate for the discipline.
  • Students learn to evaluate and use evidence to support empirical claims to know in writing.

Through the careful reading of texts and the analysis of argument and evidence, students will develop the skills necessary to clearly, thoughtfully, and persuasively communicate in writing. Students will develop and practice these skills throughout the curriculum.

Political Science Outcome No. 3 : Critical Thinking -- Capstone Project

  • Students learn to apply learned concepts, theories, and methods, as well as their mastery of argument and evidence to produce and communicate original research which analyzes and explains relevant political phenomena -- in both writing and orally.

Politics is not a spectator sport but a human activity that is best understood by bringing theory and practice together through experience and application.