Political science is the study of government, politics and public issues, and the institutions and processes through which conflicts over such issues are resolved. The major is grounded in the field's theoretical traditions and provides a strong background in the fundamental branches of the discipline: American politics, comparative politics, international politics, public policy, public administration, and political theory. Political science students develop analytical and methodological skills that permit them to critically assess contemporary political events and identify practical solutions to problems that arise in society and government.
The major offers a solid foundation for a liberal arts education, regardless of a student's career objectives, and is particularly well-suited to those interested in government, law, teaching, business, and journalism. As undergraduates, political science majors have the opportunity to gain practical experience in the field by working for political campaigns, serving as interns for the state legislature, working in local or state courts or other law-related organizations or interning in public and nonprofit organizations.
Students with majors in political science may earn either a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree, which has a two-year non-English modern or classical language requirement. Regardless of degree choice, students will select a concentration area in either 1) Government, Law and Diplomacy to prepare them for careers in politics, the law or international relations or 2) Public or Nonprofit Administration to prepare them for careers in managing government or nonprofit organizations. Students may earn a second concentration, but must have a minimum of 12 unique hours not previously applied to the major/concentration.
Philosophy provides an excellent field of study for students planning to seek advanced degrees in law, philosophy, theology, politics, and other areas. The critical thinking and communications skills stressed in philosophy are a valuable complement to most any career or field of study. Philosophy is an excellent complementary second major (only 30 credits) or minor (18 credits). Students pursue a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree. The latter, requiring 12 hours of a non-English modern or classical language, is preferable for those interested in more advanced degrees.