Political Science & International Affairs: Mission, Vision and Values


To develop in students the skills and knowledge necessary for professional success and active and meaningful civic participation.


In order to achieve this mission, the department is committed to providing a rigorous course of study that emphasizes the integration of theoretical, applied, and engaged learning in political science; the development of effective analytical, research, and communication skills; and a dedication to active engagement with important issues in contemporary public life at the local, national and global levels.

Learning Objectives

  1. Content Knowledge: Students should have substantial familiarity with the basic concepts and theoretical approaches in the political science discipline. This includes knowledge about political institutions, political behavior, political theory, and knowledge within the sub-fields of American politics, comparative politics, and international relations.
  2. Methods Knowledge: Students should demonstrate a facility with the methods of political science research. A political science graduate should be able to create a political science research design and have the skills necessary to complete a research project appropriate to the advanced undergraduate level.
  3. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills: Students should be able to understand, analyze, and produce arguments, and evaluate evidence, on contemporary political questions.
  4. Communication Skills: Students should demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.


The mission and vision of the department are based on the following set of values:

  1. The importance of civic participation for democratic governance and the betterment of communities.
  2. The applicability of the skills and knowledge in political science to a diverse range of careers.
  3. The primacy of political science skills and knowledge in a liberal arts education.
  4. The significance of providing applied and engaged learning opportunities (internships, professional presentations, service learning, study abroad, etc.) as part of a political science education.
  5. The centrality of the faculty as teachers, scholars, and mentors in providing an outstanding individualized education for students.