Political Studies
Student Learning Outcomes

Field Group Objectives

Students majoring in Political Studies will learn to examine political power, interests, institutions, choices, and values. They will be knowledgeable in the breadth of the field though course work in the four sub-fields: Political Philosophy, which examines the history of political concepts such as authority, law, freedom, rights, equality, justice and the state; Comparative Politics, which develops criteria for comparing the domestic politics and policies of countries throughout the world, including the U.S.; Global Politics, which examines the relationships between and among nation-states, and the transnational forces which together shape the global political system; and U.S. Politics, which examines politics and public policy in the United States, including Latino, African American and Asian American politics. Students will gain depth in one of these areas through upper division course work and those eligible for honors will be encouraged to write a Senior Thesis.

Students who complete the major will have mastered the following:

  • 1. Theory: Students will understand the philosophical underpinnings of political phenomenon and evaluate and employ different theories in the discipline to analyze and explain political outcomes.
  • 2. Method: Students will be able to analyze politics from a variety of methodological approaches and understand the advantages and limitations of each.
  • 3. Research: Students will be able to conduct original research that engages ongoing debates in the discipline and applies appropriate research design methods.
  • 4. Expression: Students will learn to think, write, and speak critically and insightfully about political phenomenon, and how to apply these skills to enhance their active citizenship.
  • 5. Diversity: Students will understand many of the diverse political experiences and philosophies of various identity, community and cultural groups in the United States and around the world.