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The Department of Political Science and History offers degrees in Political Science, History, and International Studies. This unique combination of disciplines—and faculty—creates a robust department of engaging scholars who are committed to mentoring our scholars-in-training.
Political Science is the study of politics: government, law, political behavior, public policy, and political philosophy. The Department has a curriculum designed to provide broad, modern training in the study of political institutions and political behavior for students in the liberal arts and for majors who apply for graduate school. The curriculum also features pre-professional training for law, business, public relations, mass media, domestic and foreign government service, education, the military, and sundry roles in politics.
History serves the University community by providing general education and core curriculum courses in history, geography, philosophy, and religion. The aim of the Department of History is to give students an understanding and appreciation of the evolution and characteristics of world civilizations, cultures, and philosophies. The Department of Political Science and History prepares history majors for graduate work and for professional study, including law school, as well as employment in the private and public sectors. Courses emphasize not only mastery of specific subjects, but also of historiography and historical research.
International Studies is a progressive, interdisciplinary major that trains students to work in an in-demand field. Applications are up at professional and graduate schools across the country, and employment opportunities in the public, private, and service sectors continue to grow. International Studies offers concentrations in International Relations or Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
The Department of Political Science and History is home to the majors in Political Science, History, and International Studies. The mission of the Department is to produce new generations of critical thinkers and leaders who will shape the political, legal, historical, and international narratives of the future. In addition, the department strives to offer excellence as it delivers general education courses in History to the entire student body, and supports the curricula of students inside and outside the School of Liberal Arts and Education. Implicit in the department’s mission is the notion that the creation of well-informed, responsible, mature, and critical-thinking citizens who participate in the public arena is appropriate and necessary. The department encourages and emphasizes to its students the need to be responsible to the social, political, and moral problems affecting our society.
The department's philosophy is demonstrated through a structured curriculum that enables our majors to develop analytical, research, and writing skills by taking a broad array of courses in the disciplines of political science, history, and international studies. The specific conditions of people of color are incorporated into every course. Our department also prepares students for graduate and professional schools. Furthermore, the department emphasizes excellence in teaching and learning by encouraging new course development and pedagogical approaches to knowledge. Finally, we encourage and emphasize faculty development by placing grantsmanship and research high on the department’s agenda.