Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

Political Science Learning Outcomes


Political Science students investigate how communities define and distribute social values. As Political Scientist Harold Laswell put it, politics is about "Who gets what, when and how?" Who can vote? Who pays taxes? Are the taxes fair? Will we go to war? Have universal health coverage? Subsidize loans for college students? Political Science students explore how we answer such questions through conflict and compromise, through organizing governments, through making treaties and laws.

You will explore and evaluate competing theories, learn how to analyze and use data to support arguments and how to present those arguments to your peers. You will discover ways not only to analyze how things are, but to envision how they might be better, and you will develop the skills to help make that vision real. You will not only learn about the field of Political Science, but you will contribute to that field.

What skills will I gain with a political science major?

  • Students will identify the institutions and processes of the government of the United States.
  • Students will discuss the structure of the discipline of political science, including basic issues treated in each of the following subfields:
    • Modern political thought
    • International relations
    • Comparative politics
    • Public policy/public administration
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills in the consumption of political science literature.
  • Students will formulate and defend a thesis in a written and oral format.
  • Students will define a research question and design and execute a research program using appropriate methodologies.