The Department of Political Science helps students develop their minds, and, one hopes, also their characters, to become decent, responsible, informed citizens. Political science shows the relation of politics to human nature and examines the basic alternatives in political life. The ordinary citizen has decent opinions about justice and the common good. The educated citizen should move from opinion toward knowledge and understanding, while maintaining good will, sincerity, tolerance, generosity and fairness.
A political education in the liberal arts tradition equips students to appreciate their country and its place in the world, and to analyze and criticize it without becoming destructive of the common good or domestic tranquility. The department’s academic offerings cover the full range of essential subjects in the discipline of political science: political philosophy, constitutional law, American government and politics, comparative politics and international relations, and diplomacy and statecraft.