In a nutshell, political science is the academic study of politics and government. In one sense, it is an ancient discipline. It remains central to any classical study of the liberal arts, firmly grounded as it is in the work of Plato and Aristotle. In another sense, because it often deals with current events and sophisticated statistical analysis, political science is a cutting-edge area of study. Whether you are analyzing voting patterns in a presidential campaign, the Israeli parliament or the pros and cons of different systems of government, political science is timely, fascinating and perpetually changing.
Like any liberal arts major, political science makes no claims to be a pre-professional program. It certainly doesn’t exist to teach disconnected facts about politics. Instead, political science majors develop excellent critical thinking and communication skills and, more broadly, an understanding of history and culture. Even more broadly, political science tackles those big, serious, heavy, eternal questions. What is the best way to reconcile individual desires and community needs? Is it possible to have both freedom and equality? Authority and justice? Peace and security?
If you major in political science, you’ll study everything from revolutions to political parties to voting behavior to public policy. You are also likely to explore the political issues inherent to different regions of the world, like the Middle East, East Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.