Department of Political Science and International Studies
Welcome to our Department’s home on the Web. Our faculty members teach and conduct research in the fields of American politics, international relations, political theory, and comparative politics. The Department’s faculty consists of nationally and internationally recognized scholars who have won various awards for teaching, research, and service to the discipline.
The fundamental mission of the Department of Political Science is to prepare our students for their future roles as active and responsible citizens, a goal which is primarily accomplished through our emphasis on excellent teaching. We focus on developing in our students a core understanding of politics at all levels of government, both within the United States and internationally. Additionally, a commitment to quality scholarship and service to our students, the university, professional organizations and the community are important means by which we prepare our students for citizenship in our region, our state, our country and our world.
What will I learn in political science programs?
Students are introduced to the basic framework of the American political system with a course in American government and to contemporary political issues and problems in the introduction to political science areas.
Courses in national politics educate students about American political thought, political parties and elections, political media, the U.S. Constitution, U.S. foreign policy, and the American presidency. Classes are also offered in African-American politics, gender policies, and political film.
Students interested in state and local government can learn more about public administration and research methods and take specialty seminars such as Southern politics or environmental policy.
Students can learn about International relations in classes that focus on international law, international organizations, international political economy, international terrorism, and U.S. foreign policy.
In preparation for application to law school, political science majors can also take a two-part course in constitutional law and a course in judicial politics taught by experts in the field or attorneys who are practitioners in the local legal community.