Political Science

The Political Science program 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 analyze and criticize their country without becoming destructive of the common good or domestic tranquility.

The program's course offerings attempt to cover the range of essential areas in the discipline of political science; political theory, American government and politics, including constitutional law; comparative politics; and international relations, including U.S. foreign policy.

Students interested in Political Science for the purpose of becoming secondary school teachers should consult the catalog sections on the Social Sciences major and the Education department secondary education minor. A Political Science major is not, by itself, acceptable for licensure in Illinois, but an emphasis in political science in upper-level courses is certainly possible. 

The political science program offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.



Political Science has long been a traditional major of choice for students who plan to attend law school. While law schools do not require any particular undergraduate major, the study of politics, including courses that make use of legal materials and legal reasoning and that illumine the political context of court decisions, is arguably a logical and appropriate academic area for those intending a career in law. Whatever their major, pre-law students should consult with Prof. Robert Evans (the pre-law advisor) or with other members of the department on which particular courses would most suitably prepare them on matters having to do with applying to and success in law school.


Off-Campus Political Experiences

The History, Politics and International Studies department sponsors Washington Semester programs for upper-level students. Regular semester and summer internships are available, as appropriate, for individual students locally, in Washington and at Regent’s College in London. See Dr. Ron Lee for more information.


Career Opportunities

Governmental work is one of the most extensive areas of opportunity for Political Science graduates. The degree can also lead to positions with private businesses or in law, politics, journalism and teaching, among others.