The mission of the Department of Philosophy and Political Science is to develop educated students who are responsible for recognizing and respecting diverse worldviews, capable of evaluating systems of thought, oppression and power in communities, and motivated to engage in personal and social action.
The department supports programs in philosophy and political science: each provides a balanced offering of courses that offer both a broad overview of each discipline and the opportunity to focus more specifically in special topic areas. The department also is committed to experiential learning, and offers opportunities to study both philosophy and political science topics in ways that allow for a personal engagement with the topic area through study abroad, seminars in Washington, D.C., service learning courses and internship opportunities.
The major in political science fulfills thedepartment's mission by providing courses that balance social scientific analysis with a focus on the politics and values of community. Students learn to become aware and informed of political processes and power, evaluate and construct logical accounts of political and social causation; take part in the process of social inquiry; and reflect on immediate experiences in social, political and governmental activities. Students engage in the systematic analysis of politics in the areas of political theory, comparative politics, international relations and American government. Students complete the major with a senior seminar in which they engage major questions in political science and develop a sustained, independently conceived contribution to those questions in the form of a senior thesis.
The department works with students to develop an independent major in philosophy, and offers minors in philosophy and political science that are tailored to complement a student's major field of study.
The department offers minors in political science and philosophy and supports a variety of multidisciplinary minor programs including: women’s studies, international studies, European Union Business studies and Middle Eastern Studies.
The department supports the QU Seminar Series. In addition to supporting the Freshman Seminar on the Individual in the Community (QU 101), a variety of course topics address aspects of National (QU 201) and Global (QU 301) Community.
The faculty regularly reviews curriculum, including general education courses, for their relevance to its mission; conducts exit interviews with graduating seniors; and updates survey data from graduates that include GRE scores, admission to graduate schools and employment.