The Department of Political Science offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide a thorough understanding of politics while providing a foundation for careers in government, law, education, business, and other fields. In addition to courses on political ideas, behavior, and institutions at the local, state, national, and international levels, the department offers opportunities for students to participate in research projects, internship programs, scholarship competitions, study abroad, a political science honor society, and a program in law studies.

The curriculum is divided into four areas of study:

American Politics

American politics involves the study of U.S. political institutions at the national level (e.g., Congress, Presidency, Judiciary), state and local government and politics, political parties, interest groups, policy making, elections and voting behavior, public opinion, public law and the judicial process, constitutional interpretation, and the field of public administration.

Comparative Politics

Comparative politics studies political systems of nations outside the United States, including those in Western and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia.

International Relations

International relations focuses on American foreign policy, international organizations (e.g., the United Nations), international economics, war and peace, and international law.

Political Theory

Political theorizing means questioning the assumptions underlying both politics and political science. Courses in political theory are designed to help students understand political experiences as they are interpreted by those who are engaged in politics and also by those who study it. Political theory therefore includes the history of political ideas, the writings of major theorists, and theories of history and the social sciences.

Political Science Courses

NameRankDegreeSchoolGraduate FacultyEmeritus Faculty
Ivan Ascher Associate Professor PhD University of California-Berkeley Yes No
Carol E. Baumann Professor Emerita PhD No Yes
Robert J. Beck Associate Professor, Associate Vice Chancellor PhD Georgetown University Yes No
Natasha Borges Sugiyama Professor, Interim Director for Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies PhD University of Texas-Austin Yes No
Eric C. Browne Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Kathleen Dolan Distinguished Professor PhD University of Maryland-College Park Yes No
Marcus E. Ethridge Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Kennan Ferguson Professor PhD University of Hawaii Yes No
David C. Garnham Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Brett W. Hawkins Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Uk Heo Distinguished Professor PhD Texas A&M University Yes No
Thomas M. Holbrook Distinguished Professor, Wilder Crane Professor of Government PhD University of Iowa Yes No
Shale A. Horowitz Professor PhD University of California-Los Angeles Yes No
Douglas Ihrke Professor PhD Northern Illinois University Yes No
Patrick W. Kraft Assistant Professor PhD Stony Brook University Yes No
David Nachmias Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Terry Nardin Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Erin Olsen (Kaheny) Associate Professor PhD University of South Carolina Yes No
Hong Min Park Associate Professor PhD Washington University Yes No
Sara Pashak (Benesh) Associate Professor, Chair PhD Michigan State University Yes No
Stephen L. Percy Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Donald Pienkos Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Joel Rast Associate Professor, Internship Coordinator, Director of Urban Studies PhD University of Oregon Yes No
Steven Redd Associate Professor PhD Texas A&M University Yes No
Ora John Reuter Associate Professor PhD Emory University Yes No
Paru Shah Professor PhD Rice University Yes No
Mark Tessler Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
John Wanat Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes
Meredith W. Watts Professor Emerita PhD No Yes
Ronald E. Weber Professor Emeritus PhD No Yes