Political Science

Department website: https://www.isu.edu/polisci/


Political Science, B.A./B.S.DegreeB.A./B.S.
Political Science, MinorMinor

The study of governments and human beings as decision makers is at once an ancient discipline and one of the most recently developed social sciences. Political inquiry reaches back to the recorded beginnings of human society, for individuals have always been curious about the nature of governments, the bases of authority and personality of leaders, the obligations of followers, and consequences of public policies. ­Although interest persists in these matters, inquiry has broadened to include scientific observations about politics, which utilize relatively new techniques of analysis that are common to many of the social sciences. The newer emphasis is upon systematic procedures of investigation, rigorous standards of proof, comparative analysis, and interdisciplinary studies.

Both of these approaches—the traditional and the behavioral—are offered in the undergraduate and graduate levels of study. The curriculum provides background in the theory and practice of politics and techniques of methodological inquiry for the student with general interests. It offers training of a general and specific nature that is useful for persons planning to seek careers in education, the legal profession, state and local government, urban and regional planning, the federal bureaucracy and ­journalism, or in any of the proliferating quasi-public organizations that seek to monitor the political processes or to influence the content of public policy.

The Department of Political Science offers programs leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Public Administration, and Doctor of Arts degrees. Within the framework of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science ­programs, students may pursue a major in political science or they may choose an emphasis in pre-law. There is no required or specified curriculum that students who emphasize pre-law are expected to follow. An advisory committee has been created to assist such students in developing a curriculum that reflects their individual needs.

Outcome objectives are related to both student and program development. Student-related outcome objectives are listed below:

  1. To gain a well-rounded knowledge of the basic fields of the discipline.
  2. To develop an understanding of how political scientists think, gather evidence, process data, and reach tentative conclusions.
  3. To think critically about political phenomena and thought.
  4. To develop effective oral and written communication skills.
  5. To engage in problem solving.
  6. To be exposed to a rich variety of perspectives and ideas.
  7. To prepare for a career or profession after graduation that is related to the political science major. This includes graduate school.

Political Science Faculty

Political Science Courses