Political Science Department
Peter Koehn, Chair
Political Science is the systematic study of politics. Politics influence how people and institutions exercise and resist power. Political Science, therefore, is concerned with how nations and communities are governed and who governs them. The departmental faculty members have as their mission the engagement and enlightenment of their students, professional colleagues, and fellow citizens about the nature of politics.
The department offers a varied undergraduate curriculum covering domestic, foreign, and international politics. By meeting the requirements outlined below, a student may earn a bachelor's degree in political science or in political science-history; a minor in political science or global public health; or a bachelor's degree in political science with a concentration in one of the following: American politics, international relations and comparative politics, public administration and public policy, non-profit administration, international development studies, or public law. A Master of Arts degree in political science and a Master of Public Administration degree are also offered.
The scope of the faculty's interest and research is wide. They bring special insights gained through study and residence in Europe, Russia, Africa, Central Asia, India, the Far East and Latin America, as well as in Montana and Washington, D.C.
Courses offered in the department are designed to: (1) assist students to secure a broad liberal education and to equip them with the foundations for American citizenship; (2) provide undergraduate preparation for those students who propose to continue study at the graduate level with the ultimate goal of college teaching and research; (3) offer a broad program of training for those students who plan careers in government or politics; 4) assist in preparing students for careers in teaching at both the elementary and secondary levels; (5) provide a sound background for those students who intend to enroll in law and other professional schools.
The major fields of political science are (1) American government and politics with national, state and local government, and public law as sub-fields; (2) public administration and public policy; (3) political theory; (4) comparative government; (5) international relations, organization and law. Majors are eligible for membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary and are active in student political activities. The Department of Political Science secures a number of legislative and administrative internships in state and local government each year. Internships and other learning opportunities in Washington, D.C., are also available.