The mission of the Political Science Department is to be the primary support to the college as it seeks to prepare students for the common tasks of citizenship.
Democracy requires an involved citizenry which in turn demands that citizens understand the fundamentals of their political system. For citizens of the United States these fundamentals include familiarity with the institutions and process of government at all levels; as well as civil liberties, political parties, elections and interest group behavior.
Our core course, Introduction to US Politics is the primary mechanism by which this mission is accomplished. In addition we introduce interested students to some of the sub-fields of political science such as comparative politics, political thought and constitutional law. We hope to add new emphases on urban and international politics.
The department also offers a selection of lower division courses useful for a major in Political Science, as well as related areas such as Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Public Administration, and Pre-law. Students planning a four-year degree with a major in Political Science or a related field would typically take US Politics and Constitutional Law, as they work to complete the Associate of Arts degree. While students are fully able to transfer to colleges throughout the nation, the majority of our students tend to transfer to a Minnesota State University, the University of Minnesota or a regional private college.
Many Students take our Political Thought or Constitutional Law courses to sharpen their critical thinking skills. Students interested in foreign affairs and international business are likely to find out Comparative Governments course of special interest, just as students interested in either Philosophy or History are likely to find our courses in Political Thought particularly appropriate.
Over the past decade the department has distinguished itself by its Elections courses offered in even-numbered years, its honor symposium offered last in Fall of 2000 and its internship program offered every semester, including summer. The Cooperative Education Program, our internship offering, has placed students interested in politics in state legislative offices working as aids, in local US Congressional offices working as researchers, in various electoral campaigns from presidential to aldermanic and in a wide variety of other political settings.