Political Science Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this major students will:

  1. Have developed a mature political imagination which includes an ability to envision what constitutes an important political question/issue and to understand the various ways in which a political scientist might address such a question/issue.
  2. Have mastered essential facts relevant and necessary to the study of global political life. This involves a working knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and historical dynamics that constitute the contemporary political order. It also includes a broad familiarity with the historical roots of that order.
  3. Be able to think critically, analytically and rigorously about the world of politics.
  4. Have an informed sense of the historical dimension of the various political issues, developments, trends, theories and forms of inquiry relevant to the students’ interests.
  5. Have an enlightened understanding of the multicultural nature of global (but especially American) political life.
  6. Be able to convey information, analyze results and persuasively argue in both written and oral form clearly and effectively.
  7. Be able to conduct sound and rigorous social inquiry using a variety of methodologies and techniques.
  8. Be able to compete successfully for placement in graduate programs or employment relevant to the field of study.

Direct Measures of Student Learning:

  1. Capstone Course
  2. Senior Thesis 
  3. Oral defense of Senior Thesis 
  4. Internship supervisor evaluations  
  5. Symposium  Presentations 
  6. Annual departmental review of graded assignments and exams and samples of student writing 
  7. Performance on exams

Indirect Measures of Student Learning:

  1. Admission rates into graduate programs  
  2. Alumni and employer satisfaction 
  3. Questions on end-of-course student evaluation forms that ask about the course rather than the instructor