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Department of Political Science

Why political science?

At its core, being a political science student means learning and evaluating how power is created, maintained, and used in human activities.

Beyond merely knowing how governments work, this major has given me the intellectual tools to understand how people think and why they do what they do in virtually any arena. I can open a newspaper, read about what's going on in the world, and comprehend it at a level that would not have been possible without the education I received from this department.

Similarly, what I have learned does not lock me into a career in government. Understanding power dynamics is an extraordinarily useful skill that is applicable in any professional setting, be it the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. Critical thinking never ceases to be useful, no matter where you go in life.

I have never regretted for a moment my decision to be a political science major. Biased as I am, I still insist that this is one of the strongest departments on campus; the resources available to students and the quality of the faculty are both enviable. I, for example, was able to spend three weeks doing independent research in Chile thanks to a fellowship only available here.

I could go on, but don't just take my word for it. Try some classes, get to know your professors and fellow students, and you'll see for yourself why I'm singing so much praise.

- Maxwell Hoversten
Political science major