Mission Statement and Learning Outcomes
The mission of the Department of Political Science and International Relations is to generate and disseminate knowledge about political science and to achieve excellence in scholarship, teaching and service. We do this in the four subfields of American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory. Our faculty produce nationally and internationally recognized scholarship that advances the discipline, and we provide service to the University, profession and community. We seek to produce informed global citizens at the undergraduate level and potential future members of the professoriate at the graduate level. Our undergraduate programs in political science and international relations promote critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and numerical literacy, teach oral and written communication skills and convey core political science concepts and theories within the context of a diverse and globalizing nation and world. Our undergraduate programs accomplish this through lectures, seminars, laboratories, active learning strategies, study abroad, internships, and undergraduate research, among others. Our graduate program in global governance provides our students with a broad understanding of the discipline of political science and selected subfields, specialized expertise in one or more areas, and competence in the underlying philosophy of social science inquiry and research methods. Our graduate program produces PhDs who have the breadth and vision to grapple with important questions in political life, the training to make original contributions to those issues, and the ability to communicate their work to students, their peers, and a global audience.
The undergraduate program is designed to enable political science and international relations majors to achieve several outcomes (numbers in parentheses refer to University of Delaware General Education goals).
1. Students will develop and master critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills. (2)
2. Students will develop and master oral and written communication skills. (1a/1b)
3. Students will develop and master the ability to understand and apply major political science concepts and theories to complex contemporary political phenomena. (4, 5, 9, 10)
4. Students will develop and master the ability to access, comprehend and synthesize the professional political science literature in order to assess others' work and for use in their own work. (1, 2, 3, 5)
5. Students will develop and master the ability to apply basic research skills including research design, data analysis and interpretation. (1, 2, 3, 5)
6. Students will be able to understand cultural diversity in the US and compare it to a diverse and globalizing world of politics and international affairs. (9, 10)
The graduate program is designed to enable graduates to accomplish several outcomes.
1. Students will understand and appreciate the discipline of political science and be well-versed in its global governance dimensions.
2. Students will master the academic scholarly enterprise, including an ability to review, analyze and critique existing literatures and make original and insightful contributions to them.
3. Students will be able to design innovative, interesting and important research projects and utilize appropriate research methods to pursue them.
4. Students will be able to write high quality, article-length manuscripts of publishable quality, on topics of import to our discipline.
5. Students will be able to make effective oral presentations of their work.
6. Students will gain experience in the classroom and possess the ability to be effective teachers at the graduate and undergraduate levels.