Department of Political Science
Social Sciences Building (SSB), Room 352, (907) 786-1665
In its oldest definition, political science was called the master science. More modern definitions are less comprehensive, but of the social sciences, political science has perhaps the least definite boundaries and the widest concerns. Consequently, political science covers many different subjects, uses several diverse methods, and appeals to a variety of students.
Students come to political science because they are interested in politics: some of them with an eye to a political career, some with a scholarly intent, and many wishing to know more about this central, inescapable human concern. The Department of Political Science aims to make all students aware and critical of their first opinions (since human beings are at their most opinionated in politics), to open up the possibilities of politics, to reveal the permanent political problems, to impart an intellectual discipline and to supply a guide for choice.
The political science program is divided into four areas: comparative politics, international relations, political philosophy, and American politics. Political science majors are required to take at least one course in each of these areas, to specialize in one of them, and to complete introductory courses in political science.
The department also offers a Minor in Political Science. Students pursuing the minor take two introductory courses and four additional upper-division political science electives.
The department welcomes all students who want to learn more about politics. It reserves its honors for majors who earn qualifying marks both in a senior seminar and on a comprehensive examination.