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Offices & Services > Office of the Registrar > Knox College Catalog, 2016-2017 > Departments and Courses of Study

Political Science

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Major and Minors

Faculty and professional interests 
Duane Oldfield, chair
   Globalization, social movements, religion and politics
Daniel Beers
   Comparative politics, Russian and Eastern Europe, international political development
Andrew Civettini
   American politics, political behavior, political psychology
Sue Hulett
   International relations, American foreign policy, religion and politics
Karen Kampwirth
   Comparative politics, Latin America, gender and politics
Lane Sunderland
   Constitutional law, political philosophy, American political thought

The Department of Political Science and International Relations teaches diverse, yet integrated courses that lead students to a better understanding of the importance and complexity of political life. The curriculum includes introductory courses in each of the subfields of political science and international relations and advanced work that builds on the theory and framework provided by the 100 and 200-level courses. The department faculty represent diverse methodologies and political views to advance the goal of presenting competing perspectives on a political life that inevitably requires students to arrive at their own conclusions regarding questions of justice.

The goal of course work within the department is to provide students with the skills and perspectives necessary to a profound understanding of politics in all its richness. The curriculum is organized around general themes and emphasizes the areas of political philosophy, American institutions and politics, American constitutional law, international relations and comparative government.

Students with an interest in politics may choose to major in political science or international relations (See entry for International Relations). Students are counseled to complement these interests with appropriate courses in modern language, history, economics, and anthropology and sociology. Beyond specific course work, many students engage in independent study and honors work. The department has an active and popular internship program that affords students experience in political, legal, and public service internships in Galesburg, Springfield, Chicago, and abroad. The College's program for off-campus studies allows students to broaden their understanding through such opportunities as study in Denmark, Argentina, the Washington Semester, or at the Newberry Library.

A degree in political science or international relations is a strong foundation for careers in local, state or national government, transnational governmental or non-governmental organizations, and business. Graduates also undertake graduate study in fields such as law, labor and industrial relations, city management and urban planning, journalism, interest groups or social movement lobbying, and communication.

As undergraduates, students have participated in the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference, Model United Nations, Model Arab League, Model Illinois Government and the Center for the Study of the Presidency. The goal of the major is to graduate students who have thought seriously about the complexities of politics and who are prepared to take their places in society with the conviction that politics is not merely the art of the possible, but the art of the best possible.

The departmental curriculum contributes to the College's Key Competency Requirements as follows:

  • Writing Key Competency - PS 227, 231, 245, 314, 315, 317, 320, 326, 333, 342, 362, and 363 serve as writing-intensive courses for majors
  • Speaking Key Competency - PS 128, 306, 312, 315, 317, 362, and 363 serve as speaking-intensive courses for majors
  • Information Literacy and Informed Use of Technology - Specialized information literacy and technology skills are introduced in PS 230 and further developed in both 200 and 300-level courses. Majors in International Relations gain exposure to these competencies in all upper-level seminars, especially in PS 317.

Departmental Learning Goals

Students completing a Political Science major will be able to:

  1. Articulate coherent arguments on difficult global and domestic political issues
  2. Carry out substantial research
  3. Analyze politics and international relations using a broad range of theoretical and methodological approaches

Requirements for the Major and Minors

Political Science Course Descriptions

Knox College

Printed on Monday, September 26, 2016

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