The Department of Political Science and International Relations prepares students to be independent and responsible citizens. Independent and responsible citizens must understand the complexity and ambiguities of public life, must be able to use empirical evidence as well as philosophical deliberation to inform choices, must be capable of communicating clearly with others through both oral and written discourse, and must be capable of working with others to shape public decisions. The Department strives to strengthen these skills through classroom instruction, research, and other department activities.
The Department of Political Science and International Relations develops and nurtures a scholarly community of faculty and students who advance knowledge of government and politics through active research, discussion with academic and general audiences, and service to communities at the local, state, national, and international levels. Faculty and students engage in education, research, and service in government, politics, and policy with emphases on understanding the problems and challenges that political communities face and on gathering, analyzing, and evaluating evidence and interpreting its implications. An important aspect of the Department Mission is generating and disseminating new knowledge for the broader academic and civic communities.
The teaching, research and service of the Department attempt to nurture in students, faculty, and the broader civic and academic communities, an understanding of freedom and its limits, an appreciation for our responsibilities to and dependence on others, an ability effectively to participate in public decisions, and the discipline to base decisions on critical analysis of quality evidence rather than on bias or habit. In all these, it seeks to reinforce the Jesuit value of constructive and effective engagement with the world.