Our Curriculum

The Political Science Program advances Muhlenberg College’s mission as a liberal arts institution to cultivate thoughtful, articulate, active and responsible citizens. We recognize the value of diversity to building inclusive communities.  By developing students’ knowledge of political science—its theories, concepts, and research methods—our courses enable students to explore how power relationships, institutional arrangements, social-economic inequalities, identities, and ideological commitments shape and are shaped by public policy, political action, and public argument in a diverse and globally interdependent society.

All students majoring in Political Science complete 5 required core courses, including Introduction to American National Government (PSC 101); Introduction to Comparative Politics & International Relations (PSC 103); Political Ideologies (PSC 201); Political Science Research Methods (PSC 301); and the Political Science Senior Capstone Seminar, or Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) (PSC 490). 

In addition, students select five upper-level classes (at least two of which are at the 300 level or above) from thematic areas:

  • Policy Studies
  • States, Conflict and Culture
  • Problems in Democracy
  • Institutions & Processes
  • (In)Equality, Justice and Power
  • Citizenship & Political Engagement

After careful and close advising with a faculty advisor, students select three courses from one thematic area and at least one course from two other thematic areas.

Our curriculum imparts to our students the values and commitments, knowledge, and skills that are required for engaged, informed, democratic engagement and leadership in an increasingly globalized world.

Values & Commitments

  1. Students are committed to engaged democratic citizenship and value diversity and difference as crucial to democratic life.
  2. Students value social scientific modes of inquiry.

 
Knowledge

  1. Students think conceptually about politics.
  2. Students understand the common questions and methods that animate the study of political science as a discipline.
  3. Students understand the global context of politics, government and citizenship.
  4. Students understand normative and empirical approaches to the study of power, authority, identity and justice.
  5. Students understand how ideas and values shape and are shaped by institutions, political movements and policy debates.

Skills

  1. Students write and speak clearly, thoughtfully, critically and persuasively about politics.
  2. Students read diverse texts and understand, interpret, analyze and synthesize information.
  3. Students engage with and construct social scientific research questions, using qualitative and quantitative data and methods.