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About Political Science

In keeping with the Goals of Loyola University, the Department of Political Science prepares its undergraduate majors and all other interested undergraduate students to assume positions of responsible and ethical leadership in a world where the most vital issues facing humankind inevitably find their way into the political process.

Commitment to excellence, civic engagement, and an open mind

An essential part of this goal is to communicate to its students the importance of a liberal education, including the discipline and rigor of thought essential to the truly educated mind. The department encourages faculty and student scholarship in political science as well as critical thinking, and political and civic engagement.

As old as the works of Aristotle

Political science as a discipline is at least as old as the work of Aristotle in its central concerns and as recent as the latest journal articles in its methodologies. As a discipline, it must constantly address the enduring questions of governance and liberty in the light of past knowledge and illuminated by the latest research. While it is common to distinguish between “private” and “public” spheres, governments in all ages have regulated the most private relationships, including marriage, parent-child obligations, and the obligations of the marketplace, as well as the arts, systems of belief, place of residence, and freedom of movement. Students of politics, then, must view the world from a wide perspective; they cannot expect to master all fields of knowledge, but they must be aware that many bear on the discipline of political science. Accordingly, students must necessarily be encouraged to explore deeply not only cognate disciplines such as anthropology, history, economics, psychology, and sociology, but those involving the arts, language and literature, philosophy, and the study of religious beliefs.

Demands of the discipline are great

The Department of Political Science involves students in practical political activity through experiential learning. The demands of the discipline are great. Not only must courses and teaching materials be regularly and constantly revised to reflect current events, but also to reflect the breadth of human political activity. To do less is to devalue political science as an important field of liberal studies.