Office: Humanities, Room 250D
Chair: Carsten T. Vala, Associate Professor
Professors: Michael G. Franz; Douglas B. Harris; Diana J. Schaub
Associate Professors: Janine P. Holc; Kevin W. Hula; Moira K. Lynch; Carsten T. Vala; William I. Kitchin (emeritus); Donald T. Wolfe (emeritus)
Assistant Professors: Jesse R. Merriam
Political science is the systematic study of government and politics. It deals with the making and implementing of public policy by means of decisions regarded as authoritative or binding for society.
Although lines of interdisciplinary specialization are not rigidly fixed, the principal subfields include political theory, American government and politics, comparative government and politics, and international relations. Within those subfields are more specialized areas of study such as political behavior and public opinion, political parties and interest groups, legislative process, the executive and public administration, public law and judicial behavior, and state and local government. There are also topical courses.
- Students demonstrate evidence-based argumentation. In writing, students make assertions, judgments, and claims using evidence. Students provide proof to support written judgments and claims; writing is not merely reflective or rhetorically persuasive. Evidence takes the form of reference to a body of research findings; reference to a legal case or set of cases; or reference to the pattern or logic of a foundational text.
- Students demonstrate the ability to apply concepts from a theoretical text or argument to a tangible political dilemma, proposal, or event. Student achievement is the ability to apply an abstract political concept to political decisions in the past, present, or future. Examples include party identification, search and seizure, and political ideology.
- Students demonstrate an in-depth, critical understanding of American political institutions and processes.
- Students demonstrate an in-depth, critical understanding of foundational ancient and modern Western texts on the formation of the state and the political community.
- Students demonstrate an in-depth, critical understanding of at least one non-Western political text, perspective, or system.
The department sponsors independent study projects. The burden for developing a project rests with the student-in consultation with a member of the faculty whose interests include the prospective area of concentration. Assigned readings, conferences on a regular basis, and a substantial paper are standard requirements.
The department sponsors internships related to national, state, and local government and politics in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Although students are encouraged to consult with the department's internship coordinator and to avail themselves of the resources of Loyola's Career Center, the burden of applying for and securing an internship rests with the student. Examples of such internship opportunities might include the United States Congress; the White House and the executive branch; state and local legislative and executive branch offices; interest groups and public advocacy organizations; research groups and think tanks; media organizations; political campaigns; and various legal and judicial offices (individual attorneys, judges, courts, public defenders, etc.).
The internship's "on-site" component is integrated with appropriate academic assignments including assigned readings, a weekly journal of experience and reflection, frequent contacts with the department's internship coordinator, and a research paper due at the end of the semester. Approval of the department is required. Students with a cumulative grade point average below 3.000 generally are not recommended for internships. Only one internship may be completed for credit through the political science department, and only one internship may be counted toward fulfillment of the major or minor.