University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Political Science

The Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts has a strong tradition of providing undergraduate instruction of the highest quality. Whether you are just taking a class or two, or are planning to major in Political Science, you will find that the Department and its faculty are committed to undergraduate teaching and students. We offer a wide range of classes, from lecture-based instruction to smaller seminars, as well as internships and Honors courses. The diversity of the faculty means that the Department is able to offer a broad range of courses every semester.

Political Science majors study political life in the varied contexts in which it occurs—institutions, social movements, power relations, elections, political culture, ideas, and war. The major emphasizes issues central to public life such as democracy, citizenship and participation, inequality, global forces, institutions, and governance. The most significant purpose of the Political Science major is to help educate a reflective and active citizenry capable of sharing power and responsibility in a contemporary democracy. The curriculum supports this goal first by developing students’ skills in comprehending and engaging complex arguments and phenomena. Second, the program emphasizes students’ development of skills in articulating clear, sound, and compelling arguments of their own, based on appropriate evidence, in spoken and written presentation.