Discipline-specific Objectives

Students who graduate with a major housed in the Department of Politics will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the exercise of power, particularly through:
    • Formal and informal institutions that structure social and political life.
    • The history of ideas including enduring questions of liberty, identity, justice, and the common good.
    •  Interaction among political actors and the causes of conflict and cooperation.
  2. Become familiar with the main subfields of political science, including American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory.
  3. Develop analytical skills necessary to make reasoned arguments supported by appropriate evidence, including:
    • Identify, comprehend, and evaluate primary and secondary sources in the discipline.
    • Assess the quality of evidence and the implications drawn from it.
    • Understand and critically engage competing perspectives.
  4. Develop research skills, including:
    • Recognize and develop good research questions grounded in the scholarly literature.
    • Collect and analyze data using appropriate methods
    • Present findings in oral and written formats.
  5. Consider how theories and knowledge apply to the practice of politics and citizenship, including the ethical implications of political action for individuals and communities. 


We are proud of our students’ accomplishments. Recent graduates have found careers in news media, law, non-profits and public advocacy, business, academics, government, and the ministry.

Spotlight on Alumni


Working in the United States Senate, Ben Bradley spends his day talking with politicians and reporters and writing about important national issues. After hours, he sometimes plays in a Congressional slow-pitch softball league with people who shape the direction of our country.

"It was pretty cool to toss the ball around with a U.S. Senator on the National Mall," he says, referring to Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.

Ben always knew he wanted to do "something political," but he is a bit surprised to find himself here within three years of graduation. He is the legislative correspondent for Florida Senator Marco Rubio, communicating the senator's policy positions on commerce, agriculture, trade, energy, and other issues. He is also the senator's liaison for private sector concerns that include internet services in rural parts of America and commercial space flight access to a NASA launch pad.

Ben is fascinated to walk the halls of the Capitol Building, where decision makers walked during some of the most pressing times in history. His hours vary depending on the Senate's agenda and whether a committee of the Senate is addressing an issue in his portfolio. If the Senate works through the night and into the morning, so does he-even if it takes five cups of coffee.

Before beginning his job in January 2013, Ben was a staff member for U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte. He had worked for the senator from New Hampshire as a student. After her 2010 Senate campaign, Ayotte offered him a position in her Washington, D.C. office.

Ben's interest in a political career was piqued during the 2008 presidential election, when he worked with an ABC News crew covering primary debates at Saint Anselm. During college, he wrote for the student newspaper; skied for the Hawks and joined the track club; went on a spring break service trip; and served as an ambassador at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.