B.A. in Political Science

The mission of Otterbein’s Political Science program is to foster leadership, civic engagement, and responsible citizenship. The major demonstrates the connections between political and social institutions, and fosters the analysis of the forces within political systems, including law, policy, race, class, gender, and the economy. It is committed to building a community of scholars through the critical assessment of and self-reflection on the methods, approaches, and perspectives of political analysis and engagement. The program is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and mentoring to ensure that students develop the analytical and methodological skills that will help them assess contemporary political events while promoting ethical problem-solving strategies.

The Department of History and Political Science offers both a major (BA) and a minor in Political Science.  The Political Science curriculum offers courses that focus on executive leadership, legislative processes, judicial processes, media, public law, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory.

Curriculum Information

The Political Science Major (BA) is organized around three core areas: American Law and Politics, Global Politics, and Political Theory. Political Science majors complete three 1000-level courses in these core areas and a sophomore-level methods course. Students then take a variety of courses at the upper level in the three core areas of the discipline. See the Otterbein University Catalog for the complete Political Science major requirements.

Faculty Expertise

Otterbein’s Political Science faculty have a wide range of expertise and interests. Our areas of research and teaching include:

  • American national institutions
  • State and local government
  • Legislative process
  • Judicial process
  • American law and politics
  • Public administration
  • Public policy
  • Political philosophy and theory

Career Opportunities and Future Paths

The liberal arts foundation of a Political Science degree offers skills that are valuable in a variety of careers, including government service, public administration, non-governmental organizations, law, journalism, and all types of business.

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
Goal #1: Understand Political Ideas, Structures, and Policies: 1a. Understand major theorists and philosophies Knowledgeable
Goal #1: Understand Political Ideas, Structures, and Policies: 1b. Understand US structures and processes Knowledgeable, Engaged
Goal #1: Understand Political Ideas, Structures, and Policies: 1c. Understand global structures and processes Knowledgeable, Engaged
Goal #2: Develop Communication Skills: . Understand research methodologies appropriate for political analysis Multi-literate
Goal #2: Develop Communication Skills: 2b. Effectively communicate and engage in oral and written argumentation Multi-literate
Goal #2: Develop Communication Skills: 2c. Be able to recognize and respect intellectual property Multi-literate
Goal #3: Recognize Differences between Ethical Uses and Misuses of Power: 3a. Understand relations of power, oppression, and identity Responsible
Goal #3: Recognize Differences between Ethical Uses and Misuses of Power: 3b. Understand relations between power, liberation, and domination Responsible
Goal #3: Recognize Differences between Ethical Uses and Misuses of Power: 3c. Understand effective participation in responsible citizenship Responsible, Engaged
Goal #4: Examine and Explore Political Science as a Discipline and Debates within Subfields: 4a. Develop familiarity with the various approaches to the study of politics Inquisitive
Goal #4: Examine and Explore Political Science as a Discipline and Debates within Subfields: 4b. Undertake an in-depth exploration of the debates within a sub-field of political science Inquisitive
Goal #4: Examine and Explore Political Science as a Discipline and Debates within Subfields: 4c. Develop the intellectual and social responsibility to identify and examine contemporary political events Inquisitive

*NOTE: KMERI refers to Otterbein's learning goals. It stands for KnowledgeableMulti-literateEngagedResponsible, and Inquisitive. To learn more about KMERI, visit our University Learning Goals page.

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