College of Liberal Arts
Department of Political Science
Chair: Michael Towle, Ph.D.
Professors: Kristen Urban, Ph.D.; Paul Christopher Manuel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor: Maureen Rand Oakley, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor: Amanda Beal, Ph.D.
The faculty members of the Department of Political Science believe that the study of politics is an essential part of an undergraduate liberal arts education and an important aspect of good citizenship. Pursuant to this end, the department is committed to providing students with a strong background in the study of politics. It offers a wide variety of courses that explore critical political issues at the local, national and international levels. Students are taught to identify important political issues and apply appropriate research skills to analyze them.
The programs of study offered by the Department of Political Science are ideal not only for students who are seeking a liberal arts education to prepare themselves for careers in the public sector or international affairs, but also for those who hope to continue their studies in graduate school or law school. In addition, the department is attentive to the career concerns of students who seek certification to teach social studies at the secondary level.
The department offers majors and minors in both political science and international studies. Additionally, the department administers the conflict, peace and social justice minor and participates in the interdisciplinary minors relating to Latin American studies, non-Western studies, gender studies and legal studies.
Departmental majors are encouraged to pursue governmental and nongovernmental internships, which help students make connections between the theory and practice of politics, sharpen their communication and analytical skills, and begin the process of developing professional networks–all of which prepare them for professional careers. The department also encourages its students to participate in study-abroad programs and to make connections with the larger, globalized world of the 21st century.
Co-curricular opportunities provided by departmental faculty have included Mount participation in three political simulations: the Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation, the National Model of the Model Arab League and the Maryland Student Legislature. These annual events gather students from many colleges to locations such as Washington and Annapolis, and require students to adopt formal roles, become acquainted with issues and agendas of specific countries or political parties, and join in the process of negotiating with other student role-players to achieve desired political outcomes. Students are also encouraged to be active in campus organizations such as the Political Science Club, International Affairs Organization, Amnesty International, College Republicans and College Democrats. The department supports a chapter of the political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha.