Political Science Department

Political Science defines, describes, explains, and evaluates phenomena such as war and peace, revolution and reform, stability and instability, voting and office holding, and crime and punishment.

Some students come to political science because they seek careers in politics or academics; others study political science to gain a greater knowledge of this central human concern.  Consequently, the curriculum is designed to train students in a discipline, reveal the possibilities of politics, meet the demands of thoughtful citizenship, and prepare those students who intend to pursue further work in either graduate or professional school.  Students are provided a basic foundation in all parts of the discipline, and are then permitted to explore their own interests via the courses they select to meet degree requirements and through independent study.

“At Middlebury I learned how to take a lot of complex information, distill insight from it, and apply that to new areas or new challenges.  In that way, my Middlebury education was instrumental in making me into a technology founder, even though I spent most of my time reading political philosophy and constitutional law rather than studying technology.  That is the beauty of the liberal arts education.”   -- George Arison ’00, co-founder and CEO Shift Technology