Political science defines, describes, explains, and evaluates phenomena such as war and peace, revolution and reform, stability and instability, economic growth and collapse, 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.

Middlebury students from around the world who grew up in war zones discuss the impact of conflict on everyday life. Part of the "Sex & War" Symposium.
Middlebury students from around the world who grew up in war zones discuss the impact of conflict on everyday life as part of the Gensler Symposium on Sex & War.

A Strong Foundation

Our 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.

Through a range of courses in key fields relevant to today’s world, students gain a strong foundation in all parts of the discipline. They are encouraged to later explore their own interests 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, cofounder and CEO of Shift Technology

Our Faculty

The department has a generous contingent of active scholars who strongly emphasize teaching excellence and the acquisition of analytic skills in the classroom. The faculty are also involved, formally and informally, in a number of related majors and programs:

  • Classical Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • International Politics and Economics
  • International and Global Studies
Students visiting Hangzhou, China.

Student Opportunities

We encourage students to study abroad, especially in a foreign language. Students can also participate in American University’s Washington Semester, the Pre-Law Club, and numerous events and activities at the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs.

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