Though political science as a field encompasses several subdisciplines, the American Politics emphasis area enables students to focus on our nation’s own unique historical, structural, and theological developments. Students will study state and local politics to understand our layered federal system, with different units of government playing different roles. Similarly, a course in public policy enables students to understand how the nation’s political landscape affects policy development. Historically oriented courses further facilitate student comprehension of America’s political development over time. A course in American foreign policy, for example, shows our evolution from a peripheral and weak state to superpower status over less than two hundred years, while a course on the American presidency shows how the role of chief executive has shifted dramatically since 1789. Anyone interested in political involvement at any level of government will benefit from study of American Politics.
A political science emphasis in International Affairs prepares students to function well in our global socio-economic environment of the early 21st century. In addition to the core courses in the field—including international relations and comparative politics—students in this emphasis branch out into interdisciplinary inquiry, pursuing courses that enable them to think broadly about states, peoples, cultures, and trade. Students typically study macroeconomics under business faculty, international social issues as taught by sociologists, international communication as taught by specialists in that field, and relevant upper division history courses as well. Any student interested in a future with cross-cultural business, ministry, policy, or nonprofit work will benefit from this field of study.