May 28, 2024  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
College Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science

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Full Time Faculty: Julie Dolan, Paul Dosh, Andrew Latham, Leslie Lavery (Chair), Lisa Mueller, Patrick Schmidt, Wendy Weber

The study of political science at Macalester emphasizes making connections between the theory and practice of politics. Concerns range from perennial philosophical or normative issues regarding power, justice, freedom, human dignity and social responsibility to practical political matters such as policy making and public problem solving.

Through their Political Science education, we seek to develop students’

  1. Critical thinking, including ability to evaluate diverse types of arguments and evidence
    - Using diverse methods of social sciences (including quantitative, qualitative and normative approaches)
    - Reading across diverse genres of texts
  2. Ability to communicate, meaning, especially, the ability to craft and articulate an argument (inclusive of written and oral communication
  3. Capacity to engage in political communities and reflect on their commitments

General Distribution Requirement

All courses taught by faculty in the political science department count toward the general distribution requirement in the social sciences, except POLI 267 , POLI 268 , POLI 274 POLI 276 POLI 277  and POLI 278  (all of which count as humanities distribution) and internships and preceptorships (POLI 624 , POLI 634 ). Topics courses that are taught by other faculty but cross-listed by Political Science fulfill the general distribution requirement of the offering department.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S. identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements  section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The Political Science department particpates in the Honors Program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available from either the department office or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Interdisciplinary Programs

The political science department supports a number of interdisciplinary programs, including: American Studies, Asian Studies, Media and Cultural Studies, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Legal Studies, Environmental Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Urban Studies. Consult both program and departmental advisors.

Topics Courses

POLI 194 , POLI 294 , POLI 394 , POLI 494  

Courses numbered 194, 294, 394, and 494 are Topics courses. These courses address current issues in contemporary political life or offer an experimental course which may later become part of the regular curriculum. For a list of offerings in any given year, consult the College website prior to registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.


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