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Political Science

Are you interested in how the world works and how it could be better? Do you wonder how and why people, advocacy groups, political parties, and nations interact as they do? If so, Dordt’s political science program is for you.

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Program Overview

Politics, like every other part of this world, belongs to God. Its role is to promote justice for all people. Politics touches all areas of social activity, including families, churches, government, education, and more.

Dordt’s political science major will equip you to actively engage as a citizen in transforming society. We do this through the lens of a Kingdom vision that promotes public justice in a multicultural and multi-faith society. Our faculty pours into students with personal attention and one-on-one advising. We provide opportunities for impactful internships. And we prepare students for a wide variety of career opportunities upon graduation.

political science students work together at desk

What can I do with a degree in political science from Dordt University?

As you study politics and government at Dordt, you will be challenged to understand and develop your role as a Christian citizen. You’ll study governmental structures and public decisions. You’ll learn to think critically in the world of politics. And you’ll do it all through a foundation firmly rooted in a biblical perspective.

Policy Analyst

A Policy Analyst identifies problems with policies and proposes solutions to them.

Political Consultant

A Political Consultant uses different media and platforms to inform voters about their candidate’s party platform.

Campaign Manager

Campaign Managers oversee and help with the operations of a political campaign.

Political Science Major

Political science is a natural fit for law school students. The major leaves room for a minor or complementary electives in other subjects such as history, business, criminal justice, sociology, journalism, digital media, or foreign languages.

There is a general minor in politics as well as specialized minors in international relations and public administration. You can combine a political science major with majors in fields such as environmental studies, criminal justice, communication, Spanish, social work, or business to prepare for today’s changing job market.

As you study politics and government at Dordt, you will be challenged to understand and develop your role as a Christian citizen. You’ll study governmental structures and public decisions. You’ll learn to think critically in the world of politics. And you’ll do it all through a foundation firmly rooted in a biblical perspective.

To learn more, you can also view the program strengths and learning outcomes for this program.

Students looking to get a degree in political science will take eight political science classes and several classes from other fields such as statistics or criminal justice. Students will also be required to complete some field experience, an individual study, or a preapproved off-campus program.

  • Introduction to Politics: An introduction to the political dimension of life from a biblically-oriented perspective. Laying the foundation for political thought and practice, the course will examine scripture, models of how the church relates to culture, and examples of Christian engagement with the political world. It will also provide a brief survey of each of the fields of political science and raise practical questions about political involvement.
  • American National Politics: A general introduction to the American political process–its foundations, external influences, institutions, political actors, and policymaking.
  • International Relations: An introduction to the contemporary relations among states with a consideration of the issues of war and peace, international organizations, law, integration, political economy, interdependence, and relations among the superpowers.
  • State and Local Politics: Provides a basic introduction to the political process at the state and municipal level, examining the role of the individual citizen, various groups, and governmental institutions. Attention is given to the special policy needs at the state and community level, their links with the federal government, and the particular character of local politics.
  • Introduction to Public Administration: Provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Public Administration. Subjects to be considered include the role of the public service in society, public service values and ethics, accountability and political control of the public service, the budgetary process, organizational forms in government, human resources, principles of public management, and new forms of delivering government services.
  • Public Policy: Provides a general introduction to the public policy process in the United States, including an exploration of the socioeconomic and cultural context, the defining characteristics of the political system, and various phases in the policy process. Special attention is given to selected policy issues such as energy and the environment, criminal justice, poverty, health care, and immigration.
  • Ancient and Medieval Political Thought: This course will examine the major ideas and trends in political thought from ancient times through the medieval period up to the early modern era. Philosophers to be studied include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Protestant reformers and Machiavelli. Relevance to the politics of our time will be included.
  • Modern Political Thought: Major ideas and trends in political thought from the early modern era of the 1600s to the present will be examined. The first portion of the course will be a survey of major political philosophers. This will set the stage for understanding modern ideologies (populism, libertarianism, conservatism, liberalism, totalitarianism, and other -isms).
  • Comparative Politics: This course will introduce the field of comparative politics. Nation-states will be compared to one another and to the United States. We will cover a range of topics including history, ethnic groups, political parties, and government structures. The diversity of nations and norms of human government will be examined from a Christian perspective. The course will focus on a specific region or continent of the world. Specific geographic focus to be announced.
  • Global Security Issues: This seminar course examines the challenges facing world security in the twenty-first century, including arms proliferation, ecological threats, economic globalization, ethnic conflict, resource scarcity, political economy, and human rights.
  • American Constitutional Law: This course focuses on the American Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. Through analysis of landmark cases, this course will study both historical and recent developments in constitutional law with the goal of gaining deeper insight into the way our system works and the reasons for the freedoms we hold dear. Prerequisite: Political Science 202; junior standing; or permission of instructor.
  • Criminal Law: This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of criminal law focusing on a study of what constitutes particular crimes, both in the common law and by statute, including certain defenses. Principles learned in this course will help students develop a deeper ability to discern what constitutes fair administration of justice: dealing fairly with the accused while continuing to uphold the interests of both victims and society at large.
  • Field Experience in Politics: Students complete a limited field experience in a politics-related area. The experience is aimed at providing exposure to the type of activities in which political science graduates are likely to be involved as professionals. Three hours of course credit is to be based on the completion of 8 - 10 hours on the site per week plus one hour of work determined in consultation with the supervising member of the political science department for 14 weeks. Deadline for application for the spring semester is November 1; deadline for the fall and summer semester is April 1.
  • Individual Studies
  • Introductory Statistics: An introductory course in statistical techniques and methods and their application to a variety of fields. Topics include data analysis, design of experiments, and statistical inference including confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. Exposure to statistical software and a substantive student project are also part of this course.

See the course catalog for more information.

Minor Options

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