Mission Statement and Learning Goals

Department of Political Science Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Political Science at Illinois Wesleyan University is to foster a vital community of citizen scholars committed to the study and understanding of politics. The department nurtures a culture of excellence that helps students to become active knowledge producers and to reach their career goals in the non-profit, public, or private sectors.

Political Science students are required to take both a research methods class and a senior seminar. In addition, they publish a research journal annually, join faculty in reading groups, and thrive in the social science lab they oversee. Regardless of their path, IWU political science students learn to take the liberal arts seriously and to strive to make the public good a reality at home and across the globe.

See also the Mission Statement of Illinois Wesleyan University.

Political Science Learning Goals

A graduate in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University will learn the following knowledge, skills, and values:


Students will:

  • Know the theoretical traditions, debates, and methodological approaches used in the empirical study of political phenomena.
  • Be well-versed in the major normative traditions of modern political thought.
  • Know the processes, institutions, and contexts that shape politics at local, national, transnational, and international levels.


Students will:

  • Be able to analyze political phenomena critically, recognizing the implications of diverse perspectives, normative positions, and evidentiary claims.
  • Be able to conduct rigorous and original political research, using appropriate analytical frames and methodological instruments to test hypotheses.
  • Be able to communicate research findings and arguments in a clear, logical, and persuasive manner, whether in written or oral form.


Students will:

  • Be intellectually curious and appreciate the value of critical scholarly work.
  • Appreciate their place, and the place of others, in the broader global community.
  • Value civic engagement and appreciate the importance of active citizenship.