CSUSM Political Science Department Mission Statement

The political science department at CSUSM offers excellence in undergraduate education to a student body across a variety of diversities and experiences. Political science is the study of government, individual, and institutional behavior in the public sector; relations among nation-states and non-state actors; and theories of domestic and international politics and decision-making. The program of study emphasizes empirical and normative political science, written and oral communication, computer literacy, qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as critical analysis of complex political relations in both domestic and global contexts. Political science addresses the fundamental issues confronting modern society—war, inequality, civil liberties and civil and human rights, poverty and development, the environment—and seeks to evaluate the processes, policies, relationships, and theories that have been devised to deal with them.

Integral to political science’s instructional mission is a faculty comprised of excellent teachers who are active research scholars and scholars in the classroom. Political science faculty regularly contribute to scholarship on domestic and international politics and are scholars in the classroom as well: innovative and interactive pedagogical practices are routinely employed and evaluated to enhance the teaching-learning nexus and to encourage critical thinking and communication among our students.

Political science opens the door to a broad spectrum of career opportunities. Many political science students eventually pursue careers in law, government service and even international service. Political science is also excellent preparation of those contemplating careers in government service, whether domestically or internationally, the federal or state or international levels. Moreover, political science is an excellent major for those planning careers in the Foreign Service agencies of the U.S. government, intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, and international business. Additionally, teaching in the public schools or in some cases teaching at the college and university level (following graduate studies) are popular career options for students of political science. Finally, students of political science choose to pursue careers in business and industry.

The political science department fosters the goals and concerns of the CSUSM Mission Statement within the framework of an innovative and interdisciplinary academic program of study. The political science department seeks to produce informed, empowered citizens who will contribute to their national and global communities.