Jun 17, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science

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Carrie Booth Walling, chair and associate professor.
B.A., Michigan State University; MSc.Econ., University of Wales Aberystwyth (UK); M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota. Appointed 2011.

William D. Rose, professor.
B.A., J.D., University of Toledo; Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Appointed 2001.

Dawid Tatarczyk, assistant professor.
B.A., Oakland University; M.P.A., Oakland University, Ph.D., Western Michigan University. Appointed 2019.


The department offers students the opportunity to pursue either a major or a minor in political science. In relatively small, discussion-oriented classes, students engage with questions fundamental to the academic study of politics. For example, how does a critical engagement with politics and political thought help us to understand power in contemporary and historical terms? What sorts of power relationships do we see at work in modern institutions such as states, global capital, and the media? And, how do subordinate groups and individuals resist and transform systems of power?

In our department, we explore these questions and more, by exposing students to multiple perspectives on the most consequential, often controversial, issues of our times. Such issues may include questions of war and peace, democracy and rule of law, the environment, the delicate human rights balance between security and freedom, and the evolving conception of what it means to be a citizen. Whatever the issue before us, the goal of the department is to cultivate in its students an ability to critically examine political questions from a variety of perspectives, and enable them to better interpret their own experience of the world. As measures of our success in meeting these goals, we expect students to: demonstrate knowledge of the interconnections of political institutions, movements, concepts, and events from multiple intersecting vantage points; identify important contested assumptions, ideas, and intellectual debates in the relevant scholarly literature; and pose critical questions about power relations as they investigate key political questions in a globalizing world.

Many of our students seek to translate what they have learned in the classroom to ‘real world’ experiences beyond the campus gates, in the form of internships and service-learning activities. Upon graduation, some of our students choose to pursue graduate study in political science and related disciplines. A significant number of our graduates opt for law school. Our graduates have been uniquely successful in obtaining admission to some of the finest law schools in the United States. Finally, many of our students seek out immediate employment upon graduation, pursuing careers in teaching, public policy, business, and government-related activities.

Political Science Department Website

Career Opportunities

An undergraduate major in political science is used by many students as a background for graduate study—and eventually employment—in such fields as law, public policy, public administration, political science, business administration and international relations. Other fields which may be directly open to graduates are public opinion and market research, social work, NGO careers, municipal management, secondary school teaching, TV and radio, journalism, lobbying, criminal justice, campaign management and legislative staff work.

Department Policy for Advanced Placement Credit

Students who earn a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in American government will receive one unit of credit as Political Science 190. This unit does not count toward the political science major but does count toward the graduation requirement of 32 units.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a major or minor in political science at Albion College will achieve the following learning outcomes.

  1. Students will understand the major subfields of political science (American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory), their relationship to the larger discipline, and develop a strong grasp of the principal concepts, ideas, theoretical frameworks, and methods of inquiry central to each subfield.
  2. Students will understand political governance structures, institutions, processes, cultures, and policies within and across nations and how they shape and are shaped by political actors.
  3. Students will link theory and practice, and pose critical questions about power relations as they apply their political science knowledge and skills to addressing political problems in a globalizing world. They will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for engaged membership in their political community.
  4. Students will critically engage and evaluate complex arguments and texts, and develop textually supported, evidence-based arguments that they can effectively communicate.
  5. Students will learn, develop, and use political science research methods to complete an independent research project which includes: creating an effective research design, evaluating the validity of competing knowledge claims, developing persuasive arguments and defending them with sound evidence.



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