Empowering you 
to critically engage
a complex world

  • 09 05 government department 01 dg

Students in Government study the processes by which societies make collective decisions, explore the theoretical and ethical foundations of political action, raise critical questions about the nature and use of power, and examine how societies and international systems attempt to address fundamental problems of liberty, equality, conflict, and justice. The department’s curriculum is designed to develop students’ skills of sound research, rigorous analysis, and clear and effective argumentation, both orally and in writing. The department also has a long tradition of encouraging its majors to immerse themselves in their political environment through internships, civic activism, study abroad, and service learning. 

Over the past several decades, our program has earned a reputation as one of the finest in the country. Our students benefit from an extensive alumni network, with graduates working in Washington, D.C., New York city, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and elsewhere. Notable alumni include President Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff, a top media advisor to four Democratic presidential candidates, the national campaign manager for President George W. Bush, the former Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, and a Federal judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Government major prepares students for graduate studies in law, political science, international relations, public policy, business administration, and public administration, and our graduates have been successful in government, business, law, international service, education, and the media.

Government Major Information Sheet

Major Declaration Form

Learning Outcomes

A Government major shall be able to describe, critique, and apply various theories for understanding political processes and outcomes in a domestic, comparative, and international context.

A Government major shall be able to critically connect political events with course material.

A Government major shall be able to demonstrate the following skills at the following levels of courses:

  • 100 level courses: understanding (summarizing and identifying key concepts);

  • 100-200 level courses: analysis (explaining assumptions and/or arguments);

  • 200-300 level courses: synthesis (identifying commonalities and differences in approaches, such as in a literature review);

  • 300 to 400 level courses: evaluate (using evidence, recognizing contrary evidence, and weighing evidence in developing arguments); and

  • 300 to 400 level courses: create (providing questions or insight within context of other contributions).


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