Political Science

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Academic Building HC 212
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield CT 06825

Department Chair

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Tel: 203-371-7745
Fax: 203-365-7587
politicalscience@sacredheart.edu

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Why Political Science at SHU?

The Political Science program at Sacred Heart University has established several learning outcomes for the student who matriculates as a political science major or minor. Political science students will demonstrate an understanding of American constitutional principles, the American political system, and the history of political thought. Political science students will demonstrate an understanding of the governing structures of one distinct geopolitical region outside of the United States and an awareness of the fundamental principles and issues associated with global politics. They will also demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between politics and ethics. Most importantly, political science students will demonstrate an ability to conduct discipline-based research and develop their ability to read, write and think critically. As evidence of student learning, the department uses a wide range of exams, papers, and research projects. 

Our renowned Political Science faculty include Gary L. Rose, Ph.D., named Connecticut Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in 2011 and extensively quoted in national, state and local media, Lesley DeNardis, Ph.D., the states leading expert in the field of educational policy and school finance, and Isil Akbulut-Gok, Ph.D., an outstanding scholar regarding Middle East politics and Islamic political movements. The department is also assisted by several highly accomplished adjunct instructors. Students benefit from the close mentoring relationships that are forged between the faculty and their advisees.

Political science is a boundless discipline. Time or space do not limit political science. It draws upon historical experience to better understand the present. It examines how current political, social, economic, technological, and ecological trends could impact the future of humanity on this planet. Political science deals with politics of every culture on every continent, as well as with issues that range from the ocean's floor to outer space. It synthesizes the knowledge of many other disciplines – religion, philosophy, military science, nuclear science, ecology, economics, anthropology, literature, foreign languages, organizational studies, psychology and others – in its quest to understand and explain the many forms and levels of politics.

But political science also is focused. Its central organizing concept is power – who gets it, how, according to what values is it exercised, and whose good does it serve – are just some of its eternal questions. For whether one lives in a society where political inheritance is that of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln – or in a society where power is exercised by a Stalin, Hitler, or Saddam Hussein – can have profound consequences for the extent to which we can realize our human potential or even aspire to human dignity.

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