The Department of Political Science endeavors to provide high-quality undergraduate and graduate level education that stresses knowledge of politics, government and public policies while promoting responsible and active citizenship.
The department promotes diverse learning experiences that address multiple learning styles while enabling students to apply the skills of comparison, explanation, prediction and critical analysis to a wide variety of political issues and situations. The department also emphasizes a focus on social science research methods and techniques, the liberal arts approach, both written and verbal communication, faculty mentoring of student research, and practical education opportunities through experiential learning as it prepares students for future careers and their ultimate role as responsible citizens in a diverse world.
Applied learning is an integral part of majoring in Political Science at EIU, and two important vehicles for this are the department's simulations and internship programs. In Model Illinois Government, popularly known as "MIG", students prepare for an annual simulation in the State Capitol by taking on key state political roles and even attorneys arguing before the Illinois Supreme Court. Moot Court participants practice as teams of attorneys who draw from and reference federal and state court cases in making their case before appellate court justices.
EIU Political Science majors are encouraged to pursue their research interests through alternatives such as working on independent studies with faculty members; submitting research papers to college and university-level competitions; and presenting research papers or posters at state, regional and national conferences.
Political Science students at EIU are encouraged to be actively engaged in campus and community life, as well as society and politics beyond the Charleston Illinois area. At the department level, we facilitate this through opportunities in groups such as the Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha (the Political Science Honorary).
The general B.A. in Political Science features wide coverage of politics, government and public policy — from the introductory American Government and International Relations courses on through a mix of upper division courses on intriguing subjects such as the American Presidency, Latin American Politics, International Political Economy, Civil Liberties, Environmental Politics and Policy and African American Political Thought.
We also now have a new Option in Civic and Nonprofit Leadership for Political Science Majors, with students able to select between two separate Tracks: U.S. Leadership and Advocacy and Global Leadership and Advocacy. The new option broadens opportunities available to Eastern Illinois University students while reflecting our society's need to prepare current and future generations of students for leadership, not only in government but also in nonprofit and advocacy-oriented organizations.
Students who are interested in the international arena often decide to work toward the B.A. in Political Science with the International Studies Option. While focusing on courses in comparative politics and international relations, majors in this option also complete related coursework in Economics, History and foreign languages. This breadth of study ensures that students are equipped to understanding the complexity of the global setting of politics and governance.
Dr. Anderson (Ph.D. Missouri) teaches courses in American government, political theory and African American politics. Professor Anderson focuses his research on American and African American Political Thought, seeking to understand the tensions between individual liberty, collective good and American political values.
Dr. Mueller (B.A. Susquehanna University, M.A., Ph.D. Rochester) serves as the department's Graduate Coordinator. She received the 2008 Faculty Laureate for undergraduate general education teaching, the 2009 Teaching Excellence Award in the College of Sciences, and several Achievement and Contribution Awards.
Dr. Ashley (Ph.D. Northern Arizona) teaches American government, state and local politics and public administration. His research interests center primarily on tribal sovereignty and environmental policy.
"My experience with the Political Science Department here at Eastern can be described in one word: magnificent! The staff here genuinely takes the time to get to know each student and encourages them to be the best in whatever endeavor they choose to undertake. With such a broad field of knowledge, the faculty helps students find their niche to start a professional political career. This department makes politics fun, interactive, and a joy to be involved in." "Phil Love ('16)
"Unlike some of my classmates, I did not always have an interest in politics and the world around me. Since attending Eastern, my interest in the world has blossomed, pushing me to pursue a career where I can help others. The Political Science Department strives for students to learn more about public policy, law, and government, which will ultimately help me work in city management, where I would like to create policies to develop safer, more sustainable cities."Kristen Gisondi ('16)
"Eastern, and especially the Political Science Department, helped me turn my interest in government into a successful career. Not only was I able to learn from some incredible professors in the classroom, but I was encouraged to expand my experience by participating in Model Illinois Government and interning for a state legislator. My involvement in the effort to build the Renewable Energy Center as the EIU Student Body Executive Vice President/Student Trustee ultimately helped determine my career path as an environmental attorney for the federal government. Choosing EIU and Political Science as a major was one of the best decisions I have ever made!"Eric Wilbur (‘14)
Eastern Illinois University
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