2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Philosophy, BA

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Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson
524 Hall of Languages
Dennis Rasmussen
Political Science
313B Maxwell Hall


See faculty listings under the programs in Philosophy  and in Political Science .

Political philosophy is reflective thought on group activity. It differs from political science in that it is a conceptual inquiry, while political science is a more empirical and practical application of that inquiry. The program enables students to pursue studies using the resources of both the philosophy department and the political science department. Students take coursework in ethics, political theory, history of political thought, law, and human nature. Some other topics of study include governmental structures and their ideal implementation, political behavior, civil liberties, the relationship between individuals and governments, and philosophy of law.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Explain core concepts in political philosophy (such as liberty, equality, rights, federalism, etc.)
2. Identify and reconstruct political arguments, including the ability to identify premises and conclusions in political arguments
3. Read and critically evaluate literature in political thought, including historical texts, scholarly publications, and public scholarship
4. Write short analytical essays in political thought
5. Apply theories and concepts to relevant political case studies

Major Requirements

The program requires a total of 30 credits.

In addition, students choose two of the following four areas

In addition, students choose two of the following four areas, and take nine credits in each: (1) history of political thought; (2) law; (3) ethics and politics; and (4) human nature and political theory. Each course selection needs the approval of a political philosophy advisor. The courses listed below satisfy these area requirements. However, additional courses in philosophy or political science, such as selected topics courses, may be approved, as may certain courses in other departments such as history or sociology, as well as appropriate courses given outside of the arts and sciences. Each political philosophy student consults with the advisor about course selections each semester. The illustrative examples are:

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