Active Citizens, Critical Consumers, and Analytical Thinkers
We aim to help our students become thoughtful and active citizens, critical consumers of information, and analytical/theoretical thinkers. We also are committed to developing the skills of good writing, effective oral presentation, and information literacy. You will engage in active discussions, simulations, critical thinking, and extensive writing. We will challenge you academically and provide the guidance you need to excel.
Politics and Public Affairs
Denison offers a unique degree that explores politics and public affairs. Combining a personalized “track” approach, integrated real-world internships, an outstanding faculty, a four-year learning community and the proximity of state-level politics in Columbus, the Denison Politics and Public Affairs major prepares students with broad knowledge of both the theory and practice of politics, international affairs and public policy.
The Politics and Public Affairs program at Denison offers three tracks of study in International Affairs, Policy Analysis, and Government and Legal Affairs, and will allow students to create a personalized track of study with a focus on student interests.
The track approach is an essential update to this discipline for the global era. By exploring an integrated view of political science, students will gain a deeper understanding of each area, and be better prepared for success than those who didn’t learn to bridge those divisions.
Deepening the value of the major is an off-campus learning requirement that will see students pairing their academic interests with hands-on field experiences. Students may intern at the Ohio Statehouse, participate in Model U.N., travel abroad with an international NGO, or any number of other life-changing activities.
Throughout, they’ll be supported by a dedicated and talented faculty, and engaged in a learning community of students that begins with everyone sharing a common core of introductory courses, then returning together for two seminars – one sophomore year, and one senior year – where students will contribute their individual insights to benefit the whole.
We expect our students to gain knowledge of: actual political institutions and processes; the origins, development, and transformation of theory and concepts; different approaches to political analyses, their philosophical roots, and when and how to employ them; and the historical, political, social, cultural, economic, and legal contexts necessary for understanding politics and the debates about it.
In addition, we seek to help our students develop the cognitive skills necessary to employ different methods of analysis and critical thinking, by which we mean to articulate the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, to identify and evaluate the ethical implications of various political positions, to articulate one’s own ethical position, to engage in empirical analysis, to interpret texts, and to conduct independent research. We also expect our students to develop the skills of oral and written communication.
The Politics and Public Affairs curriculum allows students to explore political theory and issues in the United States and around the world. This happens through courses ranging from the U.S. Congress or Presidency to courses on Russia or Terrorism to politics of developing nations, human rights or the global environment. Students can explore issues in international relations, foreign policy, constitutional law or the role of religion in politics.