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.
The Department of Politics and Public Affairs seeks to help our students develop the analytic tools, communication skills, and knowledge base to be active citizens and life-long learners better equipped to understand, navigate, and influence the political world. We aim to do so squarely within the liberal arts tradition, drawing on resources available across the college as well as beyond our campus to foster reflection as well as action. Accordingly, we conceive the study of politics and public affairs broadly, encompassing timeless normative questions about the role of politics in society as well as the latest means for crafting and evaluating the efficacy of policy. To best achieve our goals, we value ideological, theoretical, and methodological diversity. Our curriculum offers diverse paths for investigating and analyzing politics and public affairs, yet our courses share in common the exploration of institutional arrangements, pathways of political influence, the importance of ideas and norms in politics, and patterns of policymaker responsiveness to political and social inputs.
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.