University News

Politics and Public Affairs major introduced for Fall 2020

Political Science Politics and Public Affairs Provost's Office
April 9, 2020

This fall, Denison will begin offering 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 will prepare students with broad knowledge of both the theory and practice of politics, international affairs and public policy.

“I think this major reflects the next generation of liberal arts programs,” said Denison President Adam Weinberg. “It offers both a customized individual experience and a shared communal one. It builds expertise in theory and hands-on skills. And it extends the Denison network to help launch careers. Denison is uniquely situated to develop this kind of program because of our long-standing academic strengths and proximity to Columbus.”

Unlike typical political science programs, 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.

“We believe the track approach is an essential update to this discipline for the global era,” said Andrew Katz, chair of the political science department. “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 introduction of Politics and Public Affairs continues the university’s trend of evolving the liberal arts curriculum to meet the interest and needs of students and their families for engaging and relevant academic experiences that prepare students to launch into lives and careers. Politics and Public Affairs is the sixth new degree or academic program introduced at Denison in the last four years. The others include Global Commerce; Data Analytics; Health, Exercise and Sport Studies; Journalism; and Financial Economics.

According to Weinberg, that’s an advantage for students and part of what makes the Denison difference.

“College should be intellectually engaging, challenging and enlightening, while also preparing students to launch quickly and successfully into lives and careers,” said Weinberg. “We are developing a new generation of academic programs that match the passions of today’s students with the needs of tomorrow’s world.”

More information about Politics and Public Affairs is available.

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