The Winthrop University Political Science department is committed to teaching, research and scholarly excellence, and to providing service to the university and to the community. The department offers a comprehensive undergraduate program as a central component of an interdisciplinary liberal arts education. Studies in political science build skills and communicate knowledge that allows students to analyze political phenomena across a wide range of contexts. Our courses and projects prepare students for active citizenship, professional careers in government, international affairs, business and non-governmental organizations, and advanced studies in law, public administration, political science and other fields. We accomplish this by focusing on careful analysis, systematic evaluation and critical thinking about the nature of power, governmental institutions, social movements and political engagement. These goals reflect the university’s commitment to have students who: “acquire and develop knowledge, skills and values that enrich their lives and prepare them to meet the needs and challenges of the contemporary world, including the ability to communicate effectively, appreciate diversity, work collaboratively, synthesize knowledge and adapt to change.” The Political Science department is also committed to excellence in the areas of teaching and research, which enhances our classroom instruction and contributes to our growth as scholars and as active participants in the polity. Thus, we encourage scholarly collaboration between faculty members and between faculty members and students, and we encourage faculty to present the fruits of their academic endeavors to students, colleagues and the greater community. In these ways, the department plays an active role in Winthrop University as a “community of learners”.