Political Science Learning Outcomes
Political Science courses meet learning outcomes that prepare students for future success. Important learning outcomes for the USM Political Science Program include:
- Students will have knowledge of the fundamental ideas and theories of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and political methodology.
- Students will develop analytical and research skills that can be applied to situations in the classroom and community.
- Students will demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills through a variety of writing tasks and oral presentations in the classroom and other appropriate public venues (e.g., student conferences).
- Students will improve the critical thinking ability that enables them to be productive citizens and workers by thinking for themselves while respecting the views of others.
- Students will learn and practice quantitative analytical skills while producing reports on real political research cases concerning current issues in the realm of politics, economics, and society.
These learning outcomes prepare political science students for success in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors. Evidence shows that a political science degree is excellent preparation for a range of professional opportunities. A recent analysis of U.S. Census Bureau American Consumer Surveys data for over 3 million college graduates showed that one-fourth of political science graduates work in government jobs. Nationally, salaries for political science graduates compared favorably with most other majors. The mean salary of political science majors ranked 5th of the 28 majors studied. The study's author Greg Lewis concludes, "[Political science] graduates make nearly as much as those who obtain far more career-oriented business degrees, and they earn 10% to 25% more than comparable majors in most other social sciences and humanities, even after controlling for our majors' higher probability of pursuing graduate degrees" (PS: Political Science & Politics, April 2017, p. 472). In short, political science is excellent preparation for a modern work environment that regularly intersects with politics-government and values critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills.