Political science

Program mission statement

The mission of the political science department is to seek to understand the basis of power in society, how that power is organized and exercised and its impact on people’s lives. The department therefore seeks to help its students engage in critical analysis of society and power structures. In keeping with the Benedictine values of service, community, and diversity, political science students will seek to understand the significance of class, race, gender, property relations, and other identities in shaping political structures and political behavior. Toward that goal, the department will strive to promote social justice and to encourage students to be active, thoughtful members of their community.

Program goals, objectives and outcomes

A student completing the political science major will meet the following goals, which will evince their understanding of Saint Martin’s University’s core themes:


  • Engage in a rigorous study of the discipline of political science, one designed to enlighten and inform one’s understanding of the field.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories, approaches, and/or methodologies in political science that attempt to explain power in society and the world.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of race, gender, property, and class in relations to power in society and/or the world.


  • Gain the capacity to develop a systematic critical analysis of prevailing political ideas and systems.
  • Strive for academic excellence as demonstrated by critical analysis and research in the major areas of political science.


  • To take those understandings of power and act upon them, serving as agents of social change.
  • Serve the mission of Benedictine values by acting in the interests of those who have been economically exploited, politically and socially disenfranchised, and otherwise oppressed by the prevailing power structures.


  • Demonstrate a historical and contemporary place of the commons in American and global society, and the need to defend them against private interests that seek to monopolize them in the interest of individual, rather than common, good.