The Department of Government and International Affairs is Augustana’s “political science” department. It offers a curriculum designed to assist students in improving their political understanding of the world around them. The department encourages development of well-rounded, educated citizens. Courses offered cover the key fields in the discipline of political science including American politics, political philosophy, methodology, public administration, law, comparative politics, and international relations. These courses are designed to: (1) provide students with a deeper understanding of political life in the United States, of domestic politics within other countries around the world, and of the relations among and between countries; (2) develop the intellectual tools of inquiry, analysis, and critical judgment necessary for employment in such areas as government at all levels, law, journalism, and business, as well as acquire the skills required to pursue advanced graduate studies; (3) broaden the students’ perspective of civil society and of the rights and obligations of responsible citizenship.
In the tradition of the liberal arts, our students are encouraged to question and to search for answers by listening, reading, and conversing. The department is well-known for its ability to draw students out in discussions and to encourage them to think in new ways about the impact of politics on all our lives. It also emphasizes opportunities for practical internship experiences at the local, state, and national levels. International relations oriented students are encouraged to explore the college’s study abroad opportunities.
The department emphasizes quality advising, actively helping graduates search for post-graduate and professional opportunities.
With 9 Truman Scholars, the latest in 2005, the department ranks among the top schools in the country in the number of prestigious Truman Scholarship recipients. The department has an excellent reputation with law and graduate schools and a successful admission record to match. The list of prominent alumni attests to the success of its graduates in a wide range of professional endeavors. Students also benefit from and are challenged by the quality of fellow majors in the department.