Political scientists use multiple methods and approaches to engage in the thoughtful study of political life in all its dimensions, both theoretical and practical.

The objectives of the department of Political Science at Boston College include:

  • To foster scholarly inquiry into the multiple aspects of political life in the United States and abroad on the local, national, and international levels;
  • To disseminate the results of scholarly investigations in major academic forums;
  • To guide students toward an informed understanding of public life and major national and global political issues through rigorous courses, the supervision of independent study and research, and thoughtful advising;
  • To familiarize students with a variety of methods and approaches to the study of politics around the world;
  • To support the intellectual formation of students by encouraging them to think, read and write clearly, cogently, and critically about issues that matter;
  • To prepare graduate students for their future responsibilities as professional political scientists in the academy, public service, and other appropriate venues;
  • To build bridges across disciplines through interdisciplinary study and participation in interdisciplinary programs;
  • To cultivate the civic formation of all students—whether or not majors in political science—helping them to become responsible and effective members of their own political communities;
  • To promote informed discussion of public issues among all members and leaders of the Boston College community by sponsoring lectures, panels, conferences, and other public events;
  • To encourage civil discussion of public issues more broadly by disseminating the results of scholarship in public venues, acting as commentators on public affairs in the media, and taking part in public events about political matters.

In sum, we seek to advance the science of politics through research, publishing, and teaching, while contributing to the general goals of liberal education and addressing the broader needs and civic aspirations of the student as a “whole person.”