Learning Outcomes

Political Science


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Political Science Learning Outcomes

The Department of Political Science has identified the following five learning outcomes for students in its undergraduate program. These include: cognitive outcomes –what we expect our students to know; behavioral outcomes –what we expect our students to be able to do; and affective outcomes –what we expect our students to value, all as political science graduates.

Cognitive Outcomes

Students completing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge:

1) Knowledge of the main fields in political science. Graduates will be able to identify the main fields in political science (including American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory), the conventions they use in organizing and analyzing information and in making and assessing arguments, and the way in which they contribute to and are enriched by scholarship in other fields and disciplines.

Mapped to UMD Outcome(s)

Demonstrate competence in a major field;

Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience.

2) Knowledge of main concepts, theories, positions and problems in the study and practice of politics, and the key figures associated with them. Graduates will be familiar with a variety of analytical frameworks used in the study of politics, with the types of problems, puzzles and questions at stake in the study and practice of politics, and with the (often competing) values at stake in political activity. Graduates also will be able to identify, where appropriate, the people who made substantial contributions to the study and/or practice of politics.

Mapped to UMD Outcome(s)

Demonstrate competence in a major field;

Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience;

Apply understanding of cultural differences in diverse environments.

3)  Knowledge of the institutions, structures and processes of politics and government at local, national, regional, international and global levels. Graduates will be able to understand the organizations involved, planning and collaboration required, process and limitations of execution, and the purposes for and trends regarding participation in political activity at all levels of political life today and in the past.

Mapped to UMD Outcome(s)

Demonstrate competence in a major field;

Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience;

Apply understanding of cultural differences in diverse environments.

Behavioral Outcomes

Students completing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

4) Skill in arguing within disciplinary conventions about the concepts, theories, positions and problems at stake in the study and practice of politics, in both written and oral forms.  Graduates will be able to demonstrate skill in writing and speaking about political ideas, issues, and problems by developing, researching and defending an argument within disciplinary conventions of analysis, with effective and critical use of sources and/or evidence, with attention to reasonable counterarguments, and through clear, graceful and logically organized prose.

Mapped to UMD Outcome(s)

Demonstrate competence in a major field;

Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience;

Communicate effectively through writing, speaking, and interpersonal and group interactions;

Think critically and creatively in seeking solutions to practical and theoretical problems;

Apply understanding of cultural differences in diverse environments.

5) Skill in identifying political science research problems, questions or puzzles and applying appropriate methods and techniques for their investigation. Graduates will be able to demonstrate skill in identifying an original research agenda within political science and applying appropriate methods and techniques for their investigation including, but not restricted to, the creation and interpretation of data sets, formal reasoning, the construction of narratives, and the deconstruction of language and symbols.

Mapped to UMD Outcome(s)

Demonstrate competence in a major field;

Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience;Think critically and creatively in seeking solutions to practical and theoretical problems;

Apply understanding of cultural differences in diverse environments.

    

International Studies Learning Outcomes

Cognitive Outcomes

Learners will apply constructs from Political Science, Geography, Anthropology, and History to identify international perspectives and issues, empathize across cultures, and evaluate impact for multiple constituencies.

Behavioral Outcome 1

Graduates will write and speak about international ideas, issues, arguments and problems, will have clear and logically organized expression, and use relevant research sources. Students will develop and defend an argument while considering objections to it.

Behavioral Outcome 2

Graduates will identify international studies applied research problems, both locally and internationally, and apply appropriate techniques for investigation.