Preparing Citizens and Leaders

Since Aristotle linked traditional inquiry into the political good with empirical comparison of governance, the systematic study of politics has been an integral part of the Western intellectual tradition. The study of politics is recognized as an essential component of a liberal arts preparation for citizenship and leadership in a democratic society. Indeed, the controversies that plague our society and the world make the study of politics more important now than ever before.

The Political Science Department recognizes and embraces its distinctive roles, as defined by not only the liberal arts tradition of the College of Liberal Arts in which it is located, but by the land grant origins of the University of Nevada, Reno. At the heart of the department's mission is the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and service.

Teaching

A core component of the Department's teaching mission is the education of informed, competent and efficacious citizens. The Department fulfills this role through our Political Science major and minor programs; our three graduate programs; our participation in an interdisciplinary major in International Affairs; and through the participation of our faculty and graduate assistants in the delivery of the University's core curriculum. The Department encourages the pursuit of excellence in teaching in a number of ways. Excellence in teaching is recognized and rewarded in the annual evaluation and merit process. New faculty are mentored by more senior faculty. All faculty are urged to attend teaching improvement programs and seminars, both on and off campus. A core component of the Department's research mission is to conduct and disseminate research on timely, relevant and important topics across the discipline of political science.

Research

The research component of our mission recognizes the role that active research plays in supporting the overall curricular efforts of the Department, the College and the University. The Department fulfills this role through a faculty engaged in individual and collaborative research efforts, the results of which have been widely published by academic presses and in political science journals across the spectrum. Faculty research is recognized and rewarded in the annual evaluation and merit process. Faculty are encouraged and supported in their research projects. Faculty attendance at national and international conferences is encouraged as well.

Service

A core component of the Department's service mission is to provide service to the community. The Department recognizes the assumption of service arising from a land grant institution like the University of Nevada, Reno. The Department fulfills its service mission in multiple ways. Our faculty sit on numerous departmental, college, university and community boards and committees. Our faculty routinely give interviews to the media on current political issues; offer seminars and public speaking events to the public; and provide advanced training for public managers through our graduate programs. Our faculty engage in applied research designed to identify and cope with various public policy problems at all levels of government. Service efforts are recognized and rewarded in the annual evaluation and merit process. Faculty are encouraged to remain engaged in service activities. Opportunities to serve in congressional, legislative and public service internships are provided to students. Many of our courses are offered at non-traditional times, including evenings and weekends, as a convenience to non-traditional and non-degree-seeking students and the community at large.