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Political Science Department
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Letter from the Chair

To imbue our approximately 375 political science majors with knowledge of political processes, institutions, and behaviors, we have an absolutely outstanding faculty of civilian and military professors and instructors. Tenured civilian professors and Permanent Military Professors hail from top Ph.D. programs and have set an exceptionally high bar for scholarship, teaching, and service. Their research into American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and methodology, as well as their considerable service across the Academy, is the cornerstone of the department. Their service is complemented by rotational military faculty who, along with a requisite graduate degree, bring recent operational and leadership experiences to the “poli sci” passageway. The political science department also hosts several distinguished chairs and distinguished visiting professors – endowed teaching positions that infuse the department with experienced practitioners and scholars.

Our midshipmen majors are, however, the soul of our department. Midshipmen choose to pursue a political science degree for a wide range of reasons. Some enter the Naval Academy with a keen interest in a particular aspect of the discipline. Others have their eyes set on a specific career path and believe the major best serves this interest. Many identify with the unique opportunity that the Naval Academy curriculum provides: an opportunity for an intensely technical education formed by their core courses, complemented by a demanding social science major that prepares them for their diverse roles as leaders in the Navy and Marine Corps. Regardless of what brings them to our major, the diversity of our midshipmen along with their curiosity and their energy, make this a vibrant department.

We proudly point to the accomplishments of our graduates. Leaders like General John Allen, USMC, who served as a military instructor in this department and later went on to be the Commander, US Central Command, and Rear Admiral Bill Byrne, USN, a former Naval Academy commandant now serving as Commander, Carrier Strike Group 15. Midshipmen, however, need look no further than our current faculty and recent graduates to see successful political science majors serving as officers in every warfare community.

I invite you to further explore all that our department has to offer, on the web or in person. Please feel free to contact me or any of the political science faculty with questions.

Howard Ernst
Professor and Chair

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