The general aim of the department is to foster a deeper appreciation of government and politics by developing an understanding of the nature and role of political behavior and governmental institutions. In fulfilling this aim, the department: offers courses that expose students to the major areas of the discipline, including American government, international politics, comparative politics and political theory; emphasizes concepts, theories and tools that are essential in political analysis; addresses key issues involved in the building of just and peaceful political communities; and examines the relationship of Christianity and politics.
The Department of Politics and International Relations offers courses to students who are planning to choose the Political Science or International Relations major or minor as well as offering general education credit in American Politics, Comparative Politics, Introduction to Political Philosophy and International Politics.
The study of politics has a distinguished history at Wheaton College. Many Wheaton College graduates have gone on to political careers and the department boasts alumni working in high places in Washington, DC as well as around the globe in service and diplomatic careers. Wheaton College graduates rank second in the pass rate for first time takers of the Foreign Service exam. The department also has many students who go on to graduate school in law. The analytical skills as well as the base of knowledge provided by a major in Politics or International Relations equips students for a range of career choices and helps them to better understand the world around them.