Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts




The members of Penn State’s Political Science Department value an intellectual environment that encourages excellent scholarship. To this end, we value the presence of a diverse group of scholars who bring varied perspectives to our classrooms and our research. Our goal is to create a working environment in which students, faculty, and staff members from a wide variety of backgrounds – which could include characteristics such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, religion, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, or age – can excel. Our priority is to provide an inclusive environment so that everyone feels welcome and fully connected to the mission of the department.

We do this in all of our activities:


The Department of Political Science recognizes the importance of contributing to scholarship that incorporates diverse populations into mainstream questions and concerns.  Many of our students and faculty members conduct research that is related to diversity in some way. Some examples include: Are governments more responsive to some people than to others?  Who participates in political activities such as voting, organizing protests, or running for office? Who has power over whom? How does the social construction of race, gender, or ethnicity come to be reflected in laws and policies?  Answers to such questions often include analyses of factors such as gender, language, race, socioeconomic status, or ethnicity – with attention to historical factors such as slavery, colonialism and legal disenfranchisement.

Programs of Study

All of our degree programs recognize the diversity of groups in the United States and around the globe, and we seek to reflect this diversity in our own course content, internship and outreach opportunities, and in cooperation with other programs at Penn State.


Political Science faculty recognize the critical roles of such factors as race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality and disability in contemporary politics.  While several courses specifically examine these themes in depth, most courses offered by the department incorporate these perspectives into the subject matter.

Commitment to fair and inclusive practices

Whether in classrooms or workplaces, we are committed to the fair and equitable treatment of staff, students and faculty.  We seek to create work environments that are welcoming and inclusive.  We encourage anyone with concerns or suggestions to contact our climate committee, and to take advantage or College and University resources listed below.

Political Science Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The diversity and inclusion committee is charged with ensuring that diversity is represented in all aspects of the department.