Politics is about power, specifically when it is used for (or justified by) public purposes. Political science examines the origins, uses, justification and distribution of power in society, as well as the relationship between power and other social "goods" such as wealth, rights, and liberties. The nature, organization, and functions of the state as the sovereign center of political power are among the main subjects of politics.
Political science can be both descriptive - investigating how power, wealth, and rights actually are distributed and normative - exploring how they ought to be distributed. Thus, The nature of justice is one of the major concerns of political philosophy.
In short, politics is about how societies are governed, how competing ideas about what is best for society are articulated and resolved, and how decisions in one part of the world affect other parts of the world. The study of politics provides an opportunity to understand not just how societies work, but also how to make them better.
The study of politics is an integral component of a liberal arts education. It helps students develop and apply critical thinking, research, analytical and communicative skills. It enables them to understand ideas and practices of citizenship, social justice and human values.
Political science prepares students for graduate studies and for a wide range of careers - including teaching, law, government, public service, public policy and administration, foreign and military service, business, electoral politics, international organizations, NGOs and the nonprofit sector, interest-group advocacy, and journalism.
The Political Science minor is offered in a traditional, on-campus format at our main Duluth campus.