The Political Science department continually strives to improve curricula for our students. This not only benefits our students, but it also fulfills statute and accreditation requirements placed upon the University. To meet these goals, the department has implemented an assessment program which consists of two parts: the Senior Exit Exam and the Student Portfolio. For all majors declared Fall 2009 or after, completion of both parts is required of seniors in order to graduate.

Senior Exit Exam

Students majoring in Political Science are required to take a two-part exit exam in their last semester before they will be allowed to graduate.

  • Part 1: This exam contains 40 randomized questions from P SC 101 Global Politics, P SC 110 American Politics, P SC 210 State and Local, P SC 250 Political Inquiry, and P SC 442 / P SC 445 Theory Courses. Students of all Political Science study options answer these questions.
  • Part 2: This exam contains 40 randomized questions from the Global Option courses, American / Public Administration / Public Law Options courses, and finally, General Option courses. The questions a student is presented in this section are customized according to the student's study option within the major.

The exit exam is an online assessment tool used by the department solely to improve its curricula. It is important to understand that students will in no way be personally evaluated through the test results; rather the scores derived from all exams are aggregated to provide data that will allow the department to better meet the needs of future students through curriculum enhancement. Scores in no way affect students' grade point averages (GPA), nor do they appear on transcripts. They do not become part of any permanent academic record. It is very important to realize that for majors declared as of Fall 2009 and after, a student's failure to take the two-part exam means that the student will not graduate.

Because the exam is online in Blackboard (through the student Portal), it can be taken when convenient for the student in their last semester.

For any questions regarding the exam, please contact Dr. Joseph Postell, Political Science Assessment Coordinator at or telephone 255-4010.

Students with disabilities will need to contact Mary McGill in the Political Science administrative office (Columbine Hall 2011 or 719-255-3016) if accommodations are required for the exam.


Students are required to compile a portfolio before they will be allowed to graduate. This portfolio must be representative of the student's work.

  • Students must have their portfolio completed before graduating.
  • The student portfolio must be provided to Dr. James Null, department Chair, in order for the student to graduate.
  • Begin work on your portfolio starting in your sophomore year and no later than your junior year.
  • Note that certain student work is required - do not dispose of your work before checking to make sure whether or not it is required in your portfolio.
  • Include an important sample of your written work.

"Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study, and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think." John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) British philosopher, political theorist, political economist