Teaching and coursework at the undergraduate level is organized according to the usual disciplinary subfields of American Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and World Politics. At the graduate level, the department also offers two additional subfields, Mass Political Behavior and Political Methodology. Within Comparative Politics, the department has strong programs in Latin American politics and in European politics.
While it is also possible to divide faculty research interests into the six subfields, the important questions, theories, and insights about political interaction transcend rigid boundaries. Accordingly, many of the faculty's areas of expertise cross these subfield boundaries as well. Details of each area of specialization are available by browsing through the various fields of study listed to the right.
Faculty in the department focus on research projects that shed light on core questions about political processes, behavior, institutions, and public policy in the context of American politics.
Research and teaching in the department emphasize a truly comparative perspective on politics that cuts across the usual disciplinary sub-fields as well as world regions.
The study of political theory at Pitt focuses on ethical problems in domestic and international politics including concepts such as justice, authority, liberty, and equality.
The study of world politics in Pitt’s Political Science program combines the benefits of resource-rich areas studies with theoretical and empirical rigor.
The University of Pittsburgh is one of only a handful of universities in the United States that offers graduate students the opportunity to specialize in the subfield of Mass Political Behavior.
Researchers apply a variety of advanced, sophisticated techniques and methods that are carefully designed to suit the special features of political data.