Politics and Economics

Rewarding, challenging, and flexible.

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Program Grabsheet (PDF)

Politics and Economics utilizes a unique interdisciplinary approach to promote a critical understanding of the institutions, processes and policies shaping the contemporary and future world.

landscape image of the Grand Ronde Valley

Economic research promises better data for rural counties

Faculty and students will provide socioeconomic analysis so communities can better understand trends, support planning efforts, and undertake economic impact analysis of specific projects or investments in the region.

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Learning objectives

  • Content Knowledge:
    • Assess different theories, concepts, methods, and analytical approaches employed by the disciplines of Political Science and Economics.
  • Inquiry:
    • Evaluate problems of empirical analysis and normative inquiry, and synthesize the two approaches in the analysis of the ideas, values, and assumptions underlying public policy issues.
  • Applied Learning and Civic Engagement:
    • Apply contextual knowledge and skills to the public policy process and ‘real- life’ political situations via the opportunity to observe and participate as an informed citizen in a variety of on and off- campus settings.
  • Critical Thinking, Communication, and Integrated Learning:
    • Produce effective interdisciplinary policy analysis via the ability to recognize arguments, test hypotheses and support one’s position via appropriate oral and written communications targeted for specific audiences.

Means of assessment

Politics and Economics majors are evaluated in a variety of ways. Students complete, with a grade of Cor
better, courses that reinforce the fundamental knowledge and skills of the theories, methodologies and analytical techniques required for life long success. Quizzes, exams, papers, group projects, public presentations, and practicum and internships are evaluated via employment of rubrics and other assessment tools to ensure students achieve the program’s learning outcomes. By satisfactorily completing the program’s Capstone course in which majors are required to undertake an original research project, students critically explore the tensions and connections between the two disciplines and how the public policy process requires an interdisciplinary approach to solve pressing societal problems.

Required and elective courses throughout the program further enhance students’ skills in research, writing, computer

“The  interdisciplinary  approach  creates  a  learning  experience  which  can  not  be  achieved  by  the  sole  focus  on  any  of  the  three  components.  An  individual  can  gravitate  to  the  aspect  of  the  program  which  he  or  she  finds  the  most  interesting. The  rural  setting  allows  for  quiet  reflection,  and   an  environment  that  is  conducive  to  study.  An  academically  orientated  individual  can  thrive  in  this  location  because  there  are  no  distractions.”

– Paul Lubeck, EOU class of 2009

“I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere thanks for the work all of you put into the online programs at EOU. I started in the PPE program in Spring of 2011, and am only 65 credits away from finishing. I have experienced tremendous personal and professional growth during that time. Going back to school while working full-time and raising a family is no small task…However, I would say that there is a great advantage to combining school and work. Learning the theory and applying it to real life offers a tremendous learning experience. (PPE’s) flexibility and willingness to work around family and job schedules is a huge advantage, and appreciated more than you know. Tuesday night, I was voted in as one of the newest city council members in Prineville. I will say without a doubt that the education I have received thus far at EOU opened up my world to new possibilities. The PPE program helped me to recognize that I am geared toward public service; and that after a career in journalism, this is the field I want to pursue. As one who has worked in economic development (and now as an anti-poverty advocate), I always preach the importance of education. My experience at EOU has shown me on personal level how powerful education can really be.”

– Jason Carr, current student

Jeff Dense

Jeff Dense, Phd
Professor of Political Science

Office: 204J Ackerman
Phone: 541-962-3854
Email: jdense@eou.edu

Peter Maille

Peter Maille, Phd
Associate Professor of Economics

Office: 202B Ackerman Hall
Phone: 541-962-3371
Email: pmaille@eou.edu

Scott McConnell

Scott McConnell, Phd
Assistant Professor of Economics

Office: 210 Zabel Hall
Phone: 541-962-3340
email: smcconnell@eou.edu

Daniel Costie, Phd
Assistant Professor of Public Administration

Office: 204B Ackerman
Phone: 541-962-3184
Email: dcostie@eou.edu

Colleen Johnson, Phd
Professor of Economics

Online Instruction
email: cjohnson@eou.edu

Eastern Oregon University has the affordability, small class sizes and caring faculty that make a monumental difference to student success. Politics and Economics taught me to think critically about factors that influence our political system. Program faculty encouraged me to engage in campus life. I served as EOU student body president so I could make a positive difference for students. Now I work in Washington, D.C. and, like on campus, continue to make public policy that works for everyone.

Katy Barnett, '08
Senior Associate, Pew Charitable Trust
Washington, D.C.

Civic Engagement

The program’s focus on civic engagement prepares students for on-campus leadership along with off-campus internships in the public and non-profit sectors, imbuing our graduates with the practical experience, knowledge and skills to make a positive contribution to their communities.

Your Career

Politics and Economics is the major of choice for aspiring lawyers. Program alumni are currently serving as attorneys throughout the state of Oregon in a variety of positions, including lobbyists, public interest groups, government analysts and the private sector.

Students are provided real life opportunities to partner with program faculty in research efforts, including craft beer policy, economic development and wildlife policy.

Flexible Delivery

This degree program is offered on the EOU campusonline.

Learn more about our online centers for direct advising in your area.

EOU Online

The program imparts students with the knowledge and skills for exploring societal problems, the development of public policy, and critical policy analysis. Politics and Economics prepares students for life-long success in a variety of stimulating and challenging careers, including attorneys, legislative advocacy, non-profit agency leadership, federal, state and local governmental service, and others.

Politics and Economics is the major of choice for aspiring lawyers and graduate study in Political Science and Economics, evidenced by our students attending some of the nation’s most prestigious graduate programs, including the University of California, Berkeley, George Washington School of Political Management and law schools throughout the Pacific Northwest. Our small faculty-to-student ratio ensures our students receive personalized attention, opportunities to participate in joint research projects, and access to some of the most innovative course offerings on campus.