The Department of Political Science was founded in 1974 and currently has 41 ladder-rank faculty members and 11 adjunct faculty who represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds, methodologies, and approaches. Ours is a young department and yet it has skyrocketed to prominence among political science departments in the United States. The most recent National Academy of Sciences study ranks us among the top ten graduate programs in political science in the country. When asked to identify the most important qualities of our program, we come up with a list of characteristics that make UCSD's department an unusually congenial place to be, for faculty and students alike. Members of our department are bound together by our commitment to theoretically informed research; our individual projects may be empirical case studies, philosophical investigations, or formal theory, but they all contribute to the major theoretical developments in the discipline. In addition, we value the collegial community of scholarship in which intellectual differences are not battle lines, but points of fruitful exchange, the informal environment in which faculty and graduate students can easily involve themselves in each other's research, and in which opportunities for independent work are made available to undergraduates; and the devotion to excellence in teaching. More information about our individual faculty and their work is available through our Faculty Directory page.