Aims & Scope

Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas is a biannual peer-reviewed journal that publishes original undergraduate research that examines American democracy. Articles range across disciplines, including political science, history, literature, economics, sociology, psychology, and cultural studies. The journal welcomes novel works across methodological approaches. These include, but are not limited, to research using quantitative, qualitative, interpretive, case study, archival, or mixed-methods.

Compass has three aims.

  • First, it introduces undergraduates to make worthwhile contributions to public discourse. Public discourse is something that is learned through practice. The journal provides an opportunity for students to develop and hone the ability to participate in a productive, educated, and broad-minded dialogue about important ideas.
  • Second, through engaging in public discourse, the journal appeals to an audience outside of academia. It provides meaningful, interesting, and insightful investigations of American democracy. It facilitates a conversation between the university and the public.
  • Finally, the journal introduces undergraduates to the peer review system. Through engaging with the peer review of experts within the field, students learn how to sharpen, improve, and revise their work. This is an important skill for students who intended to enter graduate programs or the workforce, as students gain experience in responding to constructive criticism.