Political Science (BA, BS)

The Department of Political Science studies governments, public policies and political processes, systems and behavior. Are you interested in American politics or international affairs? The formation of political identities and allegiances? Strategies of cooperation and conflict? Political theories of law and democracy? Gun control, immigration, the environment, civil rights? If so, you belong in political science, where you will learn to think critically and globally and acquire the skills necessary to be successful in the world.

Students in the BA program have the opportunity to specialize in one of eleven different areas, and students in the BS program take a sequence of methodology courses. In addition, students must obtain breadth by taking at least one course in each of the four traditional subfields of political science: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory

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Hyeji Kim, Political Science, talks about why she chose her major and how to approach faculty in the department.

Hyeji Kim, Political Science


A major in Political Science prepares students for careers in law, local, state and federal government, agencies dealing with national security, foreign policy, business, consulting, lobbying, journalism, international development, and education. The skills you will gain in research and writing, data analysis, and critical thinking are vital to any career path.

courses you might take:

POLITSC 2150: Voters and Elections

Students in this course will study elections in the United States, focusing on voter attitudes, group behavior, and political participation.

POLITSC 4380: Political Analysis of International Economic Relations

This course examines the relationship between political and economic events in the international system. Topics include global interdependence, inequality, scarce resources, and periphery nation strategies.

POLITSC 3430: Political Theories of Freedom

The Political Theories of Freedom course allows students to critically analyze the ways that the value of human freedom has been invoked and pursued in political life. Topics include the relationship between freedom and democracy, between political and market freedom, and between freedom and the necessary conditions for its enjoyment.

POLITSC 4282: The Politics of Income Inequality

This course introduces the fundamental politics of income inequality and redistribution, including social policy development, redistributional policy differences between countries, and the popularity of differing welfare programs.

POLITSC 3780: Data Literacy and Visualization

Most social science debates can be addressed with data, and sources of data are growing exponentially. This course introduces students to tools of data analysis and the principles behind their use in the context of social-science applications.



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