Political Science is the study of power relations in society, the structure of governmental institutions, the interaction between citizens and those institutions, as well as the interaction between states at the international level. The subject matter "Politics" is crucial to understanding our existence in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. Departmental offerings are designed to strike a balance between an emphasis on critical thinking and analytical skills and factual/substantive knowledge. Those seeking a career in public service as well as those wanting a traditional liberal arts education and degree will be interested in this major. The Political Science Program offers a bachelor's of arts degree and a minor. There is also a minor in International Studies that is closely related to the Political Science program.
Students majoring in political science choose either to focus on American politics or on global and comparative politics. To complete either focus area, a student must take 33 hours of political science courses, including economics, and 18 hours of electives with a combination of courses in history and sociology. Students also may complete a minor in political science, international relations, or sociology.
Majoring in political science can qualify you for many careers in private industry and nonprofit organizations, as well as public sector organizations -- including careers in business, law, consulting, state, local, and federal government, journalism and communications, international organizations, finance, political campaigns, interest groups, community service and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as pre-college and college teaching.
Political science training also provides valuable preparation for participating in community organizations, electoral politics, movements on behalf of specific policies, and especially for seeking elective or appointive positions in government. While many of these are voluntary activities, participation in them develops skills and creates opportunities for your career success.
For a complete listing of the course offerings and requirements for a political science major, please see the current academic catalog.