Skip navigation

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Political Science

  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Pause Play

Political Science Department

Understanding how politics shapes society

Why political science?

Political science is often described as the study of who gets what, when, where, how and why. If you are interested in how or why:

  • people run for office
  • groups influence political institutions
  • elected officials behave
  • nations choose war or peace
  • voters make up their minds
  • governing institutions affect people's lives

... this is the major for you.

We are an undergraduate-only department, and our faculty and students appreciate the small class sizes and close relationships they develop.

Our classes are writing and reading intensive with rigorous in-class discussions, and opportunities to participate in service-learning projects, internships, and research partnerships with our faculty.

Because our faculty members are also active researchers, students have the distinctive opportunity to learn about the research process and, often, to participate.

In our classes, we invite you to think about the big questions of how we govern ourselves:

  • What is justice?
  • How does the political process function?
  • How do people exercise power?
  • How do political parties make decisions?

We also utilize real-world data and current events in our classes in order to teach students the applicability of political research and methods. In the video below, Dr. Peter Hanson discusses how he incorporated the polling data from the 2012 Presidential Debate into his classroom:


What do political science graduates do?

Political science students are using their degrees, and the critical thinking and writing skills they have gained in a variety of careers. Our graduates have become:

  • reporters
  • campaign consultants
  • speechwriters
  • human rights advocates
  • political organizers
  • teachers
  • software developers
  • entrepreneurs
  • policy analysts
  • attorneys
  • corporate executives