BA in Political Science

A major in Political Science from our department will show you how to work with and within governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); help you understand how social justice and culture shape the environmental movement; and explore how politics affects the international community.

For students who wish to concentrate on the study of politics as part of their liberal arts education, the Department of Politics offers lower-division core and skills courses in political science and three upper-division elective emphases clustered around major social and political challenges of the 21st century. The experience component of our program recognizes the importance of “hands on” learning outside the classroom.

We strongly encourage our students to include an international experience (a year, semester, or summer abroad) as part of their undergraduate major in political science. To enhance their success, we place a high value on oral and written communication and recommend students attain competence in a foreign language and computer literacy.

Department Concentrations

Student interests and faculty expertise have led the Department of Politics to create three distinctive concentrations within the major. Students can choose to concentrate in one of these areas or can complete a major without a concentration.

Law and Policy

Politics of Environment & Sustainability

Global Politics

Hands-On Experience

As part of your degree requirements, you pursue one or more of the following hands-on learning opportunities. It’s the kind of experience that’s crucial to career choices.

Our students are at work in political offices from the city level up to Washington, D.C. With such a broad range, you’re sure to find one that sparks your interest. » Read More

Moot Court
Participate in simulated court cases, gaining experience making legal arguments in competitions with students from other schools. You’ll develop skills in legal research and analysis as well as oral argumentation.

Model United Nations
You can also participate in our award-winning Model U.N. program. Every year our students meet up with colleagues from as far away as Russia and the Philippines in a conference to examine the same issues the U.N. is grappling with today.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the major in political science will have demonstrated:

  • knowledge of political theories, institutions, and processes in the U.S. and internationally
  • the ability to identify, access, read, and evaluate political science research
  • the ability to critically analyze social, political, and environmental challenges facing 
    contemporary polities, using support from appropriate sources
  • knowledge of the practice of politics through experience and reflection on their experience in relation to social responsibility, sustainability, and/or the obligations of citizenship in a globalized world
  • proficiency in written and oral communication