Follow Your Interests

Do you like to follow current events, read the newspaper, watch the Sunday morning talk shows, or have favorite internet sources of information? Do you like to talk about what is going on in your hometown, the nation, and/or the world?  Have you ever thought about:

  • Why some nations are successful democracies, while others are not;
  • How the law can be used to bring about social change;
  • How immigration and migration are inherently political questions;
  • Why there are so few female leaders around the world;
  • How the ideas of great political philosophers are still relevant today?

If so, then Political Science may be the major for you!  Political Science majors typically have a fascination with current events and want to learn more about both what is happening and, importantly, why it is happening.  Majors tend to like to read, research, analyze, and write about contemporary issues, exploring their roots, explaining their origins, and considering their implications.

The Political Science major is designed to acquaint students with the substance of politics and to develop strong reading comprehension, research, writing, speaking, and analytic skills.  Political Science is primarily interested in the study of power, behavior, compromise, and relationships between actors in a variety of different contexts.  These topics apply not only to governance, but also to organizations and corporation in the private sector.  For instance, business executives may make financial decisions partly based on domestic and international policies.  Our aim is to provide you with interesting courses about politics and policy that will also give you the tools that will serve you well in your professional careers, law school, or graduate school.

Our students often combine their study of Political Science with a minor or secondary major in several related fields like International Relations, History, Economics, English, Communications, a foreign language, or in one of the many interdisciplinary programs at the University such as Asian Studies, Justice and Ethics in the Law, Latin American Studies, Faith/Justice, Gender Studies, or American Studies.  Many majors choose to spend a semester studying abroad or interning in Belgium or Washington DC, and each year, some students graduate with College or University Honors, after successfully completing a thesis under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Develop Career-Related Skills in an Experiential Learning Environment

Our goal as a Department is to help students become the problem-solvers of the next generation, and we are committed to helping students acquire skills that are applicable and transferable to a broad range of careers.  The Department offers several options for students to gain career-related experience, and our internship programs are highly successful at assisting students in securing employment after graduation.  Our undergraduates are connected to our alumni, who provide advice and strategies for career-related endeavors, as well as a robust network of connections outside of the SJU campus.  Plus, the Political Science Facebook page keeps students up-to-date on Department events, scholarships, internships, and career prospects.

We support and cultivate an experiential learning environment that allows students to develop “real world” skills through a multitude of unique opportunities.  Many of our students choose to study abroad, enroll in study tours, or participate in specially designed service-learning courses.  Political Science majors learn to think about and develop well-reasoned approaches to issues, events, and experiences, and our curriculum emphasizes the acquisition of practical knowledge and talents that are transferable to a variety of settings such as oral and written communication; critical and analytical reasoning; problem-solving and evaluation; and research and computer skills.  These skills are highly valued by employers in all career sectors.

Our majors become corporate executives, teachers, government employees, attorneys, policy specialists, journalists, communications specialists, and advocates in non-profits. You can go anywhere you want with a Political Science degree!

Study with Dedicated Faculty

We have an active Department where faculty and students engage on a regular basis.  Many faculty members in the Political Science Department have been recognized within the University as outstanding teachers and scholars, receiving awards for their work both inside and outside the classroom.  Our faculty members are experts in their fields and are enthusiastic about sharing this knowledge with their students.  Class sizes are generally small, allowing students and faculty to interact in small group environments.

The Political Science faculty strives to provide an enriching educational environment that speaks to the diverse needs of each student.  Our students develop strong relationships with their advisors discussing course selection, career goals, and extracurricular activities. Students are encouraged to consult their professors frequently and freely—our doors are always open!