In today’s ever-changing political landscape, there has never been a greater need for a clear and nuanced understanding of how governments work and the role that citizens play in representative democracy. The Political Science major will prepare you for a variety of rewarding positions in politics, public administration, law, diplomacy, the nonprofit sector and many other fields. You will be equipped with the analytical tools necessary to understand political processes at work within societies as well as among players in the global community, which will position you to apply your education in countless ways. Should you wish to complete your coursework in three years, another exciting option is the 3+3 Law Program offered in collaboration with our School of Law.
Why Choose Political Science?
A degree in Political Science is the first step to a career in a wide range of fields. You can apply your expertise directly through governmental work, advocacy, policy analysis, survey research, journalism, or law, among other career paths.
What Will You Study?
This dynamic major will provide you with an understanding of the complex and important relationship between politics and society. You'll learn the skills necessary to critically evaluate the performance of government institutions and policies, while learning how to analyze diverse, and sometimes conflicting, streams of information concerning politics and policy. You will also gain a detailed understanding of the choices and trade-offs that citizens make as participants in representative democracy. Courses in Comparative Politics, American National Government, Public Policy in America, Political Theory, and International Relations will give you a well-rounded educational foundation on which to build your career. These courses examine dynamic debates such as: Who becomes a terrorist? Is standardized testing a good way to measure student progress? Should campaign spending be considered political speech? Should corporations have the same rights as people? Is the UN effective? How do we safeguard the rights of citizens while still protecting them from harm?'
Students who major in Political Science can pursue a variety of careers. The flexibility of your study will allow you to choose from the government sector, education, law, public opinion research, journalism, and more.
Clubs & Organizations
Political Science majors are active in: Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science honors society), Study Abroad Program, and Model United Nations. Many of our students also participate in varsity and intramural sports, special interest groups, and student government.
You'll be taught in small classes by experienced professors who take a personal interest in your success. Every member of the faculty has a PhD in Political Science from a top-ranked institution and expert credentials in one or more specialized field(s) of study. Their prime focus is teaching and mentoring you; you'll find them easy to approach and available for one-to-one consultation. Faculty members also bring a wealth of practical experience from employment in government, journalism, survey research and the nonprofit sector, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Unique Learning Opportunities
Internships and Field Work
As a Political Science student you'll gain professional skills and experience through internships and fieldwork. These experiential learning opportunities will allow you to take a test drive of your future career in a practical setting. Students have interned in the Springfield (MA) Mayor's Office, the District Attorney's Office, the Western Massachusetts Office of the Governor, and with local representatives at the U.S. Capitol. You may also participate in the Washington Semester program, where you will complete an internship and take courses in the nation's capital. In addition, students can gain hands-on experience in survey research by working as paid employees of the Western New England University Polling Institute.
Study Abroad: Become a Global Citizen
Our shrinking world requires students to think from a global perspective. The College of Arts and Sciences will help you to expand your worldview to think like a citizen of the world. Whether you participate in the Freshman Semester in London, a short seminar course abroad, or in another semester-long trip, the experience will broaden your horizons and help you compete in the global landscape.