The Department of Political Science offers instruction and research in the art and science of politics. They are among the best political science departments in the country, thanks to the diversity and rigor with which their faculty and students ask questions that challenge all of us to think more clearly about politics, government and citizenship.
Graduates of the department can be found at the highest levels of government, both in politics and law, and across the media landscape and the business world.
Work within the department is organized around six basic fields: American government and politics, comparative politics, public policy, political theory, empirical theory and methodology, and international relations.
The University of Colorado’s Department of Political Science is truly one of a kind. As an undergraduate, I was able to learn from some of the nation's most accomplished political scientists, who helped me learn the tools needed to think critically about public policy, political theory, and government, and in the process, developed life-long mentors. Put simply, I consider myself tremendously fortunate to have received my undergraduate degree from the CU Political Science Department."
— Joe Neguse (BA '05), Served as an elected member of the CU's Board of Regents for the Second Congressional District and in the Cabinet of Governor John Hickenlooper as the head of Colorado's consumer protection agency
The political science program at CU Boulder is among the best political science departments in the country, with the graduate program ranking #40 in the most recent U.S. News & World Reports rankings.
Their faculty are active researchers whose publications have appeared in the most prestigious outlets in the profession. The faculty are also highly devoted to graduate training and undergraduate education and can boast of numerous teaching awards. They offer research and teaching in:
The department also prides itself in the diversity and rigor with which their faculty and students ask questions that challenge all of us to think more clearly about politics, government, and citizenship.
The Political Science department is nationally recognized in several areas of research, including international relations, environmental politics, political psychology, political economy and democratic theory, resulting in numerous prestigious publications, two fulbright scholars and a Professor of Distinction in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Their diverse faculty include several who have joint affiliations with the Institute for Behavioral Science, as well as in the Women and Gender Studies and International Affairs departments, and in the College of Law.
For the undergraduate students pursuing a degree in political science, there are a number of opportunities beyond just class work:
The political science program provides you with knowledge, skills, and expertise required for advanced training in many areas such as global affairs, law, the social sciences and business. A degree in political science will provide you with knowledge and understanding of political issues and prepare you for a career in fields such as the civil service, journalism, management, politics, legislative analysis, criminology, city planning and population studies. You can combine the major with teaching credentials and teach government, political science, and civics in secondary schools.
Career Services offers free services for all CU Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation, to help students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work by discussing major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.
Without an advanced degree, according to the 2017-18 College Salary Report by PayScale Human Capital:
At CU Boulder, Political Studies graduates earn more than the nationwide average of comparable majors as reported by PayScale. CU Boulder alumni in this discipline earn an estimated annual salary of $97,690, based on a pool of 2391 alumni who graduated between 1989 and 2018. This amount is also higher than the average for all CU Boulder graduates with a bachelor's degree, according to a survey by Esmi Alumni Insight of 25,000 alumni who graduated during the same stretch.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 2016-2026 job growth for political scientists with a master’s degree with be 2 percent, slower than the average for all jobs.
The political science department has an extensive list of alumni that are either working or have worked in a variety of industries across the globe. Some alumni of the program include: