The Political Science Department is in the Social Science division of the College of Arts & Sciences. We have over 600 majors and the largest entering class of the Social Sciences.
We study the politics of everything: the environment, the international system, war, public policy, local government, congress, language, the family, the Amazon forest, protest, voting, democracy, economic development, gender, race, representation, and immigration just to mention a few.
Use this document as a guide to the major and as a roadmap to the different opportunities you can take advantage of as a political science major.
A Tree of Knowledge of Political Science
The roots signify our introductory courses 2012, 2004, 2016, 2223, and 1101. Once you have those, take advantage of the department. Although like birds, our faculty can jump around from branch to branch, the tree indicates where the primary subject of study resides for each faculty member. Use the tree to identify what professors are researching. Once you’ve identified a subject you’re interested in, locate the closest faculty on the tree and introduce yourself.
Whether through writing, oral presentation, or data analysis, the political science major develops critical thinking skills while confronting the political challenges of our day. During your freshmen or sopho-more years explore our introductory courses (1101, 2223, 2012, 2106, and 2004) as well as 2075 so that you can develop your craft.
During your sophomore or junior year, take advantage of our fellows program where you’ll work for a professor or advanced graduate student one semester, then write a research paper the next semester. Over $1000 is awarded to the top papers through the Tracey Kreps Memorial Fund.
Where do the Buffalo Roam?
Study abroad if you’re interested in things international or participate in the CU in DC program if you’re more domestically inclined. Do both if you’d like!
Our honors thesis program reinforces all of the skills you’ve honed over the last three years as well as giving you the opportunity to explore whatever subject interests you. If the honors program is not for you, apply to the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program and get paid for your research.
Clubs and Organizations
Join our Political Science club or participate in the Political Science Honors Society (Pi Sigma Alpha). Both organizations are designed to give students the experience of organizing, leading, and conversing with all students interested in politics. While taking classes is one thing, getting involved in political life outside the class room is another. Debate watch parties, movie nights, speakers, and political science career night are typical activities. It’s also a great way to get to know our faculty who regularly participate in the events. These organizations are run by our students and function specifically to serve their needs.
Advice from the Chair
The best thing about the political science major is that you can do just about anything with it. The worst thing about the political science major is that you can do just about anything with it. If you want to prepare for a specific set of careers, while you’ll be getting the skills you need to succeed, there will not be companies that show up at job fairs looking specifically for political science majors. They’re there for computer scientists. Having said that, being able to express yourself in oral and written form are what all companies insist on these days, work on perfecting that. The ability to analyze data is also increasingly in demand. If you concentrate on gaining those skills through your passion for things political, you’ll succeed at CU and beyond!