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Study politics, public policy, law & world politics

Gain an understanding of political activities, organizations, and ideals, and develop an awareness of the relationship between social problems, decision-making, and public policies.

Political Science Major

Unique opportunities allow you to build experience and tailor the major to meet your career goals.

What Will I Learn?

The political science program offers a wide array of courses in American government and politics, law, public policy and world politics. While the curriculum is designed to provide a solid education for political science majors, the courses attract students from other disciplines as well: education, gender and women’s studies, criminal justice, history, and environmental science in particular.

Typically, you will take upper level course work in two related courses. This course work, along with the theory and methodology courses, prepares you for the political science capstone courses which allows you to demonstrate your mastery of the discipline through research projects. You may choose from among six capstone courses.

You’ll also have the opportunity for membership in the Omicron Omega Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national honor society for undergraduate and graduate students of political science.

Our professors actively participate in the political science field. Please visit news and events to see their recent presentations, panels, and books written by our political science faculty.

What is Unique About Our Program?

Introductory courses prepare you for the four different areas of concentration you may choose from (American politics, law, public policy and administration, or world politics). You are encouraged to pursue interests in as many areas as you like.

Gain experience through an internship — we offer local internships in the District Attorney’s office, the local office of the State Attorney General, the Plattsburgh Mayor’s office, and the Clinton County Board of Elections are available. Full-semester internships are available in New York or Washington D.C., as well as internships with the Assembly, the Senate, and Executive offices in Albany.

Choose an independent study — the political science program faculty is always willing to provide independent study opportunities if you want to go beyond the regular course offerings.

What Are My Career Opportunities?

Students choose political science with various career goals in mind. Many plan to go into the law. Others plan to work in government. Some carve out a career in politics. Still others are simply interested in politics; their careers may ultimately be in telecommunications or insurance, for example. We try to provide our students with an understanding of politics and government, analytical, writing, and public speaking skills, and an appreciation of the ethical dimension of politics and government so that, whatever career they choose, they will be capable and ethical in it.

Our former students now practice law from New York to Colorado; they work in state government; some at very high levels. They work on Capitol Hill; one is a member of Congress; they are lobbyists, party leaders, fundraisers, policy analysts, and teachers. They are all involved in democracy.

  • New York State and national government:
    • Erin: Assistant Deputy Legislative Director for the Assembly Minority Conference in Albany
    • Matthew: Senior Legislative Associate for New York State Assembly Health Committee
    • Andre: Director of Legislative Affairs, New York State Dept of Taxation and Finance
    • Kevin: Communications Director for New York State Budget Office
    • Chris: Staff Assistant in Rep. Gephardt’s office
    • Robert: Law Clerk, Supreme Court at Albany County Courthouse
  • Colleges and universities:
    • Ryan: Residence director, Clinton Community College
    • Christina: Albany Law School
  • Associations and services:
    • Naromie: Fundraiser for Catholic Social Services in New York City
    • Ruth: National Association of Independent Business
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