Department of Political Science

Embark on a journey of discovery

Political science can be narrowly defined as "a social science which deals with systems of governance." But it is so much more than that. How do the media affect policy? How are a society's politics influenced by its historical and sociological contexts? Explore these and other questions as part of a tight-knit community that benefits from one-on-one faculty mentoring.

Saint Mary's students at the Washington Monument

Broaden your understanding of political issues

You'll get a broad feel for the field of political science, with a focus on four distinct but interconnected areas: American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory and philosophy. Select from a wide range of elective courses and customize your education to fit your unique interests.

  • 100% of students who complete their comprehensive in the major conduct research
  • 30% of political science majors complete a semester in DC
  • 95% of graduates employed full-time or enrolled in graduate school

Spend a semester in Washington

Find your place in the world of politics with a semester in DC, exclusive to political science majors. Meet with key influencers and public officials, enjoy lectures from well-known speakers, and complete an internship in an area that interests you. Examples of previous internships include placements with research think tanks, the Executive Branch, and the Washington media. 

And since department course requirements aren't tightly sequenced, you'll have the flexibility to spend both a semester abroad and a semester in the DC program.

Belles display their rings against backdrop of the Washington Monument

Conduct Original Research

Writing and research skills are critical in today's job market. As a political science major, you'll demonstrate your mastery of complex political concepts and gain valuable experience through the senior research project. Here, you'll choose your area of interest, form your own hypothesis, and analyze the findings, all under the guidance of a faculty mentor. 

Women in Congress graphic

Where you'll go

You'll find our political science alumnae achieving great things all over the country, and as part of the Saint Mary's sisterhood, they serve as valuable professional connections. Our graduates pursue careers as sales consultants, media relations specialists, teachers, and global planners with Apple, the Associated Press, Johnson & Johnson, and the United States Chamber of Commerce. And with women still a minority in US government, they've helped level the playing field by serving as elected officials.

Our alumnae are also well-prepared for graduate school, and go on to pursue advanced degrees at institutions such as Drake University, Syracuse University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Oklahoma. 

Kayla Gaughn '17

“Saint Mary's emphasizes women's voices in all classes.”
—  Kayla Gaughan '17

>>Read More of Kayla's Story