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Political Science

  • Why Study Political Science

    Are you interested in American politics? Do you follow current events? Do political campaigns excite you? Are you passionate about critical issues such as civil rights and civil liberties, justice, the environment, healthcare, education, and national finances? Do you wonder about the ideal form of government? Are you curious about how power and resources are distributed in society? Do you wonder why some ideas become law and others do not? Do the legal system and the practice of law intrigue you?

    Does all of this sound fascinating? If so, then political science may be for you.

    Formally, political science is the study of political processes and political systems, the political behavior of individuals and groups, the structures of governments, public policy, theories of good government and political ethics. Political science employs both humanistic and scientific methods to understand the interrelationship of politics, the economy and society.

    At its heart political science is about how people work together, balancing the common good and their individual interests. Political science has much to say about how people work together in politics, the economy and society.

    Degree Options


    • Political Science (B.A.)
      • Our curriculum will enrich your interests and skills in politics help you develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, and provide you with a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in your later lives as citizens.
    • Pre-Law Concentration (B.A. in Political Science)
      • This curriculum integrates courses in philosophy, business, and history with political science, and is a great option for students pursuing a law school degree or graduate studies in the legal field, including paralegal studies.
    • American Studies (B.A.)
      • This interdisciplinary perspective allows students to pursue a variety of options, including graduate studies in History, Literature, Politics, or related fields; law school or similar pursuits; and careers in sectors including government, private, and non-profit.

    See requirements: Visit the academic catalog and scroll to the School of Arts & Letters to view degree requirements.


    • Political Science, Minor   
    • American Studies, Minor

    See requirements: Visit the academic catalog and scroll to the School of Arts & Letters to view degree requirements.

    Political Science at SFU

    Our program is designed to help you develop to your full potential and these are some of the reasons why you should study political science at SFU:

    • Experiential learning: Our political science program is built around experiential learning. Tying academic knowledge to real world experiences is vital to future career success. You will have opportunities to pursue internships from Harrisburg, PA to Washington, DC; study abroad in France, Mexico, Italy and elsewhere; independent research; and on-campus leadership.
    • Active learning: You should be engaged in your learning, not passive note-takers. The lecture has its place, but active learning is crucial to your development and growth. As such many of our classes emphasize classroom discussions, role-playing, simulations, debates, research presentations, moot courts, the use of social media, and field trips.
    • Skill development: You will learn to think critically and independently, acquiring the skills necessary for the 21st century global economy. Our coursework emphasizes communication, research, and teamwork, as well as analytical and problem-solving skills.
    • Ethics and values: In keeping with the Franciscan heritage of the institution you will learn to develop a respect for others and a concern for the larger community around you. Our curriculum emphasizes ethical decision-making.
    • Curriculum flexibility: The program requirements are flexible enough to permit you the opportunity to combine the political science major with a second major or minors from other disciplines, developing a coherent program of study, preparing you for graduate school, law school or the workplace.

    Career Opportunities

    Majoring in political science at SFU can help you stand out in the job market and/or as you apply to graduate school or law school. Your research experience,internships, and skills will help to build career contacts and gain real-world experience. The political science major at SFU is a gateway to a variety of careers in law, government, politics, the non-profit sector, and the private sector including:

    • Law and legal affairs
    • Campaigns and elections
    • Political parties
    • Legislative affairs
    • Community organizing
    • Issue advocacy
    • Interest group lobbying
    • Public policy research & analysis
    • Political research and analysis
    • Federal law enforcement and homeland security
    • Political journalism and media relation
    • Executive management
    • Marketing, survey research and public opinion polling

    Did you know that according to a Georgetown University study of census data on the workforce in 2009 the median earnings of all workers who had earned a B.A. in Political Science was $59,000?