SCHOOL OF STEAM

Political Science, Bachelor of Arts

Introduction

Open Doors with a Degree in Political Science from Saint Francis University

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—and there’s no better place to combine Franciscan ideals with the study of political science than Saint Francis University. Our flexible, hands-on curriculum allows you to pursue your specific career goals while also gaining real-world experience with research, internships, and more.

 

Offered: On-Campus

customize your path to pursue your particular interests and career goals

gain real-world experience with research and internship opportunities

get involved with SFU’s Center for the Study of Government and Law 

The SFU LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Political Science the Saint Francis Way

American politics. International affairs. Health care. Jobs. The environment. Civil rights.

If you are interested in such matters, Political Science is a major you should consider.  Our multiple paths of study will help you discover and commit to your passion, whether that’s in law, world politics, communications, and more.

Impactful Internships

We are dedicated to providing our majors the transformational experiences they seek to "become that someone who makes a difference in the lives of others."  One way of reaching this goal is through internships.   

 

Sara Snyder interned with RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) through The Washington Internship Institute.

 

Unique internship features at SFU include:

 

  • Gain experience and earn up to 15 credit hours through internships. 

  • Faculty Internship Coordinator &  Adviser to help students find their path.

  • SFU's Center for the Study of Government and Law offers students a chance to work on research projects and take on exciting internships.

  • University affiliations with The Washington Center and The Washington Internship Institute in Washington, DC lead to internship placements. (Read about Sara's experience.)

  • Our Ann Eppard Memorial Scholarship and Congressional Internship program offers one scholarship per year for summer congressional internships.

CURRICULUM & COURSES

What You’ll Learn in the Political Science Program

Our students are students for four years; they are citizens for the rest of their lives. This is why our curriculum is designed to give you a solid foundation in government, public policy, ethics, and both American and world politics. Depending on your career goals, adding a concentration, minor, or a second major will focus your learning experience and help you prepare for your chosen career. Our focus on hands-on learning experiences, both in the classroom and through internships in the field, will ensure that you stand out in the job market and in graduate school applications.

 

Our program introduces you to the fundamentals of political science, research, and theory. Our flexible curriculum also gives you the freedom to choose the path that fits your career goals with a variety of concentrations and minors, as well as the opportunity to add a second major.


Pre-Law: Our multidisciplinary Pre-Law Specialization allows you to study case law, logic, writing, and public speaking while developing and refining your communication skills and critical reasoning abilities to lead you into a career in law or as a paralegal.

 

International Studies: The International Studies concentration reflects the reality of globalization and will prepare you to take on complex global public policy issues, leading to a potential career in international trade or law, international security, or foreign policy.

 

Public Administration/Government Service: This concentration focuses on developing your analytical and communication skills, and with a built-in internship, you’ll be well prepared for a career in government service, nonprofit organizations, or private sector management.

 

Political Communications: Prepare for a media-related career in politics, government relations, or journalism by taking additional Communications courses that will help you develop your writing and public speaking skills and implement communications strategies using the latest technology.

 

More Exciting Minors: There are several other fields of study that pair well with the Political Science program. Broaden your knowledge of American history with a multidisciplinary American Studies Degree, or add a minor in Women’s Studies or Social Responsibility to explore questions of justice, diversity, and community.

  • Degree Paths
  • Learning Objectives
  • On-Campus:

    Degree Path Description Course Catalog  Plan of Study

    Political Science, B. A.

    in-person bachelor of arts degree

    Course Catalog

    Plan of Study

    Pre-Law Concentration

    focus within Political Science, B.A.

    Course Catalog

    Plan of Study

    International Studies Concentration

    focus within Political Science, B.A.

    Course Catalog

    Plan of Study

    Public Administration/ Government Service Concentration

    focus within Political Science, B.A.

    Course Catalog

    Plan of Study

    Political Communications Concentration

    focus within Political Science, B.A.

    Course Catalog

    Plan of Study

  • Learning Outcomes:

     

    • Critical Thinking: Students will develop the ability to think critically about information (e.g., data or texts), theories, concepts, problems, issues, institutions and processes of American Politics and Government, World Politics and Political Theory before accepting or formulating a position or conclusion or proposing a solution to a problem.
    • Citizenship: Students will develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, acquiring a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in their lives as citizens.
    • Research Methods: Students will be able to use and explain research methods used in the discipline of political science and evaluate conclusions derived from these methods. Students will develop skills that include the ability to identify, locate and access sources of information, the ability to critically evaluate information, the ability to organize information to present a sound central idea in a logical order, and the ability to use the work of others accurately and ethically.
    • Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate the necessary oral and written skills (English and Public Speaking) to convey their knowledge to others about political science or other appropriate topics.
    • Ethics: Students will demonstrate familiarity with theorists and ethical frameworks that can help them make hard decisions, evaluate the policy decisions that public officials make on their behalf, and recognize the implications of these choices; Knowledge of reliable frameworks of principles will help students evaluate ambiguous facts and define behavior as “right” or “good.”

Experienced faculty who love to teach

Our professors have a wide variety of real-world professional experience in their chosen fields and make it a priority to help students understand how various theoretical concepts apply to actual practice. You will have many opportunities to work one-on-one or in small groups with the faculty. Guest speakers augment the instruction to enrich the value of the program.

 

Program Chair: Dr. Denise Holladay Damico, ddamico@francis.edu, 814.472.3310
Coordinator: Dr. Mark C. Gentry, mgentry@francis.edu, 814.472.3059

Career Outlook in Political Science

Political Science helps to prepare students for careers in law; local, state, and national government service; interest groups and organizations; business; political campaigns; journalism; and teaching. With our various degree options, including a wide range of concentrations and minors, you will be prepared to go directly into the field or apply for law school and other graduate degree programs. Research experiences and internship opportunities will help you build career contacts and gain real-world experience that will further your career.

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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Political Science and Saint Francis University

  • What can I do with a degree in Political Science?

    Our political Science graduates have carved out a variety of distinctive and distinguished careers.  Some of these include:
     

    • Innovation Manager
    • Project Manager
    • Captain in the US Army
    • English Teacher
    • Business Reporter
    • Attorney
    • Legal Assistant
    • Client Advisor
    • Consultant
    • Intelligence Analyst
    • Financial Analyst
  • Are there internship opportunities available?

    Yes! 

     

    We strongly encourage interning as part of your studies at SFU. Internship fields that you can explore include:

     

    • Legislative Offices & Government  Agencies 
    • Elections & Campaigns 
    • Government Relations, Political  Advocacy, & Lobbying 
    • Nonprofit Management 
    • Law & Criminal Justice 
    • Environmental Sustainability 
    • Media, Communications & Public  Relations 
    • Foreign Policy, National Security, Trade  Policy & Intelligence 
  • What is the The Ann Eppard Memorial Scholarship and Congressional Internship

    The Ann Eppard Memorial Scholarship and Congressional Internship program offers scholarships for summer congressional internships. Scholarships and congressional internship placements are awarded annually to deserving upper-level Saint Francis University students, with a preference for young women from Pennsylvania without regard for race, religion, or ethnicity.

     

    Ann Eppard, a native Pennsylvanian, was chief of staff to Congressman Bud Shuster who served as the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman Shuster, Chairman of the Ann Eppard Memorial Scholarship Committee, stated, “Ann served as a mentor to innumerable interns and staff, nurturing their talents and ensuring that they enjoyed a rich and rewarding experience on Capitol Hill. She made it a personal priority to support young peoples’ participation in the political process in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation and she would be pleased to know that her name is being used to help advance Saint Francis students in this special way.”

     

    One six-week congressional internship will be awarded each summer. There is some flexibility in scheduling, but the internship must be completed prior to July 31. The scholarship will provide a $5,000 stipend to defray housing and other living expenses. The selection process is competitive. 

     

    The successful candidate will be an upper-level student. The intern will have a strong academic background, possess good communication and research skills, and have a genuine interest in the legislative processes, government and law. Personal integrity and discretion in dealing with confidential and/or sensitive legislative matters are required.

  • What student opportunities does the Department of History and Political Science offer?

    National Honors Societies

      Phi Alpha Theta (the National History Honor Society)

      Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society

       

      The Department hosts chapters in Phi Alpha Theta (the National History Honor Society) and Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society). Qualified students are eligible for membership after their sophomore year. Honor Society Membership would look great on your resume!

       

      Students Clubs

       

      The History Club sponsors a history movie series and field trips to Washington, DC to visit national museums and historic sites, as well as to places closer to home.

       

      The Pre-Law Club organizes student expeditions to Law School fairs and Washington, DC to observe U.S. Supreme Court hearings, as well as conduct annual Moot Court exercises.