Department of Political Science

collage of POLS activities


Welcome to the Department of Political Science!

Undergraduate students in Political Science have the opportunity to access a large university’s resources while experiencing a liberal arts education: close engagement with their professors and peers, and a course of study grounded in traditions focused on civic engagement and the human condition. We offer a truly unique learning environment. Our students learn to analyze, interpret and explain political phenomena through the lens of, and with the methods of, a political scientist. Our award–winning faculty brings their rich and diverse scholarship into the classroom, engaging students in questions of ethics, power, identity, representation, policy, law and governance, at the state, national and global levels. Our integrated curriculum challenges students to develop their critical thinking, communication, and research skills, preparing our graduates for citizenship and leadership, post-graduate study, and diverse employment opportunities. As a Political Science major you will construct an individualized program of study drawing on our four curriculum subfields, internship program, complimentary minors, and opportunities to study abroad. 

We offer students many ways to learn. In our internship program students put knowledge into action in a wide array of settings, in government, civil society, law offices and the private sector.  Students in our Model United Nations class, team and club compete in mock UN settings, mastering research and debate skills. Our student club, the Political Theory Consortium, and our Pizza and Politics Speakers Series, engage students in timely issues.  Our new social science research lab, the HELPS Lab, offers students training in research methods while working. And, last but not least, our British Politics course involves extended travel in Great Britain. 

With a degree in Political Science you can pursue a career in government, politics, business, civil society, law, and other fields. Importantly, you are well equipped for changing jobs, which the average US worker does every five years. 93 percent of employers surveyed said that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a job candidates undergraduate major. And did you know that one third of Fortune 500 CEOs have liberal arts degrees?

We offer a Master of Public Administration degree designed to prepare candidates for management and policy making positions in public sector agencies and non- profits at the local, state and federal level.

Please contact me by phone (406 994 5604) or email ( if I can answer questions about pursuing a degree in our department. I welcome the opportunity to discuss our undergraduate program with you. Questions about our masters in Public Administration should be addressed to Professor Shanahan, Coordinator of our MPA program.

Linda Young
Department Head