Hamline News

November 03, 2010

Students embrace opportunities to fuel their passion for political science at Hamline and beyond

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 Not only was Hamline University the first university established in the state of Minnesota, it existed more than 50 years before the current state capitol building was constructed in 1905. The two Minnesota institutions are intertwined by history and proximity, but also by the many Hamline professors, students, and alumni who continue to engage in and shape politics at all levels.

With the center of Minnesota politics so close to campus, political science majors at Hamline have numerous opportunities to participate in internships within the legislature as well as with lawmakers and organizations on the local, state, and national levels. Those valuable experiences enhance what they learn in the classroom, whether their focus is public service or another aspect of the field.

“We really do offer courses on a very broad array of topics. It’s not just American politics, but international and global politics, as well,” Professor Joe Peschek said. “We really emphasize giving students a very broad background at a number of different levels.”

Whether students choose the conventional political science major or the public service track, they can choose courses tailored to suit their particular interests. Although the choices are many, the class sizes are small, so students receive one-on-one attention from professors.

“Your professors know you, and they also want to know that you succeed,” said political science major Elizabeth Carmona. “Whenever you have a question, their doors are open.”

Carmona is interested in pursuing law school when she graduates from Hamline; that is one of myriad career paths open to political science majors.

“Our students graduate equipped for multiple career opportunities,” Peschek said. “Some go on to law school, and others work in the public sector, become a lobbyists, get involved in community organizations, or go on to graduate school in public policy and public administration. There are so many opportunities."

Student organizations such as College Democrats, College Republicans, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, and the Hamline University Student Congress provide additional engagement opportunities for students, as do frequent guest speakers. This year, students were also able to attend a live, televised gubernatorial debate that took place at Hamline’s Saint Paul campus.

See what students have to say about the political science major on Hamline’s YouTube channel. You can also find out more on the department’s webpage and get information about campus organizations here.