Political Science Major (BA)
If you've got a keen interest in the invisible strings that weave history, current events, and political policy into the world today, you've come to the right place. Hamline's political science major will open your eyes to the dynamic political world at local, national, and global levels so you can fight for change that you think is important.
You'll gain analytic, research, public speaking, and writing skills necessary for succeeding in ever-changing sociopolitical work environments. You'll learn how your studies affect policies in your city, state, and country in everyday life. Our program provides you with a layered foundation that you can apply to any number of policy areas, including government, law, nonprofit organizations, and national and international corporate sectors.
When it's time to step outside the classroom, Hamline's Saint Paul campus location near Minnesota's government offices and major nonprofits has given our majors a historic advantage in achieving internships with state senators, nonprofit organizations, and more.
Political science major, concentrations, and minor
Political science major—public service, law, and leadership
Focusing on political science in the public realm, this concentration prepares you for public service related to international or domestic affairs. It also sets students on a course to law school or graduate study in public policy or public administration.
Political science major—political change and advocacy
This concentration prepares you for careers in nonprofit organizations, campaign management, community organizing, or political lobbying, as you learn about how to navigate political systems and institutions to enact systems change.
Political science major—international and regional security
With an emphasis on global security and the roles of international organizations and state- and non-state actors in stability or conflict, this concentration hones in on international affairs and U.S. national security.
Public policy concentration (interdisciplinary)
Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create innovative, socially responsible solutions to the most critical issues facing society.
Student research opportunities
At Hamline, students participate in research with faculty as early as their first year, something usually reserved for graduate students at other institutions. You'll design and conduct your own research project based on your individual interests and goals.
The list of possible research projects is as varied as our students. For example, picture yourself:
- Analyzing voter data to identify emerging political trends in your community, city, or state
- Examining extremist groups' use of social media sites to learn how fringe ideologies spread online
- Designing a survey to determine how a voter base view their local government
- Creating experiments to analyze how racial or gender biases correlate with a population's support for, or opposition to, public policies
During your research process, you’ll collaborate with professionals at major research institutions, publish your research in academic journals, and present your work at local, regional, and national conferences.
Internships for political science students
We make sure you leave Hamline with work experience in the field of political science on your resume. And the opportunities are boundless. Whether you want to explore a career in law, political strategy, grassroots organizing, or more, we have internship opportunities for you.
Examples of past political science student internships include:
- Minnesota State Senate, legislative intern
- City of Oak Park Heights, city planning intern
- NAACP, education researcher
- Alzheimer’s Association, public policy intern
- CommonBond Communities, youth advocate
- Minnesota DFL Party, finance and development intern
- Unite America, political associate
- Stevens Square Community Organization, digital communications intern
- Global Minnesota, marketing intern
- The Borgen Project, political affairs intern
- Jefferson Center, research analyst
- U.S. Senator Klobuchar's Office, constituent outreach intern
Explore career paths
Our innovative courses and one-on-one mentoring by faculty will give you the tools to succeed in a variety of jobs, such as:
- Deputy press secretary
- Family law attorney
- Director of strategic initiatives
- Finance director
- Historic preservation specialist
- Educational engagement specialist
- Policy analyst
- Director of communications and public affairs
- Senior vice president of international engagement
You can also put your degree to work in any number of fields, including:
- Municipal politics
- City planning
- Field organizing
- Policy analysis
- Finance and operations
- Campaign management
Take your studies further with graduate school
Our graduates have gone on to graduate schools across the country in the pursuit of master’s and doctoral degrees. Examples of programs and schools include:
- PhD in Comparative International Development and Education, University of Minnesota
- PhD in International Relations, American University School of International Service
- MA in International Relations, University of York, England
- Master of Public Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Political Science Department
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