Political Science / International Relations

BA in Political Science—Politics and Policy
BA in Political Science—International Relations
Political Science—Politics and Policy
Political Science—International Relations

Political science is the systematic study of government, politics, and the policy process. It focuses on the analysis of structures, functions, processes, and systems of government; political behavior, such as elections and public opinion; and of the formation of public policy, including the conflicts and compromises that go along with making and implementing public policies. These issues are addressed from both American and international perspectives. 

Options within the major

Politics and Policy focuses on American government and politics, comparative politics, philosophy, and methodology. This track is excellent preparation for law school.

International Relations examines the ways in which politics, history, economics, and culture influence civility and security between nations.

What our majors do during college
  • Present papers at professional conferences
  • Help organize the annual, student run Public Affairs and International Perspectives Conferences
  • Win awards at Model Illinois Government, Model UN, and Moot Court simulations
  • Provide live Internet radio coverage of state and national elections
  • Conduct public opinion surveys and public policy studies for local governments
  • Study abroad in places like China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Kazakhstan
  • Intern for legislative offices and Congress
  • Participate on the mediation team
What our majors do after college
  • Attend law school and other graduate programs
  • Volunteer with the Peace Corps
  • Win elected office
  • Work as a county prosecutor
  • Practice law in a private firm
  • Work in law enforcement
  • Serve in the armed forces
  • Work for the foreign service, United Nations, and intelligence agencies

See the College Catalog for more detailed information about our program and departmental learning outcomes.

You can do more here

While attending Principia, political science major Will Buchanan (C’10):

  • Led Principia’s Model United Nations team and won Delegate’s Choice and Chair’s Choice awards
  • Co-directed the Public Affairs Conference
  • Was student body president
  • Interned with the U.S. Congress's House Appropriations Committee in Washington, DC, and with The Christian Science Monitor in Boston
  • Went on the Vietnam abroad
  • Served as a reader for the Christian Science Org
  • Performed around St. Louis with a blues band
  • Played ultimate Frisbee on the Chapel Green

Imagine what you could do!