Welcome to the Political Science Undergraduate Program
The Department of Political Science offers instruction and research in the art and science of politics. Work within the department is organized around six basic fields: American Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Policy, Political Theory, Empirical Theory and Methodology, and International Relations. The major in political science leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The American subfield concentrates on the United States government and political system. Courses analyze topics such as interest groups, governmental regulation of business, political parties, the presidential and congressional systems, public priorities, the judicial system, and constitutional law.
In the area of comparative politics, you’ll use a global perspective to investigate the interaction between politics and a wide range of phenomena: globalization, economic development, political protest, social capital, immigration, language policy, international organizations, and the environment. In additional, you’ll investigate the effects and implications of socioeconomic and political changes in Europe and the European Union, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.
In the International Relations subfield you will study U.S. foreign policy, the dynamics of the international environment, international security, international organizations, international political economy, international law, and war and peace.
Political methodology speaks to the tools we use to better understand and explain political phenomena. The faculty in political methodology teach research design and basic quantitative analysis to our undergraduate students. We offer both quantitative and qualitative methods training for our graduate students, including courses on research design, regression, maximum likelihood estimation, game theory, time series, multilevel models, surveys, experiments, qualitative methods, and network analysis.
Political theory courses focus primarily on the history of political thought and on enduring normative questions of political association, such as the nature of justice, the proper basis of political authority, the promise and problems of democratic theory, and the extent of duties across borders.
"The Political Science Department at CU provided an essential outlet to engage with the social and political debates that were increasingly on my mind as a twenty-something college student. I loved the climatology and French literature classes that I was taking as a Geography and French major! But, a range of international experiences were fueling critical reflections on political-security-legal relations in the domestic U.S. context, and I was craving more discussion and debate. Courses in civil liberties, politics, law, and society with CU-Boulder's excellent political science faculty provided important spaces for intellectual engagement. Looking back, it is clear that courses in political science at CU have played a significant part in professional choices since graduation, including a PhD in International Relations and aspirations for a successful academic career. I hope that my efforts in teaching and research help to provide a similar space for students as that which I experienced with political science at CU-Boulder."
- Kathryn Fisher
A degree in political science will provide you with knowledge and understanding of political issues and prepare you for a career in fields such as the civil service, journalism, management, politics, legislative analysis, criminology, city planning, and population studies. You can combine the major with teaching credentials and teach government, political science, and civics in secondary schools. If you plan to go on to the graduate level, you will find that the political science major provides excellent background for law school or graduate school in political science, sociology, economics or a number of other social science disciplines. Career Services offers a number of programs and services designed to help you plan your career, including workshops, internships, and placement services after graduation. For an appointment with a career counselor or for more information, call 303-492-6541 or stop by the Center for Community, N352. Find the home page at: http://careerservices.colorado.edu/.