Political Science Major/Minor

If you enjoy grappling with public policy issues, or you’re fascinated by the ideas and ideals that underlie politics in the United States and the world, the political science major at Saint Mary’s may be a great fit for you.

Students will gain knowledge in a wide array of the major’s subfields:

  • International relations explores how countries and other international entities (such as the UN and non-governmental organizations) do or do not cooperate to prevent war and to solve other pressing global problems
  • Comparative politics analyzes how different types of political systems—democracies and non-democracies, for instance—govern themselves
  • Political theory examines the ideas that underpin varied governments and ideologies
  • American politics examines elections, parties, interest groups, and, of course, U.S. governmental institutions and the policies they produce
  • Research methodology focuses on how to conduct and interpret research such as public opinion surveys

Majoring in political science prepares students for careers in government at the local, national, or international level for careers in law or for further study in graduate school, by developing systematic understanding of American government, politics, policy, and institutions, and international processes and issues.

Career Options

Government administrators, executives and legislators; government lawyers; judges; news analysts, reporters, and correspondents; public interest advocates; and public interest lawyers.

High School Preparation

Comparative Government and Politics; English; Foreign Language; Statistics; U.S. Government and Politics; U.S. History; World History.

Enhance Your Experience

Students who major in political science are oftentimes part of the pre-law or English and Law pre-professional program and pursue coursework in English, history, or business.