Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science
What is Political Science?
Political science is the social science that studies how we govern ourselves. Political scientists investigate issues concerning how public policies are formed, how we organize ourselves for carrying out those policies, and how people compete and cooperate in deciding who shall hold public office.
What are the features of Miami's program?
Although Political Science is a popular major at Miami, the department has a faculty of more than 25 professors, which keeps your class sizes small. All faculty teach the introductory courses, which generally have about 40 students, an unusually small number for introductory courses. Upper-level courses average between 30 and 40 students. You'll have many opportunities for research, both with professors' projects and in your own studies.
Variety of courses
Because of the department's sizable faculty, we can offer a broad range of courses that reflect the diversity of faculty interests.
You can broaden your expertise by combining your political science degree with a second major. Because the program allows you to take a lot of electives, you can use those electives to complete another major while still graduating in a timely manner. Many students complete a second major in a complementary field such as history, communication, or economics.
The Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs, operated by the political science department, gives undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity for internships and research. The center engages in applied research, training and education, data base development and information services, and technical assistance in local government management. The Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies is not limited to studying politics but includes cultural interactions and studies in order to improve United States-Russian understanding and relations.
The Department of Political Science encourages students to study abroad. Students may choose to study abroad for a semester, a full academic year, or during the summer, and options are available in English and other languages. While some programs are recommended for students with majors in the Department of Political Science, choices are not limited to those programs. Miami is one of the few public universities with its own facility abroad, the John E. Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg. Its central location in Western Europe allows for faculty guided study trips throughout the continent.
High law school acceptance rates
Students of any major may be admitted to law school, but the biggest numbers, nearly a third, come from the Department of Political Science. Miami's pre-law advisers will help you plan your program and guide you through the law school admission and testing process. Our rate of acceptance to law schools is excellent and consistently above the national average, with students attending the top schools across the country, including New York University, Columbia University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, and Northwestern University.
Are there special admission requirements?
There are no additional admission requirements for this program.
What courses would I take?
As a political science major, you can tailor your program to your own interests and career objectives by selecting courses from five major fields of study: political theory, comparative politics, international politics, American government, and public administration.
In your freshman and sophomore years, you take Global Miami Plan courses along with introductory political science courses. After your sophomore or junior year, you usually complete an internship, which may be with governmental or legal agencies, political parties, public office holders, interest groups, or nonprofit agencies. Political science advisers and Career Services can make recommendations and help identify contacts for these opportunities.
During your junior and senior years, you focus on courses in your political science area of specialization as well as related electives. For students interested in extended study in the nation's capitol, Miami has agreements with other universities who have a Washington semester program. For example, American University recruits Miami students, usually in the junior year, for their Washington program.
What can I do with this major?
A degree in political science can prepare you for careers in fields ranging from the U.S. State Department to campaign politics, from environmental affairs to political journalism, from civic and interest groups to business and industry. Of recent political science graduates, about a third pursue advanced degrees (law school or professional degree programs, or other areas including political science, city planning, and public administration). Another third obtain employment in government service, and the remaining third take jobs in business and industry, usually for special interest groups and for companies' governmental affairs offices.
Who can I contact for more information?
Department of Political Science
218 Harrison Hall
Oxford, OH 45056