Department: Political Science


Political science deals with the various political, social, economic, and cultural arrangements through which people govern their lives. It attempts to interpret the past and explain the present, and often dares to draw images of the future. As a field of study, it covers several fields, from the evolution of political philosophy and the implications of contemporary political concepts to the problems of development in emerging nations, from the performance American government at the local, state, and national levels to the interaction of peoples and states in the international arena. In short, the discipline ranges across broad and diverse areas of inquiry.

Many people think of politics in terms of what governments do, but political science also covers much else. Students will find courses on the ideas of great thinkers from Plato to the present, the problems of cities, war and peace, democratic and authoritarian political systems, international political economy, human rights, women and politics, political parties and forms of political participation that include interest groups and social movements, constitutional and international law, public policies such as immigration, the domestic and foreign policies of the United States and other countries, and the political systems of various regions around the world including the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

What can I do with my degree in Political Science?

Some political science majors choose to enter public service upon completing their bachelor’s degrees, working for government agencies or nonprofit organizations. Other popular careers have included teaching, business, and journalism. Still other graduates enter politics. Many pursue law school – more political science majors attend law school than majors from any other department at the college – or some other kind of graduate training. Graduates have earned advanced degrees in international affairs, public policy, public administration, journalism, social work, and other fields. In sum, political science prepares students for a variety of career opportunities as well as for a lifetime of active citizenship.



Zachary Shirkey
1724A West
(212) 772-5503

Department Office:

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
1724  West
(212) 772-5500
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