The study of political science is designed to enable students to become familiar with theories of public values and patterns of national, regional, and international political systems.

Undergraduate Study

Students completing a major in political science will understand and be able to interrelate the leading theories, literature, and approaches in the subfields of American government, political theory and methods, international relations, and comparative politics. Learn more

Graduate Study

The Political Science Department offers work for a Master of Arts degree (MA), with a major in Political Science or Information Assurance; a minor; a joint Master of Arts/Juris Doctor (MA/JD); Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA); as well as a Certificate of Public Management (CPM). Learn more

Department of POL S Holiday Hours- 2015


Lissandra Villa wins Women Impacting ISU award
Lissa's reach extends well beyond the confines of campus.
Making energy efficiency a priority
Yu Wang's new book takes a look at leading cities, states and countries that effectively reduce energy consumption.
Read more →

About the Department of Political Science

Shirley Barnes (left) and others from Political Science pose with her son Harrison (center) who brought the 2015 NBA Championship trophy to Ames.
Shirley Barnes (left) and others from Political Science pose with her son Harrison (center) who brought the 2015 NBA Championship trophy to Ames.

The Department of Political Science has been a separate department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (formerly the College of Sciences and Humanities) since 1969 and offers an undergraduate degree (B.A.) in political science, a graduate degree (M.A.) in political science, a joint J.D./M.A. degree with Drake University, an interdisciplinary degree in information assurance (MSIA) and a graduate Certificate of Public Management (CPM). In addition, it provides an array of service courses for students in other majors and other colleges to satisfy general education requirements in the area of the social sciences.

The Department currently has 310 undergraduate majors in Political Science and 60 graduate majors in its several degree programs. With a nationally and internationally recognized faculty and with a curriculum covering the various aspects of domestic and international politics, the Department has earned a reputation for emphasizing quality undergraduate teaching and for preparing its students for a wide array of careers in the public and private sectors. Recent graduates from our Department have pursued careers as attorneys for the Justice Department in Washington, state representatives in the Iowa Assembly, county attorneys in Iowa, city managers in several Midwestern locales, major executives in national corporations, foreign service officers for several governments, and administrators within international organizations. In addition, the Department’s graduates may be found teaching in major colleges and universities throughout the country.