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.

Graduate Study
Choose from a flexible array of degrees programs, emphases, and delivery methods to pursue your educational and professional goals. Applications received by July 1 will be reviewed in time for Fall 2020 enrollment. GRE scores are not required for admission. Online options available. Discover your options.

Over 95%

of 2009-2014 Bachelor’s graduates of the Department of Political Science were occupied* within six months of graduation

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*Occupied includes employment, further education, military service, or not seeking employment.

About the Department of Political Science

Picture of Political Science Department with Harrison Barnes
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.