At A Glance

Political science students at Carthage gain insight into political institutions and behavior, as well as the responsibilities of intelligent citizenship. They’re challenged to think critically and communicate their ideas effectively.

Major

  • Political Science

Concentrations

  • American Government and Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Thought and Theory
  • Public Law and Judicial Politics

Minor

  • Political Science

View Degree Requirements

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Carthage’s political science major provides a foundation for graduate study in political science or, with other social science courses, preparation for careers in government service, law, teaching, journalism, or research analysis.

Carthage also offers a major in international political economy for students who wish to focus on the evolving web of global relationships in politics, economics, and business.

 

  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg" alt="Nicole Biba ?24" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2137,2136/489_Nicole_Biba.rev.1638389813.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2137" data-max-h="2136" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “My advice would be to fully immerse yourself in your classes because then they become so interesting, and it can relate to more courses down the road.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/505-nicole-biba">Nicole Biba</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,95,2508,2606/39212_53275819724_4a158da60d_o_2.rev.1709314480.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,95,2508,2606/39212_53275819724_4a158da60d_o_2.rev.1709314480.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,95,2508,2606/39212_53275819724_4a158da60d_o_2.rev.1709314480.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,95,2508,2606/39212_53275819724_4a158da60d_o_2.rev.1709314480.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,95,2508,2606/39212_53275819724_4a158da60d_o_2.rev.1709314480.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,95,2508,2606/39212_53275819724_4a158da60d_o_2.rev.1709314480.jpg" alt="Basil Kiracofe" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,95,2508,2606/39212_53275819724_4a158da60d_o_2.rev.1709314480.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,95,2508,2606/39212_53275819724_4a158da60d_o_2.rev.1709314480.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2508" data-max-h="2511" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “The best way to make friends at Carthage is to join different organizations and campus events! I met some of my closest friends through the different organizations that I’ve joined.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2619-basil-kiracofe">Basil Kiracofe</a> ’27</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/511,0,1763,1253/36446_4893_163701665847155.rev.1669861223.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/511,0,1763,1253/36446_4893_163701665847155.rev.1669861223.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/511,0,1763,1253/36446_4893_163701665847155.rev.1669861223.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/511,0,1763,1253/36446_4893_163701665847155.rev.1669861223.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/511,0,1763,1253/36446_4893_163701665847155.rev.1669861223.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/511,0,1763,1253/36446_4893_163701665847155.rev.1669861223.jpg" alt="Katherine Taylor Retek" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/511,0,1763,1253/36446_4893_163701665847155.rev.1669861223.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/511,0,1763,1253/36446_4893_163701665847155.rev.1669861223.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1252" data-max-h="1253" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “When I was a senior in high school applying to different colleges and universities, I found out that Carthage had sent me an email to my school email address. I took a tour two days after I applied, and I have been in love with Carthage ever since.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2213-katherine-taylor-retek">Katherine Taylor Retek</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,495,2268,2763/36277_Justin_Girodat.rev.1668032020.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,495,2268,2763/36277_Justin_Girodat.rev.1668032020.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,495,2268,2763/36277_Justin_Girodat.rev.1668032020.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,495,2268,2763/36277_Justin_Girodat.rev.1668032020.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,495,2268,2763/36277_Justin_Girodat.rev.1668032020.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,495,2268,2763/36277_Justin_Girodat.rev.1668032020.jpg" alt="Justin Girodat" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,495,2268,2763/36277_Justin_Girodat.rev.1668032020.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/100/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,495,2268,2763/36277_Justin_Girodat.rev.1668032020.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2268" data-max-h="2268" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I chose Carthage because of the location, community, and success the volleyball program here at Carthage has had.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2150-justin-girodat">Justin Girodat</a> ’24</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>


Courses you’ll take as a political science major

Besides the broader introductory classes, political science majors do coursework in each of the department’s five concentrated areas. Most political science classes have fewer than 25 students for increased individualized faculty-student attention. Not only do the courses expand political knowledge, but the department also challenges students to think critically and develops students’ ability to communicate their ideas effectively.

 Here’s a sampling:

  • American Foreign Policy
  • Constitutional Rights: Freedom of Expression
  • Women of Africa
  • Politics of the Middle East
  • Nuclear Proliferation

Political science courses at Carthage


original research

Research is built into the Carthage experience through the required senior thesis, with past political science topics including “Israel and the Realist Perspective,” “The Plight of the Honey Bees,” and “Mass Incarceration: The Prisoner’s Dilemma.” Many students present their work at the campus-wide Celebration of Scholars or at professional conferences.


special academic options for political science majors

Pre-Law: Carthage students interested in legal careers often major in political science. A pre-law advisor can help them to tailor a course sequence and guide them through the law school application process.

Learn more about Pre-Law at Carthage


International Political Economy: This program attracts students who want to shape policy discussions in the global economy. IPE covers political science, economics, business, languages, and the sciences.

Learn more about IPE at Carthage


Beyond the classroom

Many political science students compete on Carthage’s Model United Nations and Mock Trial teams. Some seek to represent their classmates in Student Government.

During J-Term, professors from the department have led study tours to Cuba, Patagonia, Argentina, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands.

Political Science Department faculty and staff assist students in finding internship opportunities around the nation and world. In recent years, students have interned in the U.S. House of Representatives, worked at the Republican Governors Association in Washington, D.C., and interned with the U.S. Department of State in Rennes, France.

Opportunities for political science Students