Prepare to lead your fellow citizens toward a better future with a major in Political Science.
You’ll study how people obtain and use power at the local, state, national and international level. You may decide to become an attorney, a journalist, a campaign manager, a lobbyist or foreign service officer. Work for an elected representative — or run for office yourself one day. Your Political Science major will prepare you to make bold, strategic decisions grounded in your values.
Austin, the capital of Texas, is the ideal place to study politics at the local or state level. Understand how policy is made in the nation’s 11th-largest city by interning with a city council member or in the mayor’s office. Work for a state senator or representative during the biannual Texas legislative session, where you’ll learn how a bill becomes a law (or doesn’t). Austin is the home base for nonprofits and advocacy groups that work to shape state laws that affect children, the environment, and dozens of different industries – so you’ll also have the chance to learn how to lobby for a cause you care about.
If you have your sights set on the nation’s capital, your success coach and professors will help you find an internship in Washington, D.C. Wherever you go, you’ll have the critical-thinking, writing, public speaking and people skills you need to make a difference.
What do our graduates do?
Political Science majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State
- Judicial law clerk at Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas
- Asylum and immigration attorney
- Health policy and advocacy director for Young Invincibles
- Director of marketing for FILA North America
- Law students at The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University
- Graduate students at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, Georgetown University and New York University
Major Requirements: The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science requires 45 hours of major courses, which include a combination of different political studies classes. In addition, students choose two of the following tracks: American Politics, Applied Politics, International Politics or Pre-Law.
Electives: Students complete 6 hours of Political Studies electives and 21 hours of elective courses in any area of study they choose.
General Education Requirements: The degree requires 54 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
A few examples of courses students in this major take:
- Politics and the Media- explore how public officials, political campaigns, and interest groups attempt to influence media coverage
- Civil Liberties – examine the way the U.S. Constitution protects individual rights in the context of competing claims by various groups and interests
- Strategic Intelligence and Covert Action – delves into the role the intelligence community plays in American foreign relations
Our Faculty and Student Support Services
“I teach international politics simply because I have always been curious about the world around us. The topics I teach prompt students to think critically about such questions as why are some countries warlike and others peaceful? Why do some countries have democracies and others have dictatorships? And why do some countries enjoy great wealth and others suffer in poverty? I find that my students are engaged, questioning and enthusiastic about making a difference in the world.”
– Dr. William Nichols, Professor of Political Science
“The best thing about political science at St. Edward's University is that you take exciting classes in the best political city in Texas.”
– Brian Smith, Professor of Political Science
Student Support Services
Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that supports their success. We encourage students to take advantage of these resources that help them thrive and excel:
- Academic counseling and advising
- Supplemental instruction and tutoring
- Career preparation and advising
- Writing Center consultation
- Health and wellness counseling
- Student disability support
Outside the Classroom
Students in the Political Science major at St. Edward's University are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the school's proximity to the state capital. This provides students with the chance to take part in the political process and observe the Texas Legislature.
Students are also required to do an internship, which further enhances the experience. Many of our students are interns during the legislative session with state congressional members.
Some pursue internships with nonprofit and for-profit agencies that play a role in state government. Your internship experience gives you the chance to be immersed in government, giving you an up close view of critical issues. The experience prepares students to be a citizen of a democratic society and helps strengthen students' understanding of the professional world. These opportunities for practical application of coursework provide students the opportunity to further focus in on a specific career path.
About the Minor
Students interested in pursuing a role in law or government can enhance their knowledge and skill sets with a Political Science minor. Students must complete the 18 hours of required coursework.
- American National Government
- International Relations
- Comparative Politics
- Any three upper-division Political Science courses