Prepare for life as an active citizen

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at St. Edward’s University prepares students for careers in public service, electoral politics, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Dive into the study of political systems to understand how they shape both culture and behavior. If you're passionate about making a difference in your community, then this major is for you.

Explore all aspects of the political system:
  • Local, federal, and global politics
  • The ethics of public service
  • Political theorists like Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx
  • How diplomacy and military force are used to achieve national objectives
  • The workings of the international system and the politics of countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East 
You’ll study four key fields:
  • American Politics
  • Political Theory
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics

Students take a combination of core requirements, including: American Politics, International Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Policy, and Theory and Statistics. The remaining coursework is chosen from two of four thematic tracks.

  • American Politics
  • Applied Politics
  • International Politics
  • Pre-Law

Political issues are notoriously controversial. Students will have the opportunity to engage in enthusiastic discussions around these issues. They can also expect to engage in demanding, in-depth research, with relevance to common issues in everyday life. 

Learning Goals

  1. Examine the ideas and concepts of the major theorists of political science.
  2. Understand how American political institutions function and the values they advance.
  3. Develop a theoretical and practical understanding of international relations.
  4. Demonstrate competency in the methodical tools of political science.
  5. Compare and contrast Western and non-Western political systems.

Outcomes

Careers our graduates pursue include:
  • The practice of law 
  • Political campaign strategists 
  • Legislative aides 
  • Lobbyists 
  • Public servants at the federal, state and local levels 
  • Non-profit organizations 
  • Journalism 
  • The Foreign Service with the U.S. Department of States 
  • Elective office 

Graduates are also prepared to pursue advanced studies in political science, law, public administration, international relations or public policy. An advanced degree is required to teach at the college level. 

Internships

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. 

Meet the Faculty

Dr. William Nichols (Chair); European Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations 

Dr. Selin Guner; Middle Eastern Politics, International Relations, International Political Economy 

Dr. Jooyoun Lee; East Asian Politics, International Relations, International Conflict and Cooperation 

Dr. Chad Long; American Politics, Congress, Public Policy, Politics and the Media 

Dr. Rodrigo Nunes; Latin American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Law 

Dr. Brian Smith (Associate Dean); American Politics, The Presidency, Elections, Research Methodology 

Dr. Brenda Vallance (Dean); East European Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations

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.

Required Courses:
  • American National Government
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Any three upper-division Political Science courses