Political Science

Political Science BA
Political science is one of the social sciences. It is the study of systems of governance and governmental institutions, political activity, political thought, and political behavior. Political science draws from many other academic disciplines, including economics, law, sociology, history, philosophy, geography, psychology, and anthropology. There also are subfields of political science, such as comparative politics, political theory, international relations, international law, public administration, and public policy. Political science students study how American government works (and doesn’t work) and what can be done to improve government at the federal, state, and local level. In comparative government and international relations coursework, students study the politics and policies of other countries. Political theory courses examine the ideas of famous political philosophers, while courses on law and the legal process provide knowledge about the criminal justice and civil litigation systems.
Degree Types: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Minor

Degree Options

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Criminology
  • Geography
  • Journalism
  • Communication Arts and Sciences
  • African American Studies

About the Program

You might like this program if…

  • You are interested in how power and resources are allocated in society. Students in this major study governments, public policies, and political behavior in the United States and around the world from both a humanistic and scientific perspective. If you’re interested in how history, culture, and economics shape our lives and impact things like economic development, conflict, foreign policy, terrorism, globalization, and the environment, then this is the major for you.


  • Gender and Politics
  • Foundation of American Political Theory
  • The American Legislative Process
  • The American Presidency
  • National Security Policies

Out-of-Classroom Experiences

  • Geisinger Medical Center
  • The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York, General Services Administration
  • Centre County Planning and Community Development
  • Various law offices
  • Political campaigns
  • Representatives’ and senators’ offices
  • Grant Thornton
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Students in CAMS/HIST 199 Roman Cities at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy in June 2022
United Kingdom

Post-Graduation Opportunities

  • Law school
  • MBA
  • Graduate school to study public administration, political science, public policy, business administration, city planning, creative writing, history, human resources management, international affairs, management, organizational leadership, health service administration, aging and health, American government, paralegal, public affairs, sport administration, higher education administration, and quantitative methods in social science
Business Analysis, Consulting, Education, Political/Campaign Organization, Research, Sales, Service (Teach for America)

Have questions about this program?

This program is housed in the Department of Political Science
 at Penn State University Park and Penn State World Campus.
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CURRENT Students
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