Political Science - BA

Political science is the study of systems of governance, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts and political behavior. At its core, this social science concerns itself with the distribution of power and resources, and investigates socio-political and economic forces that have shaped the past and continue to shape the present and future. Through their studies, students gain a depth of knowledge in domestic and international governing bodies, current political issues, the formation of public policy, methodological approaches, and foundational political theory. Students learn about structures of political institutions while also recognizing the power of community agency. The goal of the major is to fully prepare students to be well-informed, thoughtful, responsible citizens, and to use their knowledge to improve society.

Political science is an excellent major for careers in government, advocacy organizations,  academia and research, teaching, law, political journalism, social service, non-governmental organizations, international affairs, and in governmental relations in business. The political science major emphasizes critical thinking, research and writing skills, making it a rich and compatible major for students with varied career goals.

Outside of the classroom, our department works to provide all students with opportunities to enhance their St. Kate’s experience and increase the value they bring to organizations following graduation. Political Science Club is an outlet for students to engage with other passionate peers and local events. Moreover, students are encouraged to pursue internships at local, state, national, and international levels, which will enable them to explore prospective careers, gain valuable hands-on experience and develop personal contacts within their field. Recent students have interned with the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate, Republican Party of Minnesota, Minnesota Association of Women Lawyers, Center for Victims of Torture, Jane Addams School for Democracy, International Center for Research on Women, Rethinking Tourism Project, and Sustainable Northern Ireland.

Political science majors also have participated in semester programs with Public Leadership Education Network's short-term courses: Foreign Policy, Science and Technology Policy, and Congress; Metro-Urban Semester study; and Washington, D.C. Semester through American University.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to travel and study abroad. Political science majors have studied abroad in France, Bolivia, Namibia, the United Kingdom, China, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Germany, Czech Republic, and Japan.

St. Kate's political science faculty have diverse specializations, including the politics of countries and regions, especially within Eastern Europe and Latin America, campaigns and elections, women in public policy, transnational social movements, urban politics, the judicial process and Constitutional law, and American politics and public policy.

The political science major is available to students enrolled in the College for Women only.

This major is offered in the College for Women only. 


POSC 1710WIntroduction to American Government and Policy4
POSC 2200WIntroduction to Comparative Politics4
POSC 2250Introduction to World Politics4
POSC 4850Theory to Action4
ECON 1090Statistical Analysis for Decision Making 14
or SOCI 2200 People, Stories and Images: Qualitative Social Research
20 upper-division (3XXX or 4XXX level) credits in political science to be determined by the student and her advisor (usually five 4-credit classes)20
Total Credits40

Students must complete eight additional upper-division (3XXX or 4XXX level) credits determined by the student and her advisor. Many students complete these eight credits (usually two 4-credit classes) by adding a minor or double major.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of internships available at the local, state and national government levels (for which up to a maximum of eight credits may be granted).  Independent study also may be arranged. Students who wish to take independent study or an internship must have taken at least one related political science course prior to taking either.

Political science majors satisfy the Writing Requirement for Majors by completing POSC 1710W Introduction to American Government and Policy and POSC 2200W Introduction to Comparative Politics. They complete the Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Writing Requirement with two other writing-intensive courses (CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman or CORE 2000W The Reflective Woman, and CORE 3990W Global Search for Justice).