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Political Science, BA

Explore Political Science at Seattle University—understand political behavior at all levels with a BA program empowering change, justice, and civic understanding.

About this Program

Exploring Power Dynamics and Group Decision-Making for a More Just Society

Politics is how we make decisions that affect us all collectively. Politicians, political parties, institutions and laws come to mind when we refer to politics, but politics is much more than these.

Politics takes place in Congress, in the workplace, in the classroom, at home, on the street—in a word, anywhere.

It is about agreement and disagreement over interests and values, cooperation and conflict between collectives and access to a society’s resources.

Politics is as much about collective decision making and the quest for a more just society as it is about power.

Political science is the study of the fundamental values, interests, processes, tools and people that play a role in making decisions. Our political science curriculum links moral issues to empirical analysis of political life. It explores the realities of political behavior at local, state, national and international levels.

Political science majors embark on a comprehensive exploration of fundamental concepts like power, justice, equality, and legitimacy. They delve into the intricate mechanisms of law and policy enactment and enforcement in the United States and around the world. This academic journey involves a meticulous comparison of political institutions, policy processes, and outcomes across different nations. Additionally, students investigate the dynamics of international cooperation and competition within the global system. By scrutinizing power dynamics between individuals, social groups, countries, and geographies, political science majors gain a profound understanding of how these forces collectively shape the complex world in which we live.

Political Science Degree at a Glance

Learn how this degree from the Department of Political Science will contribute to your career goals. Then, explore course requirements and see how impactful a Seattle University degree can be.

Choosing a political science college major opens a gateway to understanding the intricate dynamics of governance, power, and societal structures. You, as a student, delve into the complexities of political systems, international relations, and public policy. Analyzing historical contexts and contemporary issues, you gain insights into the forces shaping societies globally. The curriculum combines theoretical frameworks with practical applications, fostering critical thinking and analytical skills. You explore topics like political philosophy, comparative politics, and political economy. This major not only equips you with a nuanced understanding of political processes but also cultivates the ability to navigate the complexities of our interconnected world, preparing you for diverse roles in government, diplomacy, or advocacy.

Legal Studies Specialization

The political science legal studies specialization addresses student interest in legal reasoning; the role of law in politics, society, and the economy; and the legal basics of modern democracy and theories of justice. 

It is most broadly concerned with the legal foundations of modern society and politics, and it addresses questions of justice, power and order from the perspective of the liberal arts.

It is intended to prepare students for many possible careers and future courses of study.

Opting for a minor in political science offers a nuanced exploration of key socio-political concepts. As a minor, you engage with fundamental ideas such as power, justice, equality, and legitimacy, gaining insight into how these principles manifest in various contexts. While not as extensive as a major, the minor still provides a valuable understanding of how laws and policies operate both domestically and globally. Students examine the nuanced differences in political institutions and policy processes across nations, offering a broadened perspective. This minor enhances critical thinking skills, fostering an appreciation for the complexities of the political landscape without the depth of a major commitment.

Political science students should be able to:

  • Differentiate among multiple political science perspectives (ideologies, theories) from a range of written or spoken genres.
  • Evaluate contemporary issues in light of different research methods and theories of Comparative Politics.
  • Apply International Politics theoretical frameworks to contemporary cases.
  • Demonstrate the ability to outline and defend a vision of politics in areas such as justice, democracy, community, or freedom by means of persuasive writing for a specific audience.
  • Critically evaluate U.S. law, policy or power dynamics.

What You’ll Learn

Learn about the classes you’ll take as a student here.

Support for Your Success

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Pathways to Professional Formation

The College of Arts & Sciences is committed to helping you through your lifetime journey of professional formation and discernment. We offer opportunities to deepen and broaden your understanding of your professional identity.

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Arts & Sciences Advising Center

Our advising center is dedicated to your holistic academic and professional through academic advising and promotion of academic excellence. We work to solve problems, provide navigational guidance and build connections.

Seattle Univerity Undergraduate Research Journal

Seattle University Undergraduate Research Journal

Our peer-reviewed online publication provides an opportunity for you to publish your research. Publication can help you prepare for advanced studies at top graduate programs or demonstrate knowledge and skills when applying for non-academic positions.

Popular Careers for Political Science Majors

  • Community Organizer
  • Nonprofit Leader and Specialist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • International NGO work
  • Lobbyist
  • Budget and Policy Analyst
  • Congressional Staffer
  • Commentator
  • Blogger and Columnist
  • Journalist
  • Attorney
  • Defense Attorney
  • Mediator
  • Prosecutor
  • Judge
  • Paralegal
  • Professor
  • Research Analyst
  • Freelance Writer

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