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Department ofPolitical Science & Geography


Batten Arts and Letters Building

The Department of Political Science and Geography offers undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Geography, as well as International Studies. Also, at the graduate level, the department offers, through Graduate Programs in International Studies, a master's degree and a doctor of philosophy degree.

Political Science explores how individuals, groups and institutions confront fundamental questions affecting human society. People study politics because they want to understand the relationship between citizens and government, what governments do, and how political and social conflicts can be resolved. BA and BS programs in Political Science in our department prepares students for success in teaching, graduate school and law school, and for careers in both government/public and private sectors.

Geographers analyze regional and global patterns that shape our lives including climate, ecosystems, industry and culture. People study geography because they pursue solutions to social and natural problems within various geographical frameworks. Students major in geography because it provides them with a broad-based background and a command of the tools of geographic research and it leads to careers in business, government or teaching.

What Can I Do with Political Science?

Those with a desire to influence public policy, law, politics, or international affairs may want to consider a degree program in political science. Cities, counties, townships, school districts, court systems, and more than 170 federal departments and agencies have avenues for those who want to work in foreign service, program administration, intelligence, research, community affairs, or law enforcement. In politics, those who have pursued a degree program in political science may find themselves working in a career in special interest advocacy, lobbying, political advising, campaign management, or elected/appointed leadership. Otherwise, career specializations for this degree program include governance, policymaking and analysis, public sector reform, poverty-reduction strategy, ethics and anti-corruption, human rights, public law, resource development, or public-private partnerships. Local and national nonprofit agencies, foundations, charitable organizations, labor unions, libraries, museums, and research organizations/think tanks are all areas that hire those who specialize in the nonprofit aspect of political science.

What Can I Do with Geography?

Students who know where they want to go in life may be interested in the places a degree in Geography can take them. For these students, specializations exist in physical geography, environmental geography, cultural and human geography, economic geography, planning, geographic tools and technology or geographic education. Students with a wide variety of interests and skill sets can look forward to a career where they can work to advance GPS or Geographic Information Systems, or they can work for city/regional planning, housing development or conservation. There are opportunities to work in state and local government, for the EPA, or for Research Institutes, real estate developers, television and radio stations, agribusiness corporations, chemical companies, nonprofit organizations or law firms.