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College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Dean - College of Arts & Sciences
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1151

Department of Political Science

424 Grove Hall
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 
(717) 477-1718
Department Website

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Office of the Provost
OM 308
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1371

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Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
Phone: (717) 477-1148
Fax: (717) 477-4016

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Political Science

Political Science at Ship

Shippensburg University, 40 miles from the state capital and 95 miles from the nation’s capital, is well situated for the study of government. The university has an impressive government documents collection housed in the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library. The library also is home to the 8,000-volume Pennsylvania collection.

The political science major is designed to provide a systemic understanding of the functions and structures of different levels of government, their constitutional and philosophical foundations, and the dynamics of the political process. Our program prepares students for a variety of government-oriented careers as well as providing a strong foundation for law or graduate school. Our graduates also go on to work in politically related fields, as well as in jobs that are unconnected to politics but that demand fine writing, communication, and analytical skills.

Your undergraduate degree in political science can take you many places — from policy analysis at the state government to helping shape the careers of the nation’s lawmakers in DC. Many students also go on to further study at the graduate level. Wherever you end up, you’ll have the support of Ship’s large alumni community. Find out more about the political science Bachelor’s program at Shippensburg University by arranging a campus tour today.

Political Science Admission and Degree Requirements

Majors must take core courses in American government, international relations, and research methods. Students complete a senior-level research project that serves as a capstone of the culminated knowledge, communication and research skills acquired over four years of study in the department. Students must also take courses in four substantive areas, including global politics, government, political behavior, and political theory or law.

Careers in Political Science

College graduates with strong communication and analytical skills and a solid understanding of the operation of government, at all levels, are in demand. Not only are our graduates holding positions in the offices of elected officials, but are also found in the civil service at local, state, and national levels. In addition, political science is an excellent major for students with interests in business and journalism, not to mention non-profit agencies of all types.

Internships and Student Organizations

Internships are strongly encouraged. Our location near Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. provides many opportunities. Students have worked in the offices of members of the US Congress and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Students interested in campaigns have the opportunity to work with candidates nearly every election cycle. Students have also done internships with national, state, and local government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.

Shippensburg University has an active chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, as well as a club for students interested in attending law school. Field trips, internships, speakers, and a variety of other activities enhance the classroom experience.

Political Science Faculty

Shippensburg University’s Political Science Department faculty all hold doctorates from major universities and most have practical experience outside the classroom, which allows networking connections and opportunities for guest lecturers—each brings diverse approaches to both academia and public policy. Undergraduate classes are taught by subject matter experts in public sector labor law, 20th century political ideology, policy analysis, and a range of other topics representing the full spectrum of academic political science.

With a low student to instructor ratio, students in the undergraduate political science program at Shippensburg University have the ability to learn from their professors directly. Collaboration between students is also encouraged with small class sizes.