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. Our accomplished faculty all hold doctorates from major universities and most have practical experience outside the classroom, which allows networking connections and opportunities for guest lecturers. 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.
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 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.