Political Science, B.A.
A Bachelor of Arts in Political Science prepares you for careers in government, politics, journalism, and the law. Our students learn about how government works in theory and practice, in our classrooms and in internships. The skills obtained in this program prepare you for career growth well beyond an entry-level position.
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What Will I Learn?
You will learn about many things including these topics and more:
- The workings of American government
- How modern political campaigns are run
- The importance of our citizenry in the democratic process
- The lasting significance of different political theories
- State and local governmental systems
You are also taught how to measure data and statistics, and how to analyze different sources of information. The Political Science Department primarily focuses on three transferable skills: professional communication, analysis and research.
What are the requirements for this degree?
The Undergraduate Catalog provides details about program requirements.
We encourage you to minor in a field that interests you and can be applied to your desired career. For example, if health policy interests you, then a minor in the hard sciences would be useful. If you are interested in political media, the communication/journalism minor is useful.
What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?
We want our majors to become interested and interesting. Being both of these will set up our graduates to be lifelong learners who will succeed long after they leave our campus. Our graduates work in politically-affiliated fields for the government (both in D.C. and in Harrisburg), in the political media, on campaigns for various offices and as interest group lobbyists. Our grads also get jobs in non-political fields including work in big business, the health care industry, the legal field and private companies.
What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have on Campus?
Our department emphasizes experiential learning, though field trips, campus speakers and internship opportunities. We are fortunate that Shippensburg University is close enough to both Washington, D.C. and Harrisburg to take advantage of the resources there. Classes are small and professors are engaged with their fields and with their students. When our courses venture out of our classrooms, we can clearly connect the scholarship to the real world in a way that expands your understanding and abilities.
During your time at Ship, you will also have access to the impressive government documents collection in Ezra Lehman Memorial Library.
You may also have the opportunity to get involved with the Political Science Club, a nonpartisan group that organizes fun events for all Ship students, as well as Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Our chapter has won national awards.
Pi Sigma Alpha is the national political science honor society, and Shippensburg University's Theta Gamma Chapter was chartered in 1977. The honor society is open to Political Science and Public Administration majors in their junior or senior years of college. Members must have completed 12 hours of political science coursework and have a minimum 3.0 QPA. Pi Sigma Alpha members take part in social and philanthropic