Political science is known as the study of laws and governments, yet it includes much more.

Why did the U.S. invade Iraq and allow Russia to influence events in the Syrian civil war? Why do many U.S. citizens feel animosity toward immigrants? What is the relationship among race, gender, and politics? What are the advantages and disadvantages of globalization for developing countries? In what manner are human rights abused around the globe, and what can be done about it? What are the causes and consequences of political violence and state terrorism? What are the political aspirations of citizens in Muslim-populated countries?

These are a few of the many interesting questions that a political science student explores at Purchase College.

The political science program offers students the opportunity to engage in a variety of courses in American, comparative, and international politics. Students also study age-old political questions concerning equality, rights, and justice and learn how to conduct political science research.

The political science program closely collaborates with other interdisciplinary programs at Purchase College, including Latin American, Caribbean, and LatinX studies, Global Black Studies, Environmental Studies, and Gender Studies. Because politics are intertwined with economic and social issues, many students choose to double-major in Sociology, History, or Journalism. Members of the political science faculty have broad and diverse backgrounds, have won numerous awards, and have published more than 50 books and articles.

The major in political science is particularly designed for students who:

  • are interested in exploring different social and political issues by taking a range of American and internationally-based courses, or
  • want to have a focused study of human rights or Islam and the Middle East.

Senior Thesis

The program culminates in a two-semester senior thesis in which each student develops an original in-depth perspective on a topic of their choice, which is supervised by a faculty sponsor.

About Our Graduates

Students graduating with a degree in political science often enter public service, working for government agencies, nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), or elected officials. Many political science alumni enroll in law school or graduate programs that focus on international affairs, while others may enter the fields of teaching or journalism.