Are you interested in American politics? International affairs? Critical issues such as health, the environment, or civil rights? Theories concerning the ideal government and how power and resources are allocated in society? If so, consider studying political science.
Political science students gain a versatile set of skills that can be applied in a wide range of careers in federal, state and local governments and also in law, business, international organizations, nonprofit associations, campaign management, polling, journalism, education, and research.
A political science degree provides important skills that employers in every field value: critical reading, information gathering and analysis, oral and written communication. It also is an excellent preparation for pursuing an advanced degree. Because of the importance of policymaking and regulation in so many fields, political science complements advanced study in law, engineering, planning, journalism, science, public health, and other professions.
Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Student groups at Iowa such as College Republicans, University Democrats, UI Libertarians, and the Iowa International Socialist Organization represent a wide range of political perspectives.
Internships in political science are readily available. Students are encouraged to serve as interns, especially in government-related agencies. The department provides financial support for students to participate in unpaid internship experiences.
The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.
Students majoring in political science earn a BA or BS degree. The BA degree with a major in political science offers an option for an on-campus or an online program of study.
Most of the political science course work required for the major is the same for BS and BA students, but the major for the BS includes a political science research component. The major for the BS also requires a set of mathematics and statistics courses as a foundation for research skills, while the major for the BA does not.
Students in both programs must complete the requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.
All majors take these courses:
- Introduction to American Politics
- Four courses on topics such as political action, behavior, communication, and thought; international relations; comparative politics; and politics of specific world regions
- Seven or more advanced political sciences courses, which may include work in an emphasis area
Students may elect to complete one or two emphases while fulfilling the requirements for the major. Each emphasis consists of four courses. The emphasis is indicated on the transcript at graduation if a student completes the emphasis and requests recognition from the department.
Online BA Major
The Department of Political Science offers an online BA major. The online program enables students to complete a BA degree in political science from the University of Iowa's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from anywhere in the world. Online courses are taught by the same faculty teaching the on-campus courses and professional academic advising with scheduled virtual office hours is available.
Online BA majors need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students in the online BA program also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.
If you are interested in teaching, consult with your academic adviser to prepare to apply to the College of Education's Teacher Education Program.