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Social Sciences Majors

Political Studies

The Political Studies major is an interdisciplinary program that provides you with the academic background to enter law school or prepares you for a wide variety of professional positions. Graduates find careers in areas such as government, civil service, domestic or international business, the diplomatic service or further study in graduate or professional programs. You may choose to focus in pre-law or public administration.

A major in Paralegal Studies is also offered. Students with an A.A., A.S., or A.A.S. degree in Paralegal Studies or Legal Assistant may apply to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies. You may choose to focus in Public Administration, Business and Human Resource Management or Criminology.  To review the Paralegal Studies major, please click here.

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Courses and Requirements

Department Courses in the Core:

  • National Government

Prerequisite Courses:

  • Intermediate Algebra OR
  • Survey of Math with Applications OR
  • Finite Mathematics
  • National Government
  • Introduction to Sociology

Departmental Courses Required of All Majors:

  • State and Local Government
  • Political Studies Seminar
  • Research Methods for the Social Sciences
  • International Relations
  • Internship AS NEEDED
  • Senior Seminar

Required Courses From Other Departments:

  • Statistics for Social Sciences OR
  • Principles of Statistics
  • Computer Proficiency
  • Principles of Macro Economics
  • Small Group Dynamics

For Public Administration Concentration:

  • Principles of Management
  • Principles of Micro Economics
  • Introduction to Public Administration
  • Public Finance and Policy
  • Organizational Behavior

For Pre-Law Concentration:

  • Business Law I
  • Advanced Technical Writing OR
  • Writing for Business
  • American Constitutional Law and Development I
  • American Constitutional Law and Development II
  • Social Psychology

Additional recommended electives include:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Money, Banking & Financial Markets
  • Survey of Western Civilization to 1660
  • Survey of Western Civilization from 1660 to Present
  • History of the US to 1877
  • History of the US from 1877 to Present
  • The World Since 1945
  • Contemporary US History, 1945-Present
  • Iowa History
  • College Algebra
  • Political Parties
  • The Presidency
  • Stress and Anxiety Management
  • Social Problems
  • Criminology
  • Cultural Anthropology

For detailed course descriptions, please go to the current catalog HERE.

Career Options

Political Studies graduates enter into a wide array of careers and many go on to enter law school or pursue other graduate studies. Typical career options for graduates include public management positions in local, state and federal government. Other options are foreign service positions and active political campaign positions at national, state and local levels. Many corporations seek graduates with a traditional liberal arts degree and Political Studies graduates offer a solid background for those companies.


Internships provide valuable learning experiences. Many internships are arranged on an individual basis, and students are encouraged to find internships relevant to their focus. Students have the opportunity to work with professionals in a variety of areas such as:

• Iowa Legislature
• Governor's Office
• Polk County Legal Aid
• State agencies
• Washington, D.C. Internship
• Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
• Polk County Attorney's Office


Get involved and join The Political Science Club! The Political Science Club is a nonpartisan organization and promotes student awareness of and participation in politics and the politcal process through various student-sponsored activities. The club is open to students from all majors and political backgrounds.

Sponsor: Douglas Wiig
Rasmussen Center, Rm 127