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 and Required of All Majors:

  • Principles of Statistics OR
  • Statistics for Social Sciences
  • State and Local Government
  • Political Studies Seminar
  • Public Policy
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Politics
  • Internship
  • Senior Seminar
  • Social Science Research Methods

Prerequisite Courses:

  • Intermediate Algebra OR
  • Introductory and Intermediate Algebra
  • National Government
  • Introduction to Sociology

For Public Administration Concentration:

  • Principles of Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Principles of Macro Economics
  • Introduction to Public Administration
  • Pulic Finance

For Pre-Law Concentration:

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

Additional recommended electives include:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Money, Banking & Financial Markets
  • International Finance
  • New Media
  • The Medieval World
  • The West in the Modern World
  • Colonial and Revolutionary America
  • The American Century: US History Since 1898
  • The World Since 1945
  • Contemporary US History: 1945 - Present
  • Iowa History
  • College Algebra
  • Political Parties
  • The Presidency
  • Stress and Anxiety Management
  • Social Problems
  • Criminological Theory
  • 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