About the Department
The Department of Political Science promotes student scholarship, leadership and civic involvement. Grounded in the liberal arts, the Political Science major develops intellectual skills and exposes students to the principal subfields of the discipline, including American government, international relations, political theory, comparative politics, public policy, and research methods. All majors conduct and present independent research for the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Social Research Conference and in the Department's senior seminar.
The Department strongly encourages experiential learning in government, politics and the law through active learning in the classroom, co-curricular programs, and off-campus study. All students are required to participate in an off-campus, for-credit study program, such as Brethren Colleges Abroad, the Queen's University International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle, the American University Washington Semester Program, or the Department's Capital Semester Internship Program (CSIP) in Harrisburg.
Other department-sponsored programs include an intercollegiate Mock Trial Team, College Democrats, College Republicans, and a delegation to the annual Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation in Washington, D.C. Our chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, won a Best Chapter award for sponsoring numerous campus forums. In addition, the Department also sponsors field trips. In recent years, for example, our students attended oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court and met with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Breyer, respectively.
Our Students and Alumni
Political Science is one of the most popular liberal arts majors at Elizabethtown. As of spring 2010, there were 55 majors and 20 minors. Many of our students are campus leaders, such as Student Senate officers, editors of the student newspaper, and student-athletes.
Reflecting the Department’s emphasis on student research, over 25 students have presented papers in the last seven years at professional conferences, including the International Society for Political Psychology and the Pennsylvania Political Science Association. Several of the papers were co-authored with faculty. Students also have opportunities to work for a scholarly journal edited on campus, Religion and Public Life.
Recent graduates were accepted to the PhD Programs in Political Science at Ohio State, Penn State and UC-San Diego, and the M.A. Programs in International Affairs or Public Policy at George Washington, Pittsburgh, and Seton Hall. Our law students were accepted to such schools as Georgetown, Washington and Lee, William and Mary, Villanova, and Penn State-Dickinson. According to a survey of 1968-2002 alumni, about 1/5 of our graduates work for government agencies, 1/5 are in business/corporate management, and another 1/5 are in private law practice. The rest of our graduates work in a variety of places, including non-profit foundations, humanitarian organizations, higher education, and lobbying firms