Political Science Major at Elizabethtown College
The Department of Political Science at Elizabethtown College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, as well as a minor. As an Elizabethtown student, you’ll also be eligible to apply for the Master of Public Policy 4+1 program as you near undergraduate degree completion.
Why Study Political Science?
A bachelor's degree in political science leads to exciting careers in federal, state, or local government; international organizations; nonprofit organizations; survey research and polling; electoral politics; journalism; public relations; research and university and college teaching. Many of our graduates work in Harrisburg or Washington, D.C., as lobbyists, policy analysts, campaign managers, and directors of nonprofits. For students interested in careers in law, the political science degree provides excellent preparation for law school. A degree in Political Science is both interesting and financially advantageous. Nationally, the median annual earnings for political science majors with a bachelor’s degree is $59,000, and the top 25% earns more than $90,000 per year, according to a 2015 report.
The flexibility in our curriculum allows our students to take advantage of everything E-town has to offer including a year-long study abroad, a double major or minor, international internships, and still participate actively on campus! We value learning in any capacity, and our students are encouraged to explore opportunities to expand their knowledge both on campus, and around the world.
Our curriculum introduces you to the principle fields of the discipline, including American government, comparative government, international relations, political theory, public administration, and research methods. Courses are designed to develop your writing, oral communication, and analytical and critical thinking skills. Through mentorship from supportive faculty, practical experience, and thoughtful faculty-supervised research, our students have gone on to win prestigious awards such as Fulbright scholarships and Finnegan Fellowships. In fact, more Finnegan Fellows have graduated from E-town than any other college in the State!
Student Opportunities With the Major
We believe that real-world experience is the best teacher, and our students have opportunities from the first day they start at Elizabethtown. From faculty-student research projects to off-campus simulations like Model UN and the EU simulations, our students are immersed in political science and its practical applications. Our students frequently intern with local community advocacy groups, state government and legislature, lobbying firms, and non-profit organizations. The opportunities you embrace as a student opens doors after graduation.
Elizabethtown Advantage: The Capital Semester
Our department takes advantage of our geographical location by offering the Capital Semester Internship (PS 471), a program in which juniors and seniors are immersed into the political climate at our state capital. You will be placed in an interesting and substantial position with a state executive agency, a state legislator or a private political organization in Harrisburg, and earn college credit while gaining insight and exposure to politics and public service.
Invested in our Students’ Future: Pre-Law Advising
While certainly not the only career path available to Political Science majors, many of our students are interested in law careers. Our pre-law advising program helps prepare students of any major for law school by advising them on coursework, preparing for the LSAT exam and assisting with selecting and applying to law school. Our campus also has an active pre-law club.
Active Student Community
Our students are active members of campus, the community and the globe: we have several student organizations, plenty of opportunities for research and study abroad, field trips, and interactive classes. Outside of the classroom, you’ll have the chance to participate in many departmental clubs and organizations such as Mock Trial, College Democrats, College Republicans, Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society), and Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). Many of our students are campus leaders, such as Student Senate officers, editors of the student newspaper, and student-athletes.
The department also is closely affiliated with these related interdisciplinary programs: