Political Science

Understanding the dynamics of politics, and how to make them serve you, is a critical element of understanding and shaping your own life. Studying political science teaches you how collective decisions are made — and how you can have a role in them — across all the arenas of your life. Within our close-knit community of scholars, you'll develop the critical thinking, analytic, writing, and sharp communication skills needed to examine the forces that shape our world.

Read about the Indigenous history of our local land.

What you can do with a degree in Political Science

A political science degree prepares students for a huge range of careers in government, law, political activism, international affairs, business, journalism, or organizational management. Our graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers in: 

  • Law
  • Government affairs
  • Civic engagement
  • Campaign management
  • Strategic communications
  • Civil service
  • Global business development
  • Human rights activism
  • Nonprofit management
  • Policy research and advising
Carly Gabrielson, Communications Director for U.S. Representative & Political Science B.S

Build Your Career Around Building a Better World

“The diverse course of study at the University of Oregon expanded my awareness of the direct impact that the role of the federal government has in the lives of individuals, positive and negative. Through internships, I was able to build community connections and develop applicable job skills.”

—Carly Gabrielson, communications director for US Representative & Political Science BS, 2013

Our Degree Programs

Political science undergraduate students can pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree while also completing up to two (2) career path focuses: Public Policy and Political Action; Politics, Law and Justice; Politics of Business; Global Engagement; Sustainability, Development, and Social Action; or Ethics, Identity, and Society. PhD students also have the option of completing a specialization in Politics, Culture and Identity.

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Learn from Experts in the Field

Our faculty members engage in and regularly publish research across the political science spectrum. Many focus their efforts on the intersections of the five traditional subfields of political science: comparative politics, public policy, US politics, international relations, and political theory.

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Get Real-world Experience

Political science students can participate in research and organizing projects with Oregon unions, workers’ organizations, public policy organizations, and legislators concerned with labor and employment issues. Students also do independent research projects; take annual trips to Salem and Portland to watch the political process; and interact with elected officials, scholars, journalists, and activists.

Scholarships & Funding

The Department of Political Science offers multiple scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students. The majority of funding for our graduate students is offered in the form of graduate employee appointments.

Undergraduate Scholarships
Graduate Funding

Academic Support

Political science majors receive robust academic support from our director of undergraduate studies, as well as two undergraduate coordinators. They can also work with college and career advisors at Tykeson Hall to explore their interests and map out a career path.

Undergraduate Advising 
Support for Graduate Students

Political Science News and Events

July 18, 2024
ECONOMICS, GLOBAL STUDIES, PHILOSOPHY, POLITICAL SCIENCE - Two College of Arts and Sciences students — one attending an immersive Mandarin language study abroad and the other serving on a state of Oregon board on climate change and exploring Peru — are having life-transforming experiences.
June 7, 2024
GLOBAL HEALTH, GLOBAL STUDIES, MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE, PHYSICS, POLITICAL SCIENCE - Where can a liberal arts degree take you? These College of Arts and Sciences seniors are charting their own course as they pursue careers in the specialty coffee industry, particle physics and public service.
May 15, 2024
POLITICAL SCIENCE - This ADPI Heritage Month, the UO Alumni Association reflects on the many contributions of Ducks identifying as Asian, Desi, and Pacific Islander. Meet College of Arts and Sciences alumni and the careers they have developed after college. May Wu, BA ’15 (political science) is featured in this story.

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Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group
Jul22
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group Jul 22
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group - evening session
Jul22
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group - evening session Jul 22
University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants
Jul30
University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants Jul 30 Oracle Park
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group
Aug19
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group Aug 19
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group - evening session
Aug19
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group - evening session Aug 19
UO Cinema Studies Alumni Gathering: Los Angeles
Aug25
UO Cinema Studies Alumni Gathering: Los Angeles Aug 25 Everson Royce Bar
Graduate Employee Day of Teaching
Sep25
Graduate Employee Day of Teaching Sep 25 100 Willamette Hall
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair
Oct16
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair Oct 16
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture
Apr24
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture Apr 24 William W. Knight Law Center

All events »