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

February 21, 2024
POLITICAL SCIENCE - Chandler Hames and Neil O'Brien, both political science assistant professors, write in a Feb. 21 article in The Conversation about the White House race. The authors cite a recent poll they conducted that found mixed evidence that undecided young Democrats would be persuaded to vote for Biden based on any new information.
February 13, 2024
POLITICAL SCIENCE - Immigration is already a major polarizing issue in the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Arrests for illegal border crossings from Mexico reached an all-time high in December 2023, and cities like New York and Chicago are struggling to provide housing and basic services for tens of thousands of migrants arriving from Texas. Department of Political Science Professor and Philip H. Knight Chair of Social Science Dan Tichenor writes about immigration reform in The Conversation.
January 3, 2024
POLITICAL SCIENCE - Doctoral student Haifa Souilmi published research on the politics of Tunisia and recent acts of democratic subversion. The research was published in The Journal of North African Studies.

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A Cinematic Exploration Black Community and Poverty
Feb27
A Cinematic Exploration Black Community and Poverty Feb 27 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Pierson Lecture: "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion in American History"
Feb27
Pierson Lecture: "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion in American History" Feb 27 McKenzie Hall
Propaganda: Fascism and Neo-Fascism Lecture Series: "Where Monsters are Born"
Feb27
Propaganda: Fascism and Neo-Fascism Lecture Series: "Where Monsters are Born" Feb 27 Knight Library
African American Workshop and Lecture Series: "The Robots are Coming" with Ramanita Hairston
Feb27
African American Workshop and Lecture Series: "The Robots are Coming" with Ramanita Hairston Feb 27 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within
Feb28
Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within Feb 28 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC
Feb28
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC Feb 28 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Book Launch & Discussion - "Coloring into Existence: Queer of Color Worldmaking in Children’s Literature"
Feb29
Book Launch & Discussion - "Coloring into Existence: Queer of Color Worldmaking in Children’s Literature" Feb 29 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group
Feb29
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group Feb 29 Carson Hall, Ramey Room
Organic/Inorganic/Materials Chemistry Seminar Series
Feb29
Organic/Inorganic/Materials Chemistry Seminar Series Feb 29 McKenzie Hall
Let's Talk Drop-In - Fridays 1-3PM @ CMAE/Zoom
Mar1
Let's Talk Drop-In - Fridays 1-3PM @ CMAE/Zoom Mar 1

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