Degree: Bachelor of the Arts
Political science explores national and international government systems and social institutions, and how they interact with each other.
As a political science major, you will be intellectually stimulated, and you'll gain the knowledge, appreciation and skills to be a lifelong public and global citizen.
Begin your academic journey with courses that provide a strong foundation in U.S. politics, global politics and political thought. Then explore a range of research methods, political theory, comparative politics, international affairs and U.S. politics in a wide variety of advanced courses.
Your faculty-mentored independent research may focus on political action, political art or applied public policy. Working closely with local organizations, you’ll have a chance to influence community politics. Students have become part of the political process by evaluating the Schenectady County Drug Court and writing a juvenile justice reform proposal.
Internships are a vital part of your education. The Department of Political Science runs internship programs in Albany with the New York State Legislature and in Washington, D.C. There are also continuing internships with government agencies in Schenectady County, including the public defender, district attorney, social services agency, advocacy groups and non-profit organizations.
To develop a global perspective, political science majors complete a foreign experience requirement. You can study a language or participate in one of Union's many full terms abroad.
The Pi Sigma Alpha chapter of the National Political Science Honor Society sponsors a number of speakers, panel discussions and activities. The popular Pizza & Politics series features leading experts on a range of topics, from environmental issues and feminism to human rights activism. Some students contribute to The Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, the premier national student research publication in the field.
As a political science major, you will gain versatile skills in verbal and written expression, reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, debating and careful analysis of complex topics. This will prepare you for careers in government service, law, business, education and journalism; working with international and/or nonprofit organizations; and involvement in community programs, political movements and elected office.
The relationships between music and politics with a focus on music as a lens to perceive the world; the political context in which critically significant music is produced; artist biographies; the impact of class, race, ethnicity and gender on music; political messages in music and the consequences of popular music.
Case studies in presidential leadership and administrative styles, including those of FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Reagan, Clinton, Obama and Trump.
An overview of the dynamics that shape politics in different regions and how global actors impact each other. Topics may include war, terrorism, political economy, history, nation-building and ecology.