Political Science Department

Experiential Learning

The Political Science Department believes strongly in the value of political experience, political engagement, and field learning to complement classroom learning.

In recent years students have taken part in a number of political action projects, conducting research that has led to reports that have become influential in community politics. More specifically, students have worked on an evaluation of the Schenectady County Drug Court, written a Juvenile Justice reform proposal, and carried out research for several community organizations. The work of many students is influencing the political process.

The department also runs internship programs in Albany with the New York State Legislature and in Washington, D.C. More than 30 students enroll in these programs each year. We also maintain continuing internships with local government agencies in Schenectady County, including the public defender, district attorney, and social services agency.

Senior projects

What is the senior project? It is your chance, over two terms in your senior year and guided by a faculty advisor, to pursue your passion for politics on an independent basis. A way to build on and then go beyond what you’ve learned in your classes. A time to challenge yourself. The senior project should be your crowning achievement, the high point of the time you have spent studying politics at Union College.

Capital Region political internships

The department runs internship programs in Albany with the New York State Legislature and in Washington, D.C.

Term in Washington D.C.

Each year (typically in the spring term but winter for 2019), for ten weeks, the Political Science Department organizes an academic program in D.C. Union students journey to help save the world, or sink into the political muck, or simply observe and interact with the many complexities and thrills that is Washington. Though the program is selective and competitive, all majors can apply, and no particular prerequisites are necessary (except motivation and enthusiasm).

Model U.N.

The National Model United Nations conference is the largest and one of the most prestigious collegiate political simulations in the world. Last year’s conference brought together more than 5000 students from over 300 colleges and universities around the world to New York City in order to practice international diplomacy across a wide variety of topics