The Department of Politics and International Relations administers a major and a minor in Politics and an interdisciplinary major in International Relations. Our programs offer the rigor and depth of disciplinary training with interdisciplinary breadth that is grounded firmly in the liberal arts tradition.
Politics and International Relations has nine full-time faculty whose areas of specialization span a wide range, including American political institutions, American political development, media and politics, public opinion, political parties and interest groups, human rights, global health, international law, the politics of developing nations, international political economy, politics in the Middle East, comparative judicial politics, East Asian politics, European politics, religion and politics, classical and modern political theory, and empirical research methods.
Courses in the department offer students opportunities to integrate experiential learning with their academic coursework. We encourage our majors to complete internship experiences, and a multitude of internships are available. Drake University’s location in Des Moines, Iowa’s capital city, provides students with a range of internship opportunities, including internships with the state legislature, the Governor’s office, various state agencies and non-profit organizations that work with government, political parties, offices of U.S. senators, interest groups and other political organizations. And once every four years, Des Moines is the center of the Iowa caucuses, providing unparalleled opportunities for political activity. The department has offered J-term travel seminars to Washington D.C. and also works with programs in Washington D.C. to help students plan semesters in our nation’s capitol.
Internships related to international issues or multicultural affairs are also available, and Drake students have opportunities to intern or volunteer with organizations such as the World Food Prize, the Iowa Council for International Understanding, Lutheran Refugee Services, and the I Have a Dream Foundation.
Students in our programs have the opportunity to participate in simulations, including Model Arab League, Model European Union, and Model United Nations. Most of our students study abroad, at destinations across the globe. Faculty in the department also have offered J-term courses to Egypt, Turkey, and destinations in Europe.