Political Science

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The Department of Political Science administers majors and minors in both Politics and International Relations. Our programs offer the rigor and depth of disciplinary training along with an interdisciplinary breadth firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition.

Political Science has seven full-time faculty whose areas of specialization include American political institutions, political behavior, media and politics, public opinion, political parties and interest groups, human rights, global health, international law, international political economy, American foreign policy, international security, East Asian politics, European politics, religion and politics, American and Western political theory, and empirical research methods. In addition to courses in our department, both the Politics and International Relations majors allow students to count coursework in various related fields such as history, sociology, economics, rhetoric, and, in the case of International Relations, languages.

Students have many opportunities to integrate experiential learning with their academic coursework. Drake University’s location in Des Moines, Iowa’s capital city provides students with internship opportunities with the state legislature, the Governor’s office, various state agencies, non-profit organizations that work with government, political parties, offices of U.S. senators and representatives, interest groups, and other political organizations. On-campus internships are available with the Harkin Institute and Vote Smart. Once every four years, Des Moines is at the center of the Iowa caucuses, providing unparalleled opportunities for engaging in political activity and making connections with candidates, campaigns, and media organizations. 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 entire semesters in our nation’s capitol.

Internships related to international or multicultural affairs are also available, including those with organizations such as the World Food Prize, the Iowa Council for International Understanding, Lutheran Refugee Services, and Iowa Sister States.

Many students in our programs participate in simulations, representing Drake at Model European Union and Model United Nations programs. Students in both majors study abroad, either for a semester or through Drake-led travel seminars in January or May.


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