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Skidmore College
Political Science

BA in Political Science

10 courses and 33 credits in Political Science

  1. Required courses include PL 101: Introduction to American Politics; PL 102: Introduction to Political Philosophy; and PL 103: Introduction to Comparative and International Politics
  2. At least one course must be taken in each of the following four areas: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory
  3. Plus, three additional Political Science courses totaling at least 9 credits OR PL 383: New York State Assembly Program or PL 384: New York State Senate Program

For complete details on requirements for the major, please go here.

Contact Information

Political Science

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About Political Science

Political science focuses on four foundational areas of political science: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. As a major, you will develop the knowledge and skills needed to assess political situations and problems from empirical and ethical perspectives as a first step toward crafting policy recommendations that can improve political participation, processes, and outcomes. Our program is designed for students who wish to concentrate in a particular area of political science, who aspire to go on to graduate school, including law, and who simply want to explore the field of politics. Our graduates go onto careers in government, politics, nonprofits, business, law, consulting, and media. 

*Note: In the spirit of the liberal arts, some political students opt for a cross-disciplinary major, including political science-Frenchpolitical science-German, political science-Spanish, and political science-history.

Interesting Classes I Might Take

  • The Latin American Puzzle
  • Political Islam
  • Liberty, Commerce, and the Moral Life
  • Environmental Politics and Law
  • Interest Groups and Public Policy
  • Immigration Politics and Policy
  • American Political Research

Full course list here

Beyond the Classroom

Recent internships: Project Vote Smart, Philipsburg, Montana; European Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University, Elba, Italy;US Rep. Paul Tonko, (N.Y., 20th District), Washington, D.C.; US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), NYC; Gov. Deval Patrick (Mass.), Boston, Mass.; Pacifa Radio affiliate WBAI, NYC; Labour Party member of Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, Scotland; German political party DIE LINKE; Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; POMED, Middle east advocacy organization, Washington, D.C.

Recent faculty-student research: The General Constitution: Jefferson, Madison, and the Call for Periodic Constitutional Renewal and Reorienting Europe: Europeanization in Russia and the Former Soviet Union

Recent theses: The World's Most Expensive Party: An Examination of the Political, Social, and Economic Implications of Brazil Hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup; Busting the Delivery Model Myth: The Relationship between Quality, Efficiency, and EMS Delivery Models; Two Different Paths to Power: Analyzingthe Efforts of Solar Energy NGOs in Developing Rural Communities in India and Bangladesh; and The Emergence and Reaction Against Neoliberalism in Latin America.

Popular study abroad programs: Washington Semester (Washington, D.C.); IES Freiburg: European Union (Germany); Skidmore in London, University College London (England)

Video: Noah Throop '14 reflects on his time at Skidmore and how it helped prepare him for a job as an associate producer at Mashable.

Success After Skidmore

Careers: A sampler of what our alumni do

  • Attorney, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.
  • Social studies teacher, Aurora Public Schools, Aurora, Colo.
  • Managing director, head of investor solutions, Americas, Barclay's, NYC
  • Assistant professor of political science, Barnard College, NYC
  • Director of public policy and government affairs, Biogen Idec, Washington, D.C.
  • Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton, Washington, D.C.
  • Senior manager, social media, Bravo TV, NYC
  • Principal/founder, Clean Air Advocates, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Executive director, Constitution Project, Washington, D.C.
  • International trade/senior advisor, Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
  • Senior organizational development consultant, Ernst & Young, Boston, Mass.
  • Special agent, FBI, Washington, D.C.
  • Senior manager of external affairs, Hoover Institute, Washington, D.C.
  • Cartoonist/blogger, Huffington Post, NYC
  • Senior VP of government affairs and associate general counsel, Jetblue Airways, Rockville, Md.
  • Major donor officer, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center, NYC
  • Assistant district attorney, Middlesex District Attorney's Office, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Executive VP, marketing/communications, Nielson, NYC
  • Attorney, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Richmond, Va.
  • Agro-forestry volunteer, Peace Corps, Senegal
  • Research analyst, PEW Research Center, Washington, D.C.
  • International development consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers Fund, Arlington, Va.
  • Executive director, Southwest Conservation Corps, Durango, Colo.
  • Director, women's employment, state government of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • Founder, Autism Initiative, Schenectady, N.Y.
  • Editor/producer, Denver Post Online, Denver, Colo.
  • Director, Harris Poll, NYC
  • Director of European operations, US Customs and Border Protection, Washington, D.C.
  • Director, Liaison Office, United Nations Relief Works Agency, Washington, D.C.
  • Intelligence officer, United States Navy, Washington, D.C.
  • Attorney, US EPA, Washington, D.C.
  • Consumer protection advocate, Vermont PIRG, Montpelier, Vt.
  • Political consultant, Vox Populi Communication, McLean, Va.

Graduate Schools:A sampler of where our alumni go

  • Claremont Graduate University, Ph.D. in American politics and philosophy
  • Cornell University, Ph.D. in American politics and policy
  • Indiana University, Ph.D. in modern European history
  • University of Colorado-Boulder, Ph.D. in political science
  • University of Edinburgh, M.Sc./Ph.D. in politics
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School
  • Boston College Law School
  • Columbia University Law School
  • Emory University Law School
  • Harvard University Law School
  • University of Notre Dame Law School
  • College of William and Mary, M.A. in public policy
  • George Mason University, M.A. in public policy
  • George Washington University, Elliot School of International Affairs, M.A. in Asian studies
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, M.A.
  • Northwestern University, M.A. in public policy and administration
  • Tufts University, Fletcher School of Diplomacy, MALD
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam, M.A. in international relations
  • United Nations Mandated University for Peace, M.A. in international peace studies
  • Georgetown University MBA
  • University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business MBA


Meet the Political Science faculty members.