Political Science

Political science studies the theory and practice of government and politics. Xavier's program is structured to give students a systematic view of the major fields of political science, including American government, comparative government, political theory, and international relations.  The program also provides students the opportunity to examine particular topics in depth through elective courses, as well as the chance to engage politics directly by participating in one of our department's political internship programs or engaging in a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project of their own. 

For the major, students must complete four foundational courses, one advanced seminar and six political science electives. In addition, all political science majors complete two semesters of economics (ECON 200 and ECON 201) and one semester of statistics (MATH 116 or 156). Political science minors complete four foundational courses and one elective course. 

Foundational Courses

Political Science majors and minors complete these foundational courses:

  • POLI 120: Introduction to Comparative Government
  • POLI 140: Introduction to American Politics
  • POLI 277: International Relations
  • POLI 301: Political Philosophy

Elective Courses

Political Science majors must complete six electives.  Political Science minors must complete one elective.  Recent electives offered by the department include:

  • POLI 234: Chinese Politics
  • POLI 244: Middle East Politics
  • POLI 246: Media and Politics
  • POLI 275: Politics of War and Peace
  • POLI 280: Irish Political Culture
  • POLI 307: The Politics of Commerce & Character
  • POLI 309: Montesquieu and Tocqueville
  • POLI 318: Science, Civilization and Sustainability
  • POLI 320: Global Islamic Politics
  • POLI 347: Supreme Court on Civil Liberties
  • POLI 359: Campaigns, Elections and Parties
  • POLI 367: Gender and Politics
  • POLI 368: Politics in Dictatorships
  • POLI 372: International Political Economy
  • POLI 374: US Foreign Policy
  • POLI 393: Quantitative Analysis

Political Internship Electives

Our internship programs provide students the opportunity to earn credit for a political science elective in conjunction with a part-time or full-time internship.  Xavier offers internship courses through its summer State Politics Internship Program at the state capitol in Columbus, through its partnership with the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars in Washington, DC, and through local internships here in Cincinnati or in most places that students call home.   

  • POLI 240: State and Local Politics
  • POLI 397: Political Internship
  • POLI 398: State and Local Internship
  • POLI 399: Political Communication Internship
  • POLI 401: Washington DC Internship
  • POLI 402: Washington DC Internship Course

About three-quarters of political science majors complete an internship and about one-half of majors complete two or more internships during the course of their studies. 

Seminar Courses & Undergraduate Research

In our advanced seminar courses, political science students work closely with faculty to design an undergraduate research project of their own.  

  • POLI 389: Comparative Politics Seminar
  • POLI 390: International Relations Seminar
  • POLI 391: Political Science Seminar

In our seminar courses, students work with a member of the department's faculty to produce a research design on a subject of their own choosing.  From there, students have the option to work with a faculty mentor to complete their projects and present their findings at an undergraduate research conference.  Exceptional projects are considered for publication in the department's undergraduate research journal, The Xavier Journal of Politics.