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Political Science

Degree: BS, BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

Are you interested in elections, international affairs or political economy? Do you want to learn more about the values and institutions that govern the United States and other countries? Do you want to acquire leadership and citizenship skills? If so, political science may be a great fit for you. 

Political science students shape the future, tackle real-life problems by analyzing the politics behind them, and develop the leadership skills and knowledge necessary to effectively shape public policy and create change.

The department offers two distinct degrees in political science: a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Political Science.

Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in political science within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students in the BA in political science have the opportunity to specialize in one of the following areas:

  • American politics
  • Comparative politics
  • International relations
  • Political theory
  • Democracy and law
  • Political identities and allegiances
  • Political economy and development
  • Cooperation, conflict and violence
  • Inequality and justice
  • Political leadership and reform
  • Political analysis

The BS degree provides rigorous training in social scientific methodology and equips students to study and produce empirical research about politics.

For the most up-to-date information about program requirements, visit

Students in political science can take advantage of the following international exchange programs:

  • The Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in France
  • The Department of External Studies of the University of Oxford in England
  • The University of Mannheim in Germany
  • Leiden University in the Netherlands
  • The Canadian Parliament, during which students work as interns in the office of a member of the Canadian Parliament

Students benefit from the wide range of internship opportunities offered by the Department of Political Science. Political science students have interned at every level of government and with law firms, lobbying groups, nonprofit organizations and political campaigns around the country and across the world. 

Honors political science courses are offered at both the introductory and upper levels. The senior Honors thesis gives qualified students the opportunity to specialize in a topic of their own choosing and to work closely with a faculty supervisor.

Recent Honors courses include: 

  • Supreme Court Decision Making
  • Nationalism and Ethnicity
  • Game Theory for Political Scientists
  • African Politics
  • Data Analysis in Political Science

In addition, the faculty collaborate with other departments across campus to create unique interdisciplinary opportunities.

The Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA), a student organization focusing on international relations, participates in a variety of activities, including Model United Nations, Model European Union and Model African Union. CCWA hosts a mock conference and sends members to intercollegiate Model UN competitions. Past conferences and competitions have been held at Georgetown University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago. 

The Journal of Politics and International Affairs is published biannually by the Undergraduate Political Science Organization.

The Mock Trial at Ohio State team participates in competitions around the country that replicate a trial setting.

Graduates of the political science program receive a degree from a nationally-ranked department in a discipline that is well known for instilling strong critical reasoning, research and writing skills.

Recent graduates have pursued advanced degrees at top graduate programs and have pursued careers in a variety of fields, including law, business, political analysis and consulting, public policy, secondary and higher education, and journalism.

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The department is ranked among the top 15 programs in the country and among the top 10 in three areas: international relations, American politics and political methodology (U.S. News & World Report, 2013).