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World Politics

Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

Are you interested in foreign policy, international political economy or national security? Do you want to learn more about other countries and regions of the world? Do you want to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in an increasingly globalized environment? If so, then world politics may be a great fit for you.

World politics 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.

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

The major contains four areas of specialization: foreign policy and security, political institutions and processes, political economy and development, and international theory. Students are required to take at least four courses in one of these areas and at least one course in each of the other three. Students may also take advantage of the rigorous training in data analysis offered by the Department of Political Science.

World politics students 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 Internship Program, during which interns work in the office of a member of the Canadian Parliament

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, work closely with a faculty supervisor and graduate with honors research distinction.

Recent Honors courses include: 

  • American Foreign Policy
  • Nationalism and Ethnicity
  • African Politics
  • Data Analysis in Political Science

Students can either assist a faculty member with his or her ongoing research, or design and pursue their own independent research with faculty supervision. In the latter case, students may complete a senior thesis to graduate with Research Distinction in Political Science.

The Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA), an organization focusing on international politics and diplomacy, 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 Undergraduate Political Science Organization.

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

Graduates of this 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.

Graduates will be prepared to pursue a variety of careers with a global focus, including intelligence and national security, foreign policy and diplomacy, international business analysis and consulting, international finance and global investment banking, international humanitarian and development organizations (e.g. CARE, Oxfam, USAID), international governance organizations (e.g. the UN, the World Bank, the World Health Organization), conflict mediation and resolution, research institutes and think tanks with a global focus, secondary and higher education, and journalism.

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The international relations field in the Department of Political Science is ranked among the top 10 programs in the country (U.S. News and World Report, 2013).