Majors & Minors

Political Science

 Southwestern faculty and students explore the various dimensions of power, analyze political philosophies and behaviors, and practice civic engagement with the world around them.


Emily Sydnor

Emily Sydnor

Associate Professor of Political Science & Chair

Emily Sydnor

Emily Sydnor

Associate Professor of Political Science & Chair

Studying political science is crucial to understanding one of the most powerful institutions shaping our lives: government. By comparing how different ideologies and forms of government have developed and evolved, analyzing how power and resources are distributed throughout a society and the world, and examining the impact of political events and public policies throughout history and across countries, students of the discipline become more informed, engaged participants within the local, national, and global communities.

At Southwestern, majoring or minoring in political science will broaden your understanding of a range of fascinating topics:

  • campaigns and elections
  • domestic and foreign policy
  • international politics
  • civil discourse
  • the relationship between media and politics
  • the relationship between politics and gender
  • models of political leadership
  • theories of revolution, conflict, and peace
  • ideologies and political philosophies

You’ll cultivate the analytical tools, creative thinking, and communication skills that will prepare you for effective critical engagement with many different kinds of power structures. Those skills will also help you develop a sound foundation for future study in  a wide variety of professions as well as graduate programs. Recent Southwestern political science alumni are currently pursuing careers in law, government, K–12 and higher education, nonprofits, urban planning, business, and international affairs.


Featured Alumni Stories

Katherine Tanner ’13 and Bradley Ottmers

Think Globally; Act Locally

International studies and political science major Katherine Tanner ’13 helps nourish a community as “the heart” of Hat & Heart Farm.

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Meredith Murphy ’16

Training for a Thoughtful Future

History and political science double major Meredith Murphy ’16 reflects on the many benefits of a liberal-arts education.

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Amanda McMillian ’95

Southwestern Alumna Appointed President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Houston

Current Board of Trustee Amanda McMillian ’95 has most recently served as chair of SU’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

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Political Science News

Catherine Hiebel ’22 and Melina Boutris ’22

Two Seniors Receive Fulbright Awards for 2022–2023

Catherine Hiebel ’22 and Melina Boutris ’22 will teach English in Spain and Austria, respectively.

Emily Sydnor

Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor Talks with NPR

Sydnor says hearing about Texas guardsmen’s experiences could end up swaying some Republican voters in the primary.

Sumners Foundation logo

Three SU Students Win $30,000-Sumners Scholarships

Eugenia Agobe ’23 of Wimberley, John Guerrero ’23 of Kingsville, and Jack O’Neil ’23 of Irving each recently earned $30,000 scholarships from The Sumners Foundation of Irving, Texas. Scholarships are awarded by the Foundation based on academic excellence, civic engagement, and a capacity for leadership.