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

A Call to Justice

Distinguished Professional Award winner Lt. Col. Jennifer Dunning Venghaus ’00 serves her community, her profession, and her country.

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Emily Calderón Galdeano’99

Video: From Southwestern to Community Leader

Emily Calderón Galdeano ’99 shares insights on her Southwestern experience and the impact of Southwestern’s Hispanic-serving institution designation.

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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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Political Science News

Sierra Rupp ’23

Alumna Sierra Rupp ’23 Set to Embark on International Journey

Recent political science graduate earns Critical Language Scholarship to study Russian in Kyrgyzstan and Fulbright grant to teach English in Spain.

Southwestern University

Pair of Southwestern Sophomores Earn 2024 Sumners Scholarships

Andrea Abell ’26 and Fernando Cruz-Rivera ’26 each awarded $30,000 for their junior and senior years by The Sumners Foundation.

Andrews Fellowship advertising

Andrews Endowed Fellowship: Apply by 3/17 for grad school scholarship

Are you a graduating senior or recent grad (within two years of graduation) entering graduate school in Fall 2024? If so, please apply for this opportunity to earn $3,000 toward the cost of the first year of graduate/professional school study. Application deadline is March 17, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.