Political Science Major
The Department of Political Science at Elizabethtown College offers a Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science, as well as a minor. Etown students are eligible to apply for the Master of Public Policy 4+1 program as they near completion of the undergraduate degree.
A Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science leads to exciting careers in federal, state, or local government; international and nonprofit organizations; survey research and polling; electoral politics; journalism; public relations; research; and university and college teaching.
Many of our graduates work in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, or Washington, D.C., as lobbyists, policy analysts, campaign managers, or directors of nonprofit organizations. For students interested in careers in law, the Political Science degree provides excellent preparation for law school.
Earning a degree in Political Science is interesting, vocationally fulfilling, and financially advantageous. Nationally, the median annual earnings for Political Science majors with a bachelor's degree is $59,000, and the top 25% earn more than $90,000 per year, according to a 2015 report.
Our curriculum introduces the students to the principal fields of the discipline, including: American government, comparative government, international relations, political theory, public administration, and research methods. Courses are designed to develop writing, oral communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Through mentorship from supportive faculty members, practical experience, and thoughtful faculty-supervised research, our students have gone on to win prestigious honors, such as Fulbright awards and Finnegan Fellowships. In fact, more Finnegan Fellows have graduated from Elizabethtown College than any other in the state.
Student Opportunities Within the Major
We believe real-world experiences present the best learning environments for students and are offered from the first day at Elizabethtown. From faculty-student research projects to off-campus opportunities, such as Model UN and the EU simulations, our students are immersed in political science. Students frequently intern with local community advocacy groups, state government and legislature, lobbying firms, and nonprofit organizations. The learning opportunities that are embraced by our students, open doors for them after graduation.
Our Department takes advantage of its geographical location by offering the Capital Semester internship (PS 471), a program in which juniors and seniors immerse themselves in the political climate at the state capital. Students will be placed in interesting positions with a state executive agency, legislator, or a private political organization in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and will earn college credit while gaining insight and exposure to politics and public service.
While certainly not the only path available to Political Science majors, law careers interest many of our students. Our pre-law advising program helps prepare students, of any major, for law school by providing guidance regarding coursework, LSAT exam preparation, and by assisting with selection and application to law school.
Our students are active members of the campus, the community, and the world. Elizabethtown College offers plenty of opportunities for research, a variety of study abroad options, field trips, and interactive classes. Outside the classroom, students will have the chance to participate in departmental clubs and organizations, such as Mock Trial, College Democrats, College Republicans, Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society), Pre-Law Club, and Young Americans for Liberty. Many of our students are campus leaders — Student Senate officers, editors of the Etownian (student newspaper), and student-athletes.
Our students are active members of the campus, the community and the world. Elizabethtown College has several student organizations, plenty of opportunities for research, a variety of study abroad options, field trips and interactive classes. Outside the classroom, you’ll have the chance to participate in departmental clubs and organizations such as Mock Trial, College Democrats, College Republicans, Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society) and Young Americans for Liberty. Many of our students are campus leaders — Student Senate officers, editors of the Etownian (student newspaper) and student-athletes.
The Department is also closely affiliated with several related interdisciplinary programs: Social Studies Education, International Students, Pre-Law Advising, and the Forestry and Environmental Management major.