Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies

The Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies at Elizabethtown College is home to three distinctive areas of study. Whether you want to go to law school, study the human condition or work in public policy or administration, our Department prepares you for a career of analytical thinking and gives you the skills you need to thrive in continued education or the workforce.

Department News

We Produce the Most Finnegan Fellows

Elizabethtown College has produced 22 Finnegan Fellows—the most out of any Pennsylvania college or university. And a lot of that has to do with mentorship.

From the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies

Matthew Pysher

Matthew Pysher ’18 served as legislative fellow

Introduced legislation to PA House of Representatives

Matthew Pysher ’18, a political science and legal studies major with a minor in international studies, spent three months this past year working as a legislative fellow in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. With a full workload of legislative research, he drafted his own piece of legislation, which attempts to improve school safety by introducing “panic buttons” to active shooter agendas. His experience, he said, confirmed his interest in working for the Department of Defense in the policy sector.

“The highlight of the fellowship was the networking with representatives in the House and members of the committee and staff. I interacted on a daily basis.”

From the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies

Matthew Pysher

Professor McClellan Receives Prestigious Award

Fletcher McClellan was awarded the Craig L. Brian’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Mentorship from the American Political Science Association. Recipients of the award are nominated by peers and students in recognition of their commitment to and excellence in encouraging and developing scholarship among undergraduate students, and in mentoring undergraduate students in preparation for graduate school or public affairs-related careers.

“It was a big surprise, and I’m thankful for my peers and students at E-town who would’ve thought to have me recognized.” 

From the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies

Jillian Casey

Jillian Casey '13

Her fulbright took her to D.C. via the United Kingdom.

Jillian Casey spent a year in Aberystwyth, Wales, in the United Kingdom, studying literacy gaps between men and women in Sub-Saharan Africa. She went on to graduate from Georgetown University Law Center in May 2017 and began her career at White & Case LLP in Washington, D.C., in October 2017. “I can safely say that I would not be a Fulbright Scholar if I did not attend Elizabethtown College.”

From the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies

Bill HB 564

Ceremonial Bill Signing of HB 564

“It’s nice to bump into a whole slew of Blue Jays on ‘the Hill’” - Kevin Busher ‘09

Three alums played important roles in making civics testing for middle and high school students a reality. The signing of the legislation was attended by three Blue Jays and a fourth, Representative David Hickernell ’83, Chair of the PA House Education Committee, was the catalyst for the bill being signed into law. Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, students in grades 7-12 in Pennsylvania will take, at least once, a locally developed assessment of United States history, government and civics.

The Blue Jays pictured include Kevin Busher ’09 (Political Science), now the Government Affairs Manager for Duane Morris Government Strategies and is the lobbyist who worked on the bill for the Joe Foss Institute; Ken Wallace, a current E-town Political Science student who is completing the PA House Legislative Fellowship; and Mike Hillman ‘06, now Democratic Executive Director, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

From the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies

Julia Ward

Julia Ward '13

E-town Grad lands in Washington, D.C., by way of Namibia.

As a Fulbright awardee, Julia Ward worked for a gender research and advocacy group in Namibia after graduating from Elizabethtown College in 2013. She went on to graduate from Georgetown Law in May 2017 and plans to work at the D.C. Affordable Law Firm. “My interest in the law and women’s issues grew during my time at E-town, and without the inspiration I received from my mentors at E-town … I would not have even pursued this Fulbright opportunity.”

Majors Within the Department

After Graduation

Graduates from our programs find jobs in their chosen field, or they go on to further their education in graduate or law school. Our Political Science graduates work at government agencies, private law practices, non-profit foundations, humanitarian organizations and lobbying firms and in business management and higher education.

Our Philosophy graduates go on to careers ranging from professor to attorney, and a survey of our alumni from the past decade shows that 80 percent of our Philosophy graduates have full-time employment with an average annual salary of at least $50,000.

Because many Political Science, Legal Studies and Philosophy majors intend to go to law school, our Pre-Law Advising Program prepares students for entry into top law schools.

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