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Department of Political Science

The Department of Political Science at John Carroll University helps students broaden their intellectual skills so that they may critically analyze and evaluate topics in political science. As a political science student, you will learn about political institutions of government, political behavior, political method, and political theory. Our graduates have pursued successful careers in a wide range of fields, including government, politics, law, education, business, and journalism.

Study begins with an overview of this discipline’s basic fields. Afterwards, political science majors branch out into their elective courses, tailoring their studies to fit their interests and future career plans. So that our students may have both the intellectual and practical skills to succeed as alumni, all majors are encouraged to pursue extra-curricular activities, such as internships or participation in the various events we sponsor throughout the year. 

Prof. Mona DeBaz and majors with Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
Experience the Possibilities

Our department believes in the power of experiential learning. Under our mentorship, political science students have the opportunity to attend conferences, diplomatic simulations, and various events hosted at John Carroll and Cleveland. By applying what they learn, our students graduate with a unique sense of purpose.

Programs of Study

The study of political science at John Carroll University begins by equipping majors with a strong understanding of the basic fields of the discipline as well as a working knowledge of political theories and research methods. Alongside unparalleled opportunities for professional training and personal growth, our program of study teaches students to think critically and communicate effectively while challenging them to analyze problems through multiple points of view.



You will think critically and communicate effectively, analyzing problems through multiple points of view while developing a global perspective of citizenship.

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You’ll sharpen your analytical abilities and expand your understanding of politics, government, and civic engagement.

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Develop tangible skills, such as networking, and understand how the political system actually works.

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Understand the comparative politics of systems around the world; choose the area you wish to focus on, or discover how countries and regions differ.

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Prepare yourself for law school or a career in the legal field; be able to connect the relationship of law to society and social theory.

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Department Highlights

Conference room filled with attendees

Experiential Learning

Take your education beyond the classroom by practicing what you learn through lived experience.

One of our department’s missions is to prepare our students for their postgraduate lives, and internships can play a substantial role towards this effort, as they are a valuable way to gain professional experience, network, and to find a fulfilling career fit. They are also a way through which you may fulfill major requirements with our department; we offer up to six credit hours of academic credit for completed internships. 

We offer experiential learning courses—such as the European Union Simulation or Model Arab League—that aim at developing negotiation, leadership, and diplomacy skills. We also sponsor various events throughout the academic year, such as lunch roundtables with prominent academicians, judges, and politicians as well as the popular occasional series Rant on the Rails, which brings in both prominent and student panelists to discuss important issues at the local, national, and international level. 

The NBC/John Carroll University “Meet the Press” Fellowship was created to honor Tim Russert ’72 and is awarded annually to a graduating senior with a major in either political science or communications. This nine-month fellowship is spent at NBC’s “Meet the Press” studios in Washington, D.C., where fellows assist with the weekly program's production while conducting collaborative research under the direction of the executive producer.


Lecture Series

Our department sponsors two annual lecture series that are open and free to the public.

The Woelfl Seminar in Public Policy was established in 1981 in honor of Rev. Paul A. Woelfl, S.J., a founder and long-time chairman of the Department of Political Science at John Carroll University. The purpose of the Woelfl Seminar is to provide a forum for the integration of research and public policy issues significant to the Cleveland metropolitan area.

Past Woelfl Seminar speakers include Tim Russert '72, Rajeev Patel, Gwendolyn Mink, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Dave Warner, and Jamila Michener.

The Suopis Lecture Series is an annual public lecture in memory of Donald William Suopis ‘70 for the purpose of hosting a keynote speaker whose area of expertise, academic study and/or professional pursuit centers on those issues that were of special interest to Donald W. Suopis, including contributions of citizen activism and public service to effective democratic governance.

Donald’s unflagging commitment to serving the public good through his work in government service and volunteerism has set the parameter for lecture topics and critical debate. The general purpose of the lecture series is to educate JCU students, staff, faculty, and members of the larger Cleveland community, on the relationship between participation in the political process, both as a private citizen and a public official, and serving the public good.