Skip to main content

Political Science, B.A.

Are you interested in American politics? International affairs? Critical issues such as health policy, globalization, terrorism, the environment, civil rights, political development, or foreign policy? Theories concerning the ideal government and how power and resources are allocated in society? Do you want to study these subjects and pursue a career based on them? If so, political science is the major for you. Political science delves into the study of governments, public policies, and political behavior. It is a social science which uses both humanistic perspectives and scientific skills to examine the United States and all countries and regions of the world.

Political Science at John Carroll

As a political science major, you will hone the writing, communication, analytical, and data skills that are fundamental to a liberal arts education. This kind of education will prepare you to think critically and independently, help you appreciate differing points of view, and broaden your knowledge of current affairs. Today, students can reasonably expect to change jobs more than once and even have more than one career. An undergraduate education in the liberal arts is excellent preparation for flexibility in employment.

Program Learning Goals

Political Science graduates will demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the connections across local, national, and global politics, as well as the discipline’s relationship to the other social sciences.
  • Transferable academic and intellectual skills such as critical analysis, academic writing, data fluency, oral communication, and intercultural competence.
  • An understanding of how to participate in political and civic life with an appreciation for diverse value systems, ideologies, and cultures.
  • Preparation for graduate school, law school, or other career opportunities both inside and outside of politics.

At John Carroll, your political science major begins with an overview of this discipline’s basic fields. Afterwards, you will branch out into your own elective courses in concentrations – choosing between applied politics, global studies, legal studies, or a make-your-own concentration – tailoring your studies to fit your interests and future career plans.

This concentration is for those majors interested in the study of law and its relationship to society and social theory. It is also useful for those students interested in pursuing a career in law. Students will take such courses as: Civil Rights and Liberties, Judicial Politics, Wrongful Convictions, and The U.S. Supreme Court.

This concentration is for those majors who wish to prepare themselves for advanced study in comparative politics or international relations, or for a government or private sector career dealing with foreign affairs. Students will take such courses as: Globalization and Economic Development, International Political Economy, Islam and Politics, Latin American Politics, Comparative Health Policy, and Global Debt and Justice.

This concentration is for those majors who wish to develop tangible skills that can be applied to the American political system. Students will take such courses as: Applied Politics, Politics and Mapping, Model Arab League Simulation, Urban Politics, U.S. Congress, Introduction to Policy Analysis, and Interest Groups and Political Parties.

Once majors complete their core courses, they may choose to follow their own specialization by taking any of our 200 and 300 level courses, which include: History, Culture, and Politics; The Politics of the European Union; U.S. Congress; Social Movements; U.S. Elections; International Conflict and Security; International Institutions, Law, and Human Rights; Urban Politics; African Politics; and Nationalism and Citizenship.

As a political science minor, you can choose to focus your studies on United States politics, foreign affairs, or general political science. You’ll sharpen your analytical abilities and expand your understanding of politics, government, and civic engagement.

With three credit hours of required courses and 15 credit hours of electives, United States Politics minors may choose courses such as Wrongful Convictions, Introduction to Policy Analysis, Civil Rights and Liberties, Social Movements, U.S. Elections, and Urban Politics.

This minor includes six credit hours of required courses (Comparative Politics and International Relations) and 12 credit hours of electives. Students may choose their elective credits from courses such as Islam and Politics, Latin American Politics, African Politics, The Politics of the European Union, The Middle East in Film and Media, Global Debt and Justice, Comparative Health Policy, and International Political Economy.

With a total of 18 required credit hours, General Political Science minors have no restrictions as to which courses you may choose, allowing the flexibility to create your own specialization in areas that interest you or match your career goals.

BA in Political Science Program Highlights

To fully understand the problems political scientists are faced with requires a diversity of voices and specialties. At John Carroll, you will learn from professors with unique perspectives in political science, each bringing their own strengths across data science, public policy, public health, and theory, each actively using them in compelling and constructive ways. Learn in small classes from professors like Dr. Ziemke, a specialist in the role that information (specifically disinformation and misinformation) has played in political opinions and individual decisions over the past decade. Take advantage of independent study and faculty-student partnership research opportunities, including the ability to co-author papers and present at professional conferences.

Our students have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in public policy, public administration and nonprofit administration, and law at top Ohio and U.S. law schools and graduate programs. Our graduates have attended law school at Harvard, Cornell, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Case Western Reserve, and other prestigious law schools. Our pre-law adviser is housed right in the Political Science Department and can advise you from day one to make sure your choices match what law school and graduate schools look for, and how you can best tailor your degree to meet your biggest goals. Learn more about our 3+3 arrangement with Case Western Reserve University Law School.

You will perform independent research on projects using quantitative analysis. With that foundation, you will have the confidence and basic skill set upon which data science and other big data applications can be scaffolded. These projects are based upon real-world political science scenarios. For example, one of our recent grads created a searchable database of Ohio political donations and is now working to optimize the Google search engine for the Dutch language.

Take advantage of local and global internship partnerships and connections doing constructive and relevant work. Fellowship partnerships with Cleveland Council of World Affairs, Global Cleveland, and Meet the Press and ongoing internships with the University Heights Mayor’s Office can give you vital experience in your field. In the past, students have interned with the US State Department, the White House, Drug Court, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office (Crime Strategies Unit and Major Trials Unit); the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Supervision, Credit Risk, and Cyber Security division); Office of the Presiding Judge, Third Municipal District, Circuit Court for Cook County, IL; State representative’s district office (Rep Rob Mercuri, 28th district, PA); US Representative’s district offices (Conor Lamb,  PA and Chris Jacobs in NY).  

Get involved with Student Government, the Ohio Innocence Project, The Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, Black Student Alliance, Latin American Student Association, and many more. 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 controversies that grip our nation and world probably make the study of politics more relevant now than ever before. Our program not only explores how governments are structured and how its institutions and processes resolve conflicts and provide for the public good. Political science also explores the roles that people can play in their governments and the actions they take to influence public policy to serve them and their communities. We strive to convey to our students a sense of civic responsibility by providing them with opportunities for experiential learning outside the classroom.”
— Dr. Andreas Sobisch, Chair, Political Science Department

Notable Alum

Alex Mittereder

Alexis Mittereder, ‘15


Graduate degree: George Washington University, Master of Public Health ‘20

Currently: Health consultant and public health professional with Booz Allen Hamilton with five years of experience providing expert support to federal clients in the Department of Defense (DoD) Personnel and Readiness sector and Defense Health Agency.

JCU Northeast Map

Political Science Alumni Across the Region

John Carroll University alumni live, work, teach and support communities throughout the region from Northeast Ohio to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.