Welcome to Political Science

The student of politics seeks to understand how governments are organized and structured, how political processes are employed, and the relationship of structures and processes to societal purposes.

Since political activity may embody and reflect the full range of human values, the study of politics includes realities of politics while at the same time asking how well political systems work, what purposes are and ought to be served, and what effects result from political phenomena. Political Science encourages a critical understanding of government and politics in the belief that a knowledgeable, interested, and aware citizenry is needed in a democratic society.

The study of politics touches upon other disciplines which inquire into human behavior and development, ranging from history and philosophy to psychology, communication, and cross-cultural studies. Students of political science have the opportunity to combine the academic study of government and politics with practical experience by participation in one of the internship programs sponsored by the department.

The department provides pre-professional training leading to careers in teaching, law, government, and related fields.

Mission Statement

In support of the mission of the University as stated in PLU2020, “to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care – for other people, for their communities, and for the earth” (p. 8), the Political Science Department is committed to providing a high quality educational experience for undergraduate students. The department affirms and embodies PLU’s mission as seen through our specific departmental mission statement, learning objectives curriculum, and faculty priorities.

Departmental Mission: The mission of the Political Science Department is to provide students an educational experience that fosters critical, independent, thoughtful inquiry, and a commitment to service and leadership with regards to politics and public life. Specifically, our major offers courses and experiences designed to equip students with an understanding of political concepts, the knowledge of political institutions and functions of political systems, and the ability to understand political theories and methods.

This knowledge is gained through coursework, internships,and a strong commitment by the political science faculty. As a department there is a belief that understanding politics and government is essential to a well educated person and vital to democratic citizenship.

Our curriculum provides students with the skills to contribute to a complex society that encourages justice, diversity, and sustainability at the local, state, national and international levels. The Department of Political Science prepares students to be thoughtful leaders and committed citizens through our emphasis on effective public service, which is critical in a free and just society.


What can you do with your political science degree?


Bridging classroom learning and the professional workplace.

Activities & Field Trips

See political science at work in the real world.