Political science is a liberal arts major that helps students to think more critically about political matters, to understand better what is going on in the world, and to make reasoned choices about contemporary political issues.
The political science major is interesting, challenging, and responsive to the individual student’s intellectual and career interests. Its required components cover both longstanding philosophical questions and contemporary social scientific knowledge about political life. Our elective offerings expose students to the breadth of the discipline in courses taught by experts in the various subfields that define political science: American politics, political theory, comparative politics, public administration, international relations and public law.
The Department of Political Science offers minors in International Affairs, Political Thought, Applied Politics, Legal Policy, Public Administration and Political Science itself. It is also possible to earn a certificate in Public Administration. The department is home to rigorous internship programs in three areas – legal, legislative and administrative. The Departments of Political Science and Public Policy offer qualified students a joint program leading to both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master of Public Policy degree.
The political science major and minors prepare students for a variety of challenging careers. Typical options for political science graduates include: government service, diplomacy, politics, lobbying, law, teaching, business, public affairs, nonprofit institutions, interest groups, and international organizations. UMBC political science graduates have also gone on to such outstanding graduate and law schools as Yale, Harvard, the University of Chicago, and William and Mary, as well as all of the Baltimore- and Washington-area schools.