Study political science at the University of Mary Washington, positioned midway between Washington, D.C., and Virginia’s capital city, Richmond. You’ll learn the theory of political science and connect it with the real world through on-site learning, internships, and involvement in political events. Become career-ready through work with UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies.
Students majoring in Political Science who complete all requirements earn the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science.
Areas of Study
Learn how political systems function through courses ranging from urban politics and government to international politics. Choose from courses covering the American presidency, the U.S. federal judiciary, political parties and elections, metropolitan problems, American civil liberties, foreign policy, international governments, international relations, politics of developing countries, theory and practice of revolution, women and politics, mass media politics, and more.
Political science is a perfect start for a career in law, urban planning, teaching, government, and private enterprise. Our political science alumni win Fulbright Scholarships, get published in peer-reviewed journals, work for presidential campaigns, and go to well-regarded graduate schools. To see where our graduates have landed, visit careers.
UMW students have had internships in many congressional and other governmental offices in Washington, D.C., Richmond, and Fredericksburg, and at such organizations as the World Bank, the American Enterprise Institute, Common Cause, ABC News, and Washington Monthly. No major in this department has ever sought and failed to receive an internship.
To graduate with honors, you’ll maintain at least a 3.4 grade-point average overall and in the major. You’ll conduct an independent study and write and defend an honors thesis. Some recent examples: “Counterinsurgency in the Philippines,” “The Shining Path in Peru,” “Independent Peace Movements in Eastern Europe,” “The Latin American Debt Crisis,” and “Conservatism in America.”
The political science major requires 36 credits including introductory courses and at least one writing-intensive class. You’ll choose additional courses from the fields of American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory, and you’ll pursue your interests in-depth through departmental electives.
The Department of Political Science and International Affairs offers a minor in security and conflict studies.
Scholarships are available specifically for political science majors, but you can also apply for numerous scholarships available to students in all majors.