Political Science and Criminal Justice

Two students sit at a table and hold signs and stickers encouraging others to vote.


If you are interested in politics, how and why government works the way it does, how society responds to crime, international political issues and systems, political theory, or the law, then join us in the Political Science and Criminal Justice Department. We offer bachelor's degrees in criminal justice, international relations, political science (with options in U.S. politics and legal studies), and public administration. We also offer a paralegal certificate and several minors. At the graduate level, choose the Master of Arts in Political Science or the Master of Public Administration (with options in health administration and criminal justice ).

Our department’s accomplished, committed, and energetic faculty offer courses on wide-ranging topics and will guide you through a program suited to your interests. Our program advisors are the best on campus.


You get to choose from numerous internships, service learning opportunities, study abroad, and other activities such as the award-winning Model United Nations, the Community Legal Information Clinic, the Moot Court competition, Pi Sigma Alpha (the national political science honor society), the Pre-Law Society, and the Criminal Justice Student Association. Moreover, we are pleased to offer more scholarships and awards than any other department in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

In our American government course, you can share your research and perspectives on public policy through the Town Hall Meeting where students propose and discuss solutions to real policy problems. You’ll experience the meaningful nature of research in the world beyond the University while speaking with an array of participants, including community members. Benefits of the Town Hall Meeting include improving course content learning, self-perception, civic participation, self-esteem, and retention rates.


The Political Science and Criminal Justice Department provides students with the educational experiences and environment to become familiar with and competent in the attitudes, subjects, and skills of the disciplines of political science, legal studies, international relations, and criminal justice. We strive for students to gain a sense of civic responsibility and to attain career success through utilizing the knowledge, skills, and judgment acquired in our programs.

Our graduates fill staff and management positions in local, state, and federal government, as well as business and industry. Some sit in Congress and in statehouses. A large number work as staff to elected political officials. Many work as lobbyists, journalists, and in government and public relations. Because our department sponsors a legal studies and paralegal certificate program, many excel in careers in law.