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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Political Science

302 Bowman Hall
Tel: 330-672-2060


Political Science empowers students to be engaged global citizens and informed consumers of information who are competitive in a range of careers. Kent State University Political Science alumni work in the public and private sectors across the United States and around the globe. Others go on to graduate programs or law school. We offer four concentrations at Kent State, allowing students to explore a range of fields of study. Students may choose to concentrate in American Politics, International Relations & Comparative Politics, or Public Policy, or they may choose a “General” Political Science major. Regardless of concentration, political science majors study political and economic systems; policies that impact their daily lives; dynamics like social movements and economic shifts; events like war, revolution, and elections; and problems like human trafficking, drug cartels, and economic crisis.

The American Politics concentration investigates the political context of life in the United States in courses on public opinion, elections, and the media, as well as Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts.

The International Relations-Comparative Politics concentration focuses on international policy and politics, including aid and development, energy and oil, human rights, and regions of the world including Latin America, the Middle East, and Russia.

The General concentration allows students to select any upper-division political science courses for their major rather than choosing a specific area of concentration.

The Public Policy concentration explores how governments address major policy questions such as health care, environmental protection, and foreign policy. Courses introduce students not only to the policy questions and implications, but also to the skills involved in policy analysis. 

In pursuing their studies at KSU, political science students have a wealth of internship and study abroad opportunities, including our two semester-long, 15-credit hour internship programs, one in Washington D.C., and the other in Columbus, Ohio. We offer our own study-abroad course in Germany during the summer, and our students often also take advantage of KSU study abroad opportunities in Geneva and Florence. You can look into our amazing internship programs futher here

Career Opportunities

Political Science provides students with a well-rounded, in-demand skill set that prepares them for success in a variety of careers, both public and private. Students graduate from our courses with advanced critical thinking skills, enhanced oral and written communication abilities and research and data analysis skills. Our Political Methods course teaches rigorous quantitative analysis. Together, these classes prepare students for careers that rely on communication, networking, analysis, public speaking, as well as global and inter-cultural awareness. This approach gives political science majors a competitive edge in an increasingly globalized world. 

Students with degrees in political science may go on to careers in the public sector, working for local, state or federal level government agencies. For instance, they may work at agencies that deliver international aid or investment, or in the bureaucracies that oversee public services, or as researchers for policy-makers. Others may work on political campaigns or for interests groups.

Outside of government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) tackle a range of issues, from environmental protection to refugee advocacy to public finance reform. Because NGOs often work on policy reform or policy advocacy, political science students are particularly well-suited for these careers.

The private sector offers a wealth of opportunities for students with a political science degree. Businesses rely upon advanced analytic and critical thinking skills, and often require sound policy analysis. Additionally, as business is increasingly conducted across the globe, familiarity with international structures, regulations, and trade is in high demand, as is multi-cultural literacy. Political Science prepares students to succeed in just these areas.

KSU Political Science alumni represent this range of career opportunities open to our students. For example, our graduates have launched careers in campaign public relations, in state-level bureaucratic offices (for instance overseeing the state Medicaid program), in federal-level agencies (for instance working with food safety programs overseas or with refugee populations abroad), and in the corporate world (for instance as a risk management specialist). Others have gone on to earn graduate degrees in various fields or to law school. Check out KSU Political Science on Facebook to see alumni bios!

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students: Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends.

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 total credit hours and 42 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.000 overall GPA and 2.000 major GPA.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis skills;
  2. Demonstrate advanced written and oral communication skills;
  3. Demonstrate advanced understanding of national and international issues and political systems;
  4. Demonstrate multi-cultural literacy;
  5. Demonstrate competence with quantitative statistical analysis tools.