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Political Science

Overview

Political science examines domestic and international governments, various ideologies that shape governance, the process of developing and implementing public policy, and governments' role in shaping society. At Hofstra University, political science majors cultivate essential skills for exciting careers in government, law, business, campaign management and polling, education and non-profits. The political science program is designed to hone an understanding of the complex workings of government at the local, national, and international level, fostering an informed citizenry. With close proximity to New York City, Hofstra’s Department of Political Science offers dynamic classroom and field-based programs, including career-building events and coursework at the United Nations. At the annual Washington, D.C., trip, students gain an insider’s view of the nation’s capital. They also enjoy opportunities to network with an involved circle of alumni, who assist and promote Hofstra students toward their goals.

And through internships in Washington, Albany, and locally, students develop the professional experience and contacts, providing them a competitive advantage to further their careers. As the only university to host three consecutive presidential debates, as well as a long-standing series of presidential conferences that attract scholars, former officials, media, and previous presidents, Hofstra University is well-established in the political science community.

Curriculum

Political Science majors develop skills in critical thinking, writing, and quantitative reasoning. Studies comprise American politics, including courses focused on the study of law, international relations, and comparative politics. Courses with a global perspective focus on Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Students are encouraged to take part in hands-on learning opportunities including through the Model United Nations Club, the Pi Sigma Alpha, Eta Pi chapter of the national Political Science Honors Society, and nationally renowned conferences and events on and off campus. In addition to a major in political science, Hofstra also offers minors in political science, international affairs, European studies, public affairs, and presidential studies.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in Political Science Requirements

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Many of Hofstra’s political science majors attain positions with prestigious employers. Others seek to further their studies at top graduate schools. Recent alumni work at American Civil Liberties Union, BNY Mellon, Congressman Peter King, Cronin & Cronin Law Firm, PLLC, Democratic Party of New York, Human Rights Watch, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nassau County Government, and Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.

Those pursuing graduate degrees study at American University, Brooklyn Law School, Columbia University, Cornell University, Hofstra University, Seton Hall University, UCLA, University of Connecticut, University of Virginia, and William & Mary Law School.

96% job, grad school or both
93% accept a position within six months
$46K median salary*
Get More Info on Program Outcomes
*Represents median salary for the first year following graduation

What You'll Learn

Hofstra in D.C.

You will gain a working knowledge of political systems around the world and how they differ. As a political science major, you will:

  • Develop analytical skills to master international relations and understand the workings of global institutions, regional alliances, and international law
  • Recognize the crucial questions and proposed solutions of classical and contemporary political philosophers on politics’ role in society
  • Understand how to generate political and governmental knowledge
  • Prepare for the workforce, graduate study or both

Hofstra’s vibrant political science faculty is dedicated to teaching, mentoring, and research. Faculty members have won teaching and mentoring awards and competitive research fellowships. They are published in academic publications, and comment or publish in highly respected outlets of public discourse.

Select students are encouraged to attend programs at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars in Washington, D.C., where they can delve into politics and policymaking with some of the nation’s thought leaders and advocates.

Internships

Internships offer real-world experiences beyond the classroom and prepare students for professional careers. Hofstra students have interned for the government, media organizations, non-profit organizations, think tanks, and advocacy groups. Examples include ABC/ABC News, American Legislative Exchange Council, Citizens Committee for NYC, Congressman Peter King, Doctors Without Borders, International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Planned Parenthood, Uniondale Community Council, Voice of America, and Zimmerman/Edelson, Inc.

Political Science majors who take part in the Washington, D.C., semester program serve as interns in Congress, the Executive Branch, the Federal Judiciary, and non-governmental organizations. Interns work for senators and representatives in the State Department and the Justice Department, for the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court, and for organizations such as the American Defense Institute.

New York State Assembly interns work in Albany. They are assigned research and administrative responsibilities in an Assembly office, spending at least 30 hours at the Capital each week. In addition, interns enroll in a course on legislative politics, for which required readings are provided and which meets periodically.

Experience

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Hofstra University plays a critical role in the national political dialog. Each time Hofstra hosts a political debate, students are immersed in the political process. They gain opportunities to meet political leaders, see national and local media at work, attend panels, and interact with the staff of the various political parties. Hofstra’s presidential conferences offer students the chance to participate in its planning, converse with policymakers and at times even ask questions of former presidents.

Students are encouraged to study abroad, where they are exposed to additional perspectives and foreign relations.

In addition, students have the opportunity to take leadership roles in the annual Model United Nations conference, hosting participating high school students and gaining a deeper understanding of complex, global issues.

Meet Steven Eareckson

A double political science and history major, Steven Eareckson is a presidential studies minor. Having attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, he gained an insider’s view about how political parties operate. He also saw a behind-the-scene’s look at the 2016 presidential debate. He talks about how his experience at Hofstra helps prepare him for law school.

Meet More of Our Political Science Students

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