Undergraduate Programs in
Develop an understanding of the workings of government at the local, national and international level, and prepare for a career in public service, law, business, campaign management, and polling, education and nonprofits.
The Hofstra Advantage
As the only university to host three consecutive presidential debates, as well as a long-standing series of presidential conferences that attracts scholars, former officials, media, and previous presidents, Hofstra University is well-established and deeply respected in the political science community.
Learn from the Experts
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 journals, and comment or publish in highly respected outlets of public discourse.
The chair of the department, Dr. Carolyn Dudek, was honored in 2021 as Hofstra's Mentor of the Year, an annual award that honors outstanding faculty supervision of advanced undergraduate research. “I am delighted and feel very honored to be recognized in this way. The award means a great deal to me since my whole reason for becoming a professor was to work with students,” she said. (Right: Dr. Dudek is pictured with Carmen Pestano ’17 in the Canary Islands, where they researched how crises impact migration policy in the European Union.)
For decades Hofstra University has played a critical role in the national political dialogue. Each time Hofstra hosts a political debate, one of its renowned presidential conferences or another headline-making event or series (i.e., HofstraVotes), students are immersed in the political process. They gain opportunities to meet political leaders, renowned historians, see national and local media at work, attend panels, and interact with the staff of the various political parties.
Learning on the Go
On the Road!
There are exciting opportunities off campus. The Political Science Department hosts an annual trip to Washington DC, providing students an insider’s view of the U.S. Capitol and networking opportunities with alumni.
Every other January the department offers a course at the United Nations devoted to learning about the institution and its work. The class consists of briefings from the various embassies representing their nations at the U.N., and students may interact directly with diplomats and high-level staff.
Every four years, a caravan of political science students and faculty head to New Hampshire during the days prior to the presidential primary. They attend candidate events, interact with scholars and national media, and sometimes shake hands with the next president of the United States!
Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, you may go on to an exciting career in federal, state, and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; precollegiate education; electoral politics; research and university and college teaching.
Students majoring in other academic areas like journalism, broadcasting, history, education, and sociology (just to name a few) may find that a double major or minor in political science complements their academic and professional goals.
Major in Political Science
With a major in political science you will develop your analytical abilities, critical thinking, writing, and quantitative reasoning skills. These will help you prepare for a dynamic career in any number of fields including government service, nonprofits, business, education, and law.
Our current course offerings
See the diverse classes we offer about government in the United States and around the world.
Our Centers and Institutes
On-campus centers and institutes such as the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, the Hofstra Cultural Center, and the Center for Civic Engagement regularly present a packed schedule of thought-provoking discussions and highly respected guest speakers who discuss the issues currently affecting young people, their families, and the communities in which they live.
Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency
Together with Hofstra's conferences on the American presidency, the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency and the Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies make Hofstra one of the very few institutions in the country with a unique focus on the presidency.
Hofstra Cultural Center
The Hofstra Cultural Center (HCC) is the force behind the University's noted presidential conference series, and it works on a regular basis with the faculty of the Political Science Department to present speakers, symposia, and other events.
Center for Civic Engagement
The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) organizes forums, conferences, debates, workshops, exhibitions, cultural gatherings, and performances around several important themes including nonviolence, social justice and sustainability, the democratic process, and globalization. CCE offers a minor in civic engagement and internships.
The Political Science Department is home to an active honors society and other clubs and organizations that keep students active and engaged with their professors and each other.
Pi Sigma Alpa
Hofstra is home to the Eta Pi chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honor Society. Members of Pi Sigma Alpha can be found in the highest ranks of American government, including presidents, senators, representatives, and Supreme Court justices. Members can also be found in state and local government, academia, the legal profession, journalism, and business.
College Democrats and Republicans
Hofstra Model United Nations
Model United Nations focuses on international politics, in the style of the U.N. The club also has activities to focus on public speaking and diplomacy.
Internships offer real-world experiences beyond the classroom and prepare students for professional careers.
Hofstra students have interned for the government, media organizations, nonprofit 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 the public relations agency Zimmerman/Edelson, Inc.
In addition, the Department of Political Science offers:
The Washington Semester Program
This program invites Hofstra students to become interns in Congress, the executive branch, the federal judiciary, and various nongovernmental organizations. In recent years, Hofstra students have worked for various senators and representatives in the State Department and the Justice Department, for the Office of the Clerk of the United States Supreme Court, and for such groups as the American Defense Institute.
The New York State Assembly Session Internship
This internship involves working in the office of a member of the New York State Assembly in Albany. Interns are assigned research and administrative responsibilities in an assembly office, spending a minimum of 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.
Washington Center Seminar
Students with outstanding academic records and a keen interest in American politics may be selected to participate in a seminar at The Washington Center examining the current political and media landscapes.
Hofstra has sent students to the Washington Center January seminar for close to a decade, supported by scholarships provided by Scott Rechler, chief executive officer and chairman of RXR Realty LLC.
Dr. Meena Bose, PhD, executive dean of public policy and public service programs and director of the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, has directed several programs for the Washington Center, and traditionally oversees the student selection process.
In a survey of recent Hofstra graduates who majored in the social sciences:
96% of respondents reported that they were employed and/or attending or planning to attend graduate school within a year of graduation
90% of those students who reported employment said they secured their position within six months of graduation.
- AmeriCorps VISTA
- Department of Justice
- Edison Research
- Global Security Institute
- Massachusetts State Senate
- Midland County District Attorney's Office
- NY State Assembly
- Office of the Nassau County Comptroller
- U.S. House of Representatives
- American University
- Boston University
- Columbia University
- George Washington University
- Johns Hopkins University
- New York University
- Pepperdine University
- Temple University
- University of California, Los Angeles
- Washington and Lee University