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Political Science

Political Science


Nata;ie Davis in Class

Whether you’re up late watching returns on election night, watching regimes change halfway across the globe, or following the events at your local school board, political science links us to the political world we live in. It’s all about power: who has it, how they get it, and how they use it.

Here at Birmingham-Southern, we blend traditional classroom learning with hands-on tools like simulations, internships and research. You’ll develop the research skills you’ll need for whatever comes next, whether it's business, government, law school, or graduate work.
But that’s not all:
  • We take on a huge range of topics addressing the most pressing issues of our time, from human rights to political violence to civil rights and justice. We look closely at the role of the media in politics and study development and democratization around the globe.
  • Seniors usually take on a full-term research project and also conduct a public presentation of their scholarship. In addition, faculty and students work together each year to develop an annual statewide survey, which will teach you to analyze data and develop your communications skills
  • You can study abroad, with international Exploration-term classes on global media in Europe, service learning in Latin America, development in Southeast Asia, and more.
  • We offer internships in law, politics, government and the not-for-profit sector. Recent political science majors have held internships with the A+ Education Foundation in Montgomery, Ala.; Bread for the World in Washington, D.C.; the Clinton Global Initiative in New York; and Operation New Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.

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    Political Science – Success stories

    BSC political science graduates often attend graduate or professional school, including law school, or go on to work in policy and the non-profit world, among many other careers. Our majors have gone on to long and distinguished careers at all levels of government:

    The United States Senate 
    The United States House of Representatives
    State and local government postitions
    diplomacy
    law
    political consulting
    policy analysis

    WEBB LYONS ‘06 / Political Science
    Student at Yale Law School

    I’ve been fortunate to have three great experiences since leaving Birmingham-Southern— working on homelessness legislation and policy in Washington, DC; leading local initiatives on obesity funded by the CDC on behalf of THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION in Birmingham; and now being a student at Yale Law School. In each of these experiences, I have been prepared to excel, thanks in large part to majoring in political science at BSC.

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    Political Science – Learning outcomes


    Political science is the analysis of power dynamics within and between societies and nation-states.  We conduct theoretical and practical analysis to explore, explain, and predict political behavior at the individual, group and institutional levels.  Comparative studies of the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia as well as insights from sociology, political psychology, media studies, and economics are utilized in the study of power across audiences; we work together to develop the skills to do this effectively. 

    Political science majors will develop analytic skills and the ability to communicate the results of research. Emphasis is placed on the comparative approach to the study of politics as applied to political culture, institutions, behavior, theory, and public policy.

    Upon completion of the political science major, students will be able to

    • demonstrate competency in the fields of American politics and comparative politics,
    • demonstrate competency in basic methods of empirical social science analysis,
    • demonstrate competency in critical thinking, research and analysis skills,
    • demonstrate competency in the formulation of theses and research questions,
    • demonstrate competency in synthesizing information about politics.