About Us

Welcome to the Department of Political Science at the University of Louisville

We are thrilled to learn of your interest in Political Science!  Our curriculum cultivates an understanding of policy, politics and governments in the United States and around the globe. We offer a wide range of courses including campaigns and elections, the Presidency and Congress, social movements and civil rights, terrorism and war, constitutional law, environmental policy, religious politics, urban politics and poverty, and international politics. The department is a particularly inviting environment for students, with small class sizes, our own building, a computer lab, and options to specialize via several tracks in our major.

The department is home to 20 full-time faculty members, including: winners of the UofL Trustees Award, which honors faculty who individually impact the future of UofL students; a winner of the American Political Science Association’s annual Distinguished Teaching Award; recipients of prestigious grants, such as a National Science Foundation grant; awardees of Council on Foreign Relations Fellowships; Fulbright Scholars; a winner of regional and national advising awards; and winners of best book and paper honors. Faculty help students become engaged citizens who possess the skills to analyze and participate in contemporary political life. In addition to courses offered on campus and online, political science majors have opportunities to complete internships for course credit with city, state, and federal government agencies. The department also offers students opportunities to participate in Political Science Honors courses, mentoring programs, service learning projects, building a résumé, and social activities.

Political Science majors at the University of Louisville have been extremely successful in earning prestigious scholarships and fellowships. The roster of recent successes includes numerous Fulbright Award winners and multiple Truman Scholars. Since 2010, three of our students have won the annual Mary Churchill Humphrey scholarship, often described as UofL’s Rhodes Scholarship because it supports graduate study in Great Britain. Two students also won the Woodcock Medal in this time period, a recognition that is awarded annually to the top undergraduate senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. Four of the last six presidents of the Student Government Association were Political Science majors. And many of out majors go on to have successful careers in government, international affairs, nongovernmental organizations, business, academia, and media.

  • We offer the Frankfort Legislative Internship program, where students spend a semester working for a state legislator in the Kentucky General Assembly and earning course credit.
  • Majors gain practical experience and course credit through internships with local government, state and federal agencies, as well as with nonprofit community organizations, international NGO’s, industry groups, and law firms.
  • Our students study abroad in countries across the globe and collaborate with faculty on original research projects. Our majors also routinely win prestigious national awards, such as Fulbright Fellowships and the Truman Scholars.
  • Students learn the basics of data analysis, skills that are in high demand in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

 

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

 

FACULTY

We have 20 full-time outstanding faculty dedicated to undergraduate teaching, scholarship, and service. Our faculty regularly win awards at the university, state, and national level recognizing both outstanding teaching and research. 

STUDENT-FOCUSED

Ford Hall is equipped with a student computer lab and technology-equipped classrooms. We have a chapter of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honors Society, designated Undergraduate Advisor and an Internship Director. Student grants are available for research and travel activities and several major scholarship awards given to exceptional juniors and seniors. The department also administers the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas on Improving World Order, the largest award given in the field of political science, giving students access for students to interact with national and international scholars.

CLASS OFFERINGS

We offer a wide-range of courses from the American Presidency to African Politics, from State Government to Women in Politics, from Latin America to the Politics Through Film.  We also offer regular distance education classes to allow flexibility in scheduling.

INTERNSHIPS

Many internship opportunities for Political Science students are available on a recurring basis. These include positions in the local or Washington D.C. offices of the Senators and Representatives from Kentucky, the Legislative Research Commission (Frankfort), Kentucky State Legislature (Frankfort), Louisville Metro Council, and the election campaigns of candidates for local, state, and national office.

HONORS PROGRAM

The Honors Program in Political Science is designed to offer opportunities for intensive research and analysis for students who are highly motivated toward academic excellence. The program stresses close student contact with the faculty through such features as the Senior Honors Thesis (POLS 499), the Honors Option (with any 300 level or above POLS course), and Honors Seminars. This option can be combined with Graduation with College Honors. 

ACCELERATED MASTERS PROGRAM

Students can take advantage of the Accelerated Graduate Program. This program allows advanced undergraduate students the opportunity to earn an M.A. degree and a B.A. (or B.S.) degree in five years of study. Students normally will enter the accelerated program after their junior year of undergraduate study. Students enrolled in this accelerated program can earn the M.A. degree in approximately one calendar year. See your advisor for info on how to enroll in this option.

ALUMNI

We are developing an alumni council to keep in touch with our graduates and their successes, keep them engaged in our events and activities, and help connect them with our students looking for mentors,  internships, or job opportunities after graduation.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about our program or our course offerings.    We hope to see you in the classroom!

Department of Political Science
University of Louisville
Ford Hall 205
Louisville, KY  40292
(502) 852-6831