Letter from the Department Chair

Welcome from the Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Louisville!

We are proud of our dynamic, diverse and award-winning Ford Hall Family! We are one of the largest majors in the College of Arts & Sciences, and we have 16 highly-acclaimed, full-time faculty who are dedicated to developing the whole student through academic advising, career mentoring and networking, social events, and regular communication on exciting research, travel, scholarship, and internship opportunities.


Political Science students have a well-earned reputation as campus leaders in the Student Government AssociationRecognized Student Organizations, and interns who make a difference in Louisville, Frankfort, Washington, DC and beyond. We burst with pride each spring when UofL announces national scholarship awards. Each year, POLS boasts more Fulbright and Truman Scholarships (among other prestigious national and international awards) than any other Department on campus. We have around 450 students across our BA, BS, and MA degrees.

Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels can choose among tracks or a concentration to match their intellectual curiosity and career goals. Ford Hall has a student computer lab and technology-equipped classrooms. We have a chapter of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honors Society, designated advisors for our  and  students as well as our own  and  Directors.


Political Science faculty and staff have been recognized repeatedly for our above-and-beyond dedication to teaching, research, and service in the College of Arts and Sciences. Recent faculty achievements also include Fulbright research and teaching fellowships, a major National Science Foundation grant, the UofL Trustees Award, the American Political Science Association’s annual Distinguished Teaching Award, regional and national advising awards, and a host of best book and paper honors from professional associations. We have 20 full-time faculty positions spanning all the major subfields of Political Science.

We are proud of our affiliation with the Center for Asian Democracy, a research center that organizes high-profile events and speakers in the community.

The Department also administers the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas on Improving World Order, the largest award given in the field of political science. The multi-day award program gives students, faculty/staff, and alumni opportunities to interact with an extraordinary roster of national and international scholars annually.


We think that all students should build resumes while earning degrees. POLS supports undergraduates in service-learning, collaborating with faculty research projects, and presenting research at academic conferences.  We encourage all undergraduate and graduate students to take advantage of these crucial skill-building and networking opportunities and earn credits along the way!

We are proud to offer a fall internship cohort class that places students with Louisville Metro Government and a spring class that places students in the Kentucky General Assembly and Legislative Research Commission in Frankfort. Dozens of additional internships for Political Science students in the private and non-profit sectors come in all year round. Especially during election cycle, we receive internship application calls from parties and candidates running for local, state, and national offices.


The MA program in Political Science trains students to develop their analytical and communication skills to serve them in a range of careers, from public service and policy to education, law, NGO, and business. Increasingly, a Master's degree opens the door to higher paying government and private sector jobs, and our graduates are well prepared for these opportunities. Our alums also go onto top-ranked doctoral programs in political science. 

Undergraduate 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-and-a-half years of study. Students normally will enter the accelerated program after their junior year. Students enrolled in this accelerated program can earn the M.A. degree in approximately three semesters. See your advisor for more information and to apply.  

Approximately one-third of our undergraduates go on to Law School, and we offer a combined MA-JD for students who want to earned dual graduate degrees.  This gives students the opportunity earned post-graduate degrees the fields of political science and law to build additional skills and to expand their career options. 


Political Science offers Honors Cardinal Core classes and seminars for participants in the University Honors Program.  An additional Honors Program in Political Science offers opportunities for our students (in conjunction with University Honors or separately) to pursue original research projects and work one-on-one with faculty in their fields of interest.


The benefits of being in the Ford Hall family don’t end when you graduate! We launched the first-ever official POLS Alumni Council in 2018 and have enjoyed reconnecting alumni to the Department, each other, and the next generation of POLS Cardinals. Our diverse BA, BS, and MA alumni have successful careers in public service (local, state, and federal), law, international affairs, non-profit organizations, policy advocacy, political communications, business, academia, the media, and much more. We are thrilled with the energy, enthusiasm, and Cardinal pride we see at every alumni event, from our annual on-campus Networking/Career Blitz to our successful “Ford Hall Goes to Washington” fundraiser that sent three current POLS students to Washington, DC for internships in Summer 2019. If you are a POLS graduate and want to get involved, please fill out this quick Google Doc survey.

Please feel free to contact! I would be happy to answer any questions or to talk to you about our outstanding programs and people.  GO POLS CARDS!

Tricia Gray, Ph.D.
Department Chair, & Associate Professor, Department of Political Science,
Affiliated Faculty, Latin American & Latino Studies and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Director, Kentucky General Assembly Internship Program
RSO Advisor: Pi Sigma Alpha; United Nations Association & the Commonwealth Center for Policy

University of Louisville
205 Ford Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
(502) 852-1660

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