Political Science

Political Science Degree

Politics involves the struggle to achieve one's interests. Political scientists study who gets what and why, often seeing differences in the power of individuals, groups, corporations or countries as being instrumental in determining whose preferences matter. The AUM Political Science major offers a variety of courses exploring the multiple and various dimensions of politics.
  • In courses on American politics, students learn about the complex relationship between Congress, the Presidency, and other political institutions; the impact of money on campaigns and elections; and the role of race in politics.
  • In international relations courses, students study the implications of an international environment without a supranational government and how it leads countries to be the most important entities in world politics and, in turn, makes world politics the realm of power politics.
  • In comparative politics courses, students explore the factors that make democracy more or less likely, how the transition to democracy can create instabilities, and how differences in countries' electoral systems can lead to government instability.
  • In public administration and public policy courses, students examine the relationship among political actors, institutions, and bureaucratic organizations to understand the issues related to effective governance.
Course of Study

The Political Science major comprises 50 credit hours including:
  • Ten courses taken from among the Political Science Department offerings.
    • Two are required: POLS 3010 Research Methods and POLS 4952 (Senior Seminar).
    • The other eight courses may include: POLS 3200 Introduction to International Relations; POLS 3510 Congressional Politics; POLS 3700 American Political Thought; POLS 4450 Comparative Government and Politics; POLS 4800 Political Behavior; and POLS 4860 Political Psychology.
  • Six courses in related fields of study including Communication, Economics, Geography, History, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, and Writing.

Career Possibilities

  • Campaign Staff 
  • Legislative Staff
  • Lobbyist
  • Pollster 
  • Journalist
  • Budget Analyst
  • Communications Specialist
  • Legislative Analyst
  • Political Analyst
  • Peace Corps
  • Teach for America
  • AmeriCorps


Political science is a frequently selected major for students interested in attending law school. One reason for this relationship is that Political Science courses emphasize analytical and critical thinking, reading carefully, and persuasive writing, skills highly valued in the legal profession. The Department is extremely proud of its record in preparing students for admission to American Bar Association accredited law schools. Graduates of the Department are practicing law in firms all over the southeastern United States as well as in the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Alabama, the Office of the District Attorney of Montgomery County, and in other state agencies. Two alums are currently judges, one is a Circuit Judge in Montgomery County and the other is a District Judge in Lowndes County.
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