Real-World Experience and Career Preparation

Explore crucial, wide-ranging issues in American politics, international relations, comparative politics and political philosophy. In UNC’s Political Science bachelor’s degree program, you’ll work in small classes with close mentorship by award-winning faculty who bring foreign research experience—and a broad, global perspective—to the classroom. Classes are highly interactive, with a focus on discussion and critical thinking. You’ll also have many diverse and exciting opportunities to apply your learning in real-world settings, including study abroad programs and exciting internships in local, state, federal and even international settings.

Richard Bownas

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

Richard Bownas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

Dr. Bownas specializes in the study of the developing world, in particular new social movements and activist networks. He also has research interests in environmental politics and theories of contemporary conflict. In the late 1990’s, Dr. Bownas founded and operated an NGO that trained and placed volunteers in Nepali schools and social organizations. While pursuing his PhD at Cornell University, he conducted research into the politics of NGOs and transnational activists in India, with a focus on the introduction of genetically modified crops into the country.

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Degree Option

B.A. Political Science

You'll take a broad-based series of courses that emphasize the development of the analytical, research and writing skills that are necessary to think critically and reflect upon political values and public policy. To complete your B.A. you'll need a total of 120 credits, with 40 credits taken in the Liberal Arts Core (LAC), 44 university-wide credits, and 36 credits in your major (choosing from American Politics, International Relations, Political Philosophy and Comparative Politics). 

Related Minor Options

Political Science Minor

Strengthen your major area of study with a minor in political science. Our 18-credit minor program provides a strong foundation in government and international politics, while developing your research, writing, presentation and critical thinking skills. As a Political Science minor, you’ll also have opportunities to take part in rewarding internship and other experiential learning opportunities.

Legal Studies Minor

In the Legal Studies minor, you’ll explore the theoretical foundations of law and its role in American and international institutions. This 21-credit program is a strong option if you are planning to go to law school and offers an excellent complement to a variety of majors.

Public Policy Minor

This 22-credit minor offers students a focus in Public Policy, which is the study of how government policies are formulated, implemented and evaluated. The minor is a hands-on, practical, applied program building upon the already existing strengths of a variety of liberal arts programs. You’ll choose from courses across disciplines which include economics, political science, sociology, environmental studies, geography and philosophy.

Related Programs

Learning through real-world experience

Enrich your life and career through hands-on learning. These are some of the internship opportunities available to our political science majors:

  • Colorado General Assembly
  • Colorado Governor’s Office
  • Lobbying firms
  • Weld County Public Defender’s office
  • City government offices
  • Greeley Chamber of Commerce
  • Political campaigns
  • Colorado Democratic or Republican Party
  • Regional and Washington offices of U.S. Members of Congress
  • U.S. State Department

“The experience I had at UNC was nothing short of amazing. Not only did I learn the fundamentals, but the faculty in the department encouraged me to think critically and to use what I learned in the classroom for practical use in the policy arena. I feel so fortunate to have had those experiences to help shape and guide my professional career so far.”

Andy Boian, Political Science, UNC Alum

Your Future in Political Science

Our students have a common goal: to change the world. In UNC’s Political Science program, you’ll find a learning environment designed to nurture and promote this positive activism, through classroom discussion and experiential learning. It’s a place where people work together, and faculty get to know students. It’s also an academically challenging program that will sharpen your communication and critical thinking skills and prepare you for the professional world.

Consider UNC’s Political Science B.A. if you:

  • Want to find ways to create positive change in the world
  • Enjoy challenging yourself and learning by doing
  • Prefer small classes and close faculty mentorship

You’ll learn:

  • How citizens shape government and society
  • How politics function from the local to the global levels
  • Advanced critical thinking and problem solving skills

Sample courses:

  • Environment, Politics and Law
  • Drug Wars
  • Conflict in the Middle East
  • Politics of Religion
  • Latin American Politics
  • Women and Politics

Beyond the Classroom

Our graduates have worked in the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court. They’ve also served in the State Department, Department of Defense, and Homeland Security, as well as in state and local government positions throughout Colorado. Our Political Science program has also prepared students to be accepted at top law and graduate schools, including Yale, Georgetown, George Washington, Cornell, CU-Boulder, Berkeley, Vanderbilt and DU.

Where can your degree take you?

A bachelor’s degree in political science can open up a world of career and graduate study opportunities. These are just a few of your options:

  • Attorney/law school
  • Campaign worker
  • Communications director
  • Corporate manager/executive
  • Lobbyist
  • Paralegal
  • Policy analyst
  • Political correspondent
  • State legislator
  • Teacher

Current Research in Political Science

UNC’s political science faculty have studied and conducted research at top universities all over the world, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, to the Humboldt University of Berlin. Here is some of the current research going on in our department:

Neo-Nazi Movements in Eastern Germany

Christiane Olivo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

Christiane Olivo, Ph.D., recently received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service for a new research project examining efforts to combat far-right political extremism and the neo-Nazi movement in eastern Germany. She will be looking at various ways people are trying to combat these movements, from small, local grassroots associations to programs developed by the federal government.

Berling, Germany

What You Need to Know Right Now