Political Science/Social Studies

Political Science/Social Studies


Political Science is one of the oldest fields of academic inquiry. In an increasingly interdependent world, the study of politics and government flourishes as relations between persons, groups, and nations become more complex. Modern Political Science is equally concerned with questions of freedom and authority as political philosophy and the pursuit of social scientific research. 

Secondary Education students who wish to be endorsed in social studies may choose this major. However, this degree does not require that a student pursue a teaching certificate.  See the Secondary Education section of the catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

Western’s Department of Political Science is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Portrait of Evan Frazier

“My outstanding professors gave me a whole new perspective on the United States, the world, and even the basic nature of human group decision making. I’m confident that my political science degree will be an invaluable asset for the rest of my life.”

Evan Frazier
Political Science Student

Beyond the Classroom

Political Science students are active in two student clubs: the Political Science Association (PSA) and the International Affairs Association (IAA).  Students in the IAA regularly participate in regional and national Model UN Conferences; over the years, the Western team has garnered numerous accolades for their participation in these events.

The Political Science Department hosts the Ralph Munro Seminar for Civic Education and sponsors the Political Science Association student conference and Sandison Lecture. The department also coordinates the WA Legislative Internship program and offers administrative internship opportunities with a variety of agencies and organizations. Recent student internships include Global Visionaries — Grant Writing Department, and the Washington State Senate. 

Students are also encouraged to Study Abroad through faculty led study abroad, direct exchange programs, or other international exchange programs. 

 “After studying abroad in South Africa with a focus on service learning and the role of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), I learned the importance of understanding political systems and systems of power.”

-Polly Woodbury, Alumni

Careers and Graduate Studies

Political Science/Social Studies majors are often Secondary Education students who wish to be endorsed in Social Studies. Others pursue employment in the public sector or enter graduate programs for advanced study.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • ACLU of Washington
  • Bellingham Public Defender's Office
  • South Seattle Community College
  • Washington State Legislature

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • Gonzaga University: Secondary Education, MIT
  • Seattle Public University: Social and Sustainable Management, MA
  • Western Washington University: Secondary Education, MIT
  • University of Washington: Social Work, MSW
  • University of Washington: Public Administration, MA
  • Willamette University: Law, JD

Sample Jobs

  • Campaign Manager
  • Politician
  • Lobbyist
  • Attorney
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • FBI/CIA Agent
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Journalist
  • Labor Relations Specialist
  • City Manager
  • Author
  • Urban Planner

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.