Political Science

Politics and governments affect your life on a daily basis—from the environment and education to civil rights and wars. That’s why it’s so important to understand (and question!) the political structures all around us, regardless of your personal politics. This program is for students who like thinking about institutions, power, government and law—including how (and why) they work the way they do. If that sounds like you, then you’re the perfect candidate for this major. 

What will I learn?

As a political science student, you’ll take a scientific approach to understanding institutions, policies, laws and more. This is a very flexible major, with only a few required courses. While many students take a general approach, you can also choose to focus on methodology and statistics (perfect for a career in polling), or select a concentration in areas such as American politics, comparative politics, international politics or public law, depending on your specific interests and career goals. 

If you’re interested in a broader approach, consider majoring in philosophy, politics and economics. 

What can I do outside of class?

From congressional internships to on-campus discussions about current events, there are plenty of ways for you to have fun and keep learning. 

  • Internships. Get real-world experience and build your network; UB students typically intern for a government office, elected official or political organization in Washington, D.C., the New York State legislature or Western New York.
  • Study abroad. Experience politics, culture and life in a different country.
  • Clubs and events. Make friends, meet speakers and explore your interests; UB has hundreds of clubs, including groups for political science and global affairs students
Study Abroad
Student Clubs

What can I do with a political science degree?

At UB, our political science graduates have consulted for elected officials, led an economic development agency, worked for polling firms in Washington, D.C., and had successful careers at some of the largest companies in the world.

With this degree, you can work for a variety of organizations, including private companies, government agencies, nonprofit groups, schools and universities. Your career options may include:

  • Campaign manager.
  • City manager.
  • Community relations specialist.
  • Diplomat.
  • Editor.
  • Foreign service officer. 
  • Journalist.
  • Importer/exporter.
  • Labor relations specialist. 
  • Legislative consultant.
  • Librarian. 
  • Lobbyist. 
  • Military officer.
  • Paralegal. 
  • Police officer.
  • Politician. 
  • Polling/marketing researcher.
  • Public relations director.
  • Teacher.
  • Writer.

Many students also go on to law school or to graduate school for an advanced degree in public policy, business, political science or a related field. 

Who will I learn from?

At UB, you’ll find award-winning researchers and experts in American politics, comparative politics, international relations and public law, among other areas. Our political science professors have published their research and insight in numerous books and leading journals, including "American Political Science Review," "British Journal of Political Science," "Journal of Conflict Resolution" and "International Studies Quarterly." In addition, they have served on editorial boards and in leadership positions in professional organizations.

But perhaps most importantly for our students, these faculty members are committed to inspiring the next generation of political scientists. In fact, many of our professors have been recognized for their teaching, including the student-nominated Milton Plesur Excellence in Teaching Award, among others.