Department of Political Science

Student organizers and Alumni panel on careers in political science, 2011.
Senior Jesse Rakoske, a political science major, presented a paper on when policy preferences matter to regimes at the 2012 National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Ogden, Utah.

Welcome to the Department of Political Science! Our website introduces you to political science at the University of Rochester, including both of our majors, International Relations and Political Science. The website has answers to many of your questions about the "nuts and bolts" of a major, minor, or cluster in political science or international relations. It also offers more general information and guidelines about political science and the opportunities available to you here. Among other things, be sure to see our course listings for the entire academic year, advising information, descriptions of our internships, and information about our honors program.

Freshmen will find suggestions about how to explore your interest in political science or international relations during your first year. Sophomores will be more interested in the details of signing up for a major and in mapping out a plan of study to take you through (and beyond) your senior year. The earlier you begin planning, the better your chances of satisfying your intellectual interests and preparing to meet your career goals in your course of study—not only through our wide variety of regular courses, but also through individualized research courses, advanced seminars, internships in Rochester, Washington, and Europe, and the Honors Program. For juniors and seniors, information on this site will remind you of what you probably already know as well as inform you about the Department's honors program, suggestions about graduate study (if interested), and so on.

In addition to our courses, we encourage you to take advantage of the extracurricular activities organized by your Undergraduate Political Science and International Relations Council. These activities are an excellent way to deepen your understanding of political science and international relations, prepare for a career or graduate studies, or simply get to know your professors and your fellow students better, in settings less formal than the classroom—such as debates and speeches, films, and collective study sessions. If you have ideas about activities you would like the Council to organize or if you would like to participate more fully in activities, get involved with the Council. Obviously, your Undergraduate Political Science and International Relations Council can be only as vital as you choose to make it.