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Political Science

Political science is the study of government, individual and institutional behavior in the public sector; relations among nation-states; and theories of politics.

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Political science addresses the fundamental issues confronting modern society - globalization, war, inequality, poverty, the environment - and seeks to evaluate the processes, policies, and theories that have been devised to deal with them.

The University of New England’s Political Science Department, located on UNE's seaside University Campus in Biddeford, Maine, has developed a unique program for its political science majors.

"I would like to declare at the outset that I consider the Political Science program at the University of New England to be exceptional in breadth and depth, in its coverage and its creativity and above all, its coherence. It is a program that can be compared favorably with those of major universities and in many respects ... it may be superior to them."
Irene Gendzier, Ph.D. Professor of Political Science Boston University
External Review Committee

Crossing Boundaries

We have made it a priority to recruit professors whose research and teaching interests cross the traditional boundaries that divide many political science departments into separate groups studying American government, international relations, political theory, or comparative politics.

Political science majors at UNE study all these topics, but often in the context of courses that cut across boundaries to investigate crucial political issues like "The Politics of Power," "The Politics of Evil," "Globalization: Origins, Politics and Culture" or "Late 20th Century Social Revolutions.


Political science majors may choose:

  • A general concentration, which provides wide exposure to the fields of political science.
  • A pre-law concentration.
  • An environmental politics concentration.
  • A global politics concentration, which offers an opportunity to focus on foreign political systems and international relations.

The department also offers Political Science majors the opportunity to select electives in the Department of Education necessary to become middle or high school teachers (grades 7 - 12) in the area of social studies.

Small Classes and Personal Attention

Political science classes at UNE range from 8-25 students. Our political science majors receive a great deal of personal attention from the faculty.

Our majors work closely with a member of the faculty to plan, research and write a senior essay on a topic of their choice. This essay provides tangible evidence to graduate schools and potential employers that our graduates have developed strong skills in critical thinking and writing.

Working closely with students on projects, such as senior essays, makes it possible for our faculty to write recommendations that speak convincingly to graduate schools and potential employers of the qualities our graduates will bring to a career or a graduate program.

Internships/Study Abroad/Practical
Experiences Outside the Classroom

"I was also able to learn valuable information on public service in Maine as an intern for U.S. Senator Susan Collins. After graduating from UNE, I earned a position as a staff assistant in the Biddeford Office of Senator Collins. On a daily basis, I interact with constituents throughout York County and provide assistance in dealing with federal agencies." More
Justin Davis '11
Our students have a wide variety of choices for internships, study abroad, and other practical experiences outside the traditional classroom. 

In recent years, for example, our students have interned with Maine's U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Maine Congressman Tom Allen.  Others have pursued studies in South Africa, Namibia, England, Germany, Jordan and Egypt.  Other experiences linked to the classroom are attending the Model United Nations and representing UNE in a collegiate mock trial competition.

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Videos and News of Interest
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James Scott, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Political Science and director of the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University, spoke on "The Art of Not Being Governed" on March 28, 2013. View the Video

Distinguished Libyan Novelist Ibrahim Al-Koni discusses his books.  View the Video

Journal Tribune profiles the Political Science Department. Read the story

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Alumni Spotlight

Donovan Marvin '10
Political Science

"Being a political science major, I had a host of study abroad opportunities available for me at the ..."

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