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B.A. in Political Science

Program Overview

A girl sits on a blue couch reading under three portraits of historically significant womenIf you have a passion for talking politics, a craving for current events, and an ambition to shape the future, political science may be your calling. UNE’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science focuses on the most important – and most flexible – skills required by the American job market today: skills in analysis, critical thinking, and effective communication. Through coursework in political theory and American, comparative, and international politics, you will work very closely with faculty members to prepare for an in-depth, ambitious independent research project in your senior year that will set you apart in the eyes of employers and graduate schools alike.


Why UNE for Political Science

Unlike other political science programs that offer a “tacked on” senior thesis, we focus from day one on this ambitious independent research project as an integral part of the major. Working very closely with a faculty mentor you will produce an impressive piece of scholarship that demonstrates your knowledge and skills to both graduate programs and employers.

  • Choice of four concentrations: Environmental, Global, Pre-Law, or General
  • Unusual variety of unique courses
  • Flexible  curriculum, allowing for double  majors and minors, including minor in Health, Law, and Policy

Read more testimonials >


Careers

The analytical and communications skills that you develop as a Political Science major and the on-the-job experiences you acquire through internships can be easily applied to a multitude of professions across a broad spectrum of fields. We count among our graduates an assistant vice president at a Fortune 500 company and a U.S. Senate staffer. Other Political Science graduates have found successful careers with professions such as:

  • Lawyer
  • Policy Expert
  • Elected Official
  • Consultant
  • Researcher/Analyst
  • Teacher
  • U.S. Foreign Service Agent
  • Media Specialist
  • Nonprofit Administrator

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, the Office of Career Services is here to help you plan your next step.

  • #1

    in Maine for getting a job (Zippia, 2019)

  • 94%

    of graduates employed or enrolled in grad school within one year of graduation


Academics

The Political Science major offers four different areas of concentration:

  • Pre-Law
  • General Concentration
  • Environmental Politics
  • Global Politics

Our Pre-Law program introduces you to legal issues specific to different disciplines, such as health care law, ocean coast law, and business law. We provide intensive advising regarding internships and law school.

Examples of Available Courses

The following are some examples of the exciting courses that you can take:

  • Comparative Revolutions
  • Why Americans Hate Politics
  • Law and American Society
  • Politics and the Environment
  • Political Islam

To learn more about the program see the Curriculum, or visit the Catalog.

Secondary Education

If you hope to one day be a high school or middle school social studies teacher, you can enroll in the necessary secondary education courses at UNE to meet the standards for State of Maine certification (grades 7-12) upon graduation.

Honors Program

All students in the political science major complete a senior thesis, which is a significant research project under the direction of a faculty member. We offer qualified students the option of participating in our Honors Program and graduating with honors. This includes a more ambitious and in-depth research project. Students interested in the department's honors program should notify the chair of the department by the end of their junior year.


The top half of a male student's face is seen over the tops of a row of shelved blu ebooks


Experiential Learning

Whether you’re defending a “client” in a mock trial, researching political issues that affect social media for your senior thesis, or interning at a senator’s office, UNE’s Political Science major keeps you involved and engaged — because we believe in learning by doing.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES

  • Conduct original research in an area of interest for your senior thesis
  • Participate in the National Model United Nations Conference hosted by the National Collegiate Conference Association
  • Join UNE’s Mock Trial Team in competition against other colleges and universities
  • Study abroad for international experiences
  • Get on-the-job experience through internships

Internships

Get a taste of local politics by plugging into Maine’s political scene through internships at elected officials’ offices, municipal governments, and district and county courts. You may also intern at law firms, local TV stations, newspaper offices, and corporations.

You may choose to complete an internship near campus during the academic year or elsewhere during the summer.


Meet our Faculty and Professional Staff


u n e students on a hike in kenyaGlobal Education

See the World

To truly understand a region’s politics, it helps to acquire a sense of its culture and history. We strongly encourage our Political Science majors to take advantage of UNE’s Global Education Programs by spending a semester abroad. We offer programs in Spain, France, Iceland, and at UNE’s own international campus in Morocco. We also offer shorter, faculty-led travel courses that will take you on adventures in places such as Cuba, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, and Kenya.

Interested in studying abroad? Make a plan with your advisor.