Program Overview

If 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.

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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
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UNE connected me with people that changed my life, ideas that I'll always live by, and, most importantly for me, UNE connected me with the rest of the world.

English, Political Science

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

Curriculum

CAS Core Requirements Credits
Total 42-46
Program Required Courses Credits
PSC 105 - Introduction to Political Science or PSC 202 - Politics as Social Science 3
One Introductory level course in American Politics including PSC 101, 103, 106, 203, 205, 207, or 250 3
One Introductory level course in Political Theory including PSC 100, 120, 200, 206, or 207 3
One Introductory level course in International Relations including GLS 100, PSC 201, 240, or 241 3
One Introductory level course in Comparative Politics including PSC 100, 110, 204, or 205 3
One Advanced level course in American Politics (300 level or higher) 3
One Advanced level course in International Relations (300 level or higher) 3
One Advanced level course in Comparative Politics (300 level or higher) 3
Three Political Science Electives (at least one must be at 300 or 400 level) 9
Senior Seminar and Essay: PSC 490 - Senior Seminar and PSC 491 - Integrative Essay 6
Minimum Program Required Credits 39
Open Elective Courses (as needed to reach 120 credits) Variable
Minimum Required Credits 120

Students wishing to pursue teacher certification in Political Science can complete a double major with Political Science and Secondary Education or a major in Secondary Education and a concentration in Political Science. For more information, see the Secondary Education catalog page.

Double majors or minors of all types are encouraged. All students can pursue internships and study abroad opportunities while majoring in political science.

Students in this major can participate in the pre-health graduate school preparation tracks.

To learn more about the program visit the Academic 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

We offer qualified students the option of graduating with Honors. This includes a research project of significant ambition under the direction of a faculty member. Interested students should consult with their major advisor. 

Angela Davis Speaks at UNE

On January 23, 2019, legendary political activist Angela Davis spoke before a packed crowd at the Harold Alfond Forum for UNE's annual Martin Luther King Jr. event.

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.

Beyond the Classroom

The Bush Legacy Collection and Lectures

Our George and Barbara Bush Center presents another treasure trove of rare historic documents and artifacts. The Bush Legacy Collection houses materials related to the life of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, focusing on his family’s New England heritage. The George and Barbara Bush Distinguished Lecture Series is an annual event honoring the legacy of President and Mrs. Bush as political and community leaders.

Watch Videos from UNE Political Science Events

2017 Constitution Day

2016 University of New England Constitution Day

Sabbatical talk by Ali Ahmida, Professor of Political Science

The 2016 Presidential Election and the Future of American Foreign Policy

The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity

Richard Toye - Should we always say what we mean, and mean what we say?

Peter H. Smith - Colossus in Decline? U.S. Relations with Latin America

Benjamin Powell - Sweatshops: Improving Lives and Economic Growth

UNE 2014 Constitution Day Lecture: Health Law and the Constitution

Laura Browder - Communism is Twentieth Century Americanism, or the Odyssey of Earl Browder

Sohail Daulatzai - To the East, Blackwards: Islam and Muslims in the Black Radical Imagination

Jeffrey Wasserstrom - Making Sense of a Fast-Changing China

2015 Constitution Day

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.

If you are a Political Science major with a general concentration, you must complete a 3-credit internship. And no matter your concentration you must work with a faculty member to research and write a senior thesis.

Internships are initiated under the guidance of a school faculty member and facilitated by the College of Arts and Sciences Internship Office. As an intern, you work under the joint supervision of a site supervisor and faculty sponsor.

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