Political Science

Analyze and engage politics around the globe.

Political scientists examine elections, governance, social movements, policies, and political parties to learn how people relate to one another.

By studying political science, you will train yourself to become an active, well-informed citizen in the classroom, the community, and the world.

You will also gain valuable skills in writing and communicating, analysis, and critical thinking to prepare for careers in government, law, nonprofits, diplomacy, academia, and more.

Why study political science at Macalester?

Let’s start with the classroom. Led by innovative teachers, your classes will be interactive and hands-on. While studying the rhetoric of campaigns and elections, for example, you will create your own press releases, stump speeches, and bumper stickers. Other classes may feature classroom debates or simulations in which you develop, present, and defend a policy proposal. As you discover your interests, you can pursue opportunities to collaborate with faculty members on research, or serve as a course preceptor. Throughout your interdisciplinary education you’ll be supported, challenged, inspired, and pushed by your Poli Sci peers—one of the most engaged and informed groups of students on campus.

Our Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellowship allows you to put your ideas into action. Each year, 12 students are selected to co-create a spring seminar. Each student receives a grant to complete a full-time, on-site summer project to implement in collaboration with a local community organization. Recent projects have included domestic violence prevention; lowering pharmaceutical drug prices in partnership with Minnesota’s attorney general; mental health for queer and trans youth; immigrant rights; literacy; and arts for social change. We have high expectations for you and all you can accomplish in political science.

Life after Macalester

Macalester’s Political Science Department has a strong reputation that will help open doors for you wherever you land.

Political Science in the cities

Our Legislative Politics class combines classroom learning with an internship at the Minnesota State Legislature, just 5 miles from campus.

Our local community includes an extensive network of alumni who return to campus each year for our Alumni-Senior Mixer to offer advice and friendship to current students.

200 internship sites located within 8 miles of campus.

Join our community

  • Meaningful events. From our fall welcome back s’mores to our annual spring student/faculty trip to the Midwest Political Science Association conference in Chicago, our many social and academic events are grounded in strengthening relationships with classmates and faculty members.
  • Pi Sigma Alpha. Our students can take part in Macalester’s own chapter of this national honor society and help plan on-campus activities, including an annual student research conference.
  • Mitau Lecture. This annual lecture brings distinguished speakers to campus for lectures about current topics in political science.