Political Science

Political Science

Program Description

The AUM Political Science major offers a variety of courses exploring the multiple and various dimensions of politics. Our courses provide an understanding of the forces that shape the lives of citizens in the United States and around the world.

  • In courses on American politics, students learn about the complex relationship among Congress, the presidency, and other political institutions; the impact of money on campaigns and elections, and the role of race in politics.
  • In international relations courses, students study the implications of an international environment without a supranational government and how that environment leads countries to be the most important entities in world politics and, in turn, makes the international relations realm of power politics and cooperation more difficult to achieve.

What can you do with a Political Science Major?

  • In comparative politics courses, students explore the factors that make democracy more or less likely, how the transition to democracy can create instabilities, and how differences in countries’ electoral systems can lead to government instability.
  • In public administration courses, students examine the relationship among political actors, institutions, and bureaucratic organizations to understand the issues related to effective governance.

The Political Science Four Year Plan provides details on the requirements for the major.  The Department awards a merit Scholarship to a well-deserving junior or senior major.

Political Science Plan of Study

Political science is a frequently selected major for students interested in attending law school. One reason for this relationship is that political science courses emphasize critical thinking, persuasive reasoning, and clear written and verbal communication.

For students who are interested in political science but have chosen another major, the Department offers two minors: International Relations and Political Science.

Careers in Political Science

There are many career possibilities for students majoring and minoring in political science. Recent graduates provide a good indication of the many options. Several decided to continue their education, attending law school or earning master’s degrees in public administration or criminal justice. Others work for political lobbyists, nonprofit organizations, and the state of Alabama. One works as a reporter for a local TV station and another is the mayor of Talladega, Alabama.

Our faculty members are passionate about teaching and bring real-world insights to the classroom thanks to their scholarship and professional experiences.

The Department’s faculty members have developed well-established expertise across several areas of political science including American politics, political behavior, political psychology, research methods, comparative politics, international relations, and public administration. 

For inquiries and more information about the political science major, the political science minor, the international relations minor and the Department more generally please email [email protected].

Points of Pride

  • Classes are small, so faculty will know you well and work closely with you.
  • The AUM Political Science major culminates with a senior capstone seminar in which students explore a topic of interest in-depth.
  • Political science faculty are passionate teachers who bring their research and diverse experiences to the classroom. Examples include research projects in Europe and Africa, and working for the U.S. Congress.
  • Since Montgomery is the state capital, Political Science majors often complement their coursework with internships at state agencies, the City of Montgomery, the state legislature, lobbying firms, and nonprofits.

Put Your Degree to Work

Note: While salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education and training, and geography and industry, here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries nationally.

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics sample
JobsMedian Annual PayJob Growth through 2028
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers$114,8008%
​Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts$43,490N/A
Survey Researcher $57,7001%

For More Information

Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Auburn University at Montgomery
Goodwyn Hall 209
[email protected]

Soaring Warhawks

  • Christie Tarantino-Dean is Executive Vice-President and CEO of the Institute of Food Technologists, an international organization that works to create a “safe, sustainable, and nutritious” food supply for everyone.
  • Tim Ragland is the Mayor of Talladega, AL.
  • Chris Searcy is a reporter for WDAF in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Clay Crenshaw is Division Chief of the Appellate Division in the Office of the Attorney General of Alabama.
  • Randy McNeill served as Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Trials and Appeals Division in the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and is now an attorney at the Webb & Eley law firm in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Dr. Melissa Lumpkin is Professor and Chair in the Department of Public Health, Samford University.
  • The Honorable Tracy S. McCooey is a retired Montgomery Circuit Court Judge.
  • Edin Mujkic went on to earn a Ph.D. from the Joint AUM-Auburn University Program in Public Administration and Public Policy and is an associate professor, in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
  • Boone Kinard is the Executive Director of External Affairs, Alabama Community College System.
  • Ragan Ingram was Communications Director for the Office of Lieutenant Governor, and Assistant Commissioner and Chief of Staff at the Alabama Department of Insurance and now works at Windom, Galliher and Associates, a government relations firm in Montgomery.

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the core curriculum courses required for all majors and may not include some program-specific information, such as admissions, retention and termination standards.

Course sampling specific to the Political Science major includes:

Course #Course NameCourse Description
POLS 2020Intro to American PoliticsIntroduces students to the key institutions and processes shaping the American political system, including the Constitution, the presidency, Congress, the judiciary, elections, parties, and the media. May be taught online.
POLS 2200Intro to International RelationsIntroduces students to a conceptual and analytical understanding of international relations. Focuses on the impact of sovereignty, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, international law, power, interdependence, globalization, and the prospect for cooperation and conflict.
POLS 3450Comparative PoliticsAn examination of the institutions, political processes, functions, and problems of major contemporary political systems from a comparative perspective.
POLS 3010Research MethodsIntroduces students to strategies and methods of conducting research in the study of politics including topic selection, literature review, hypotheses testing, survey and archival research, and other components of political science research. May be taught as writing intensive course.
POLS 4952Senior SeminarStudents develop, research, write, and present an independent analysis of some political phenomenon. Topics and explanations are to be informed and guided by the relevant political science literature. Normally taken fall semester of senior year.

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