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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Political Science

About the Department

The Department of Political Science at the University of Northern Iowa offers a number of unique undergraduate and graduate programs taught by nationally and internationally known scholars.  Our mission is to promote systematic analyses of local, national and international political processes by disseminating knowledge, equipping students with critical thinking and analytical skills, and contributing scholarly research and publication to the discipline.

Our faculty teach and do research in all the subfields of political science: American politics, political theory, comparative politics, international relations, public policy and public administration.  As a result, we are able to offer a wide range of courses, three majors, three minors, and one graduate program.

We are only one of a handful of universities nationwide that offer political communication and public administration as undergraduate majors.  Our public administration majors are trained for jobs in the public, nonprofit and private sectors, while political communication majors take courses from both political science and communication studies. The department also has faculty specializing in Western Europe, Eastern Europe/Russia, Latin America, Africa, East Asia and the Middle East, who contribute to our international affairs minor. Our politics & law minor provides thorough background preparation for law school, including courses in Constitutional law, civil liberties, civil rights, and judicial processes.  Finally, we offer a Master of Public Policy (MPP) that allows students to explore various aspects of public policy, as well as study methods for policy analysis.

Students have the opportunity to participate in our various student organizations: the Political Science Society (PSS), Public Administration Student Society (PASS), Model UN, Pre-law Club, and Pi Sigma Alpha (honor society). In addition, the department offers a number of internship opportunities and encourages study abroad.  Political science faculty have most recently offered study abroad opportunities to Brazil and Jordan.

Our majors offer students many different career paths. Many of our graduates go on to law school and highly selective graduate programs in Political Science. Other alumni hold high level positions in federal, state and local agencies or have entered careers in journalism, the foreign service, or political consulting.  

Please explore the links to department faculty and activities offered through this web site. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via email (donna.hoffman@uni.edu) or phone (319) 273-2039.

Donna Hoffman 
Department Head and Associate Professor