engaging with power

Understand the important factors that shape politics by majoring or minoring in Political Science. You’ll gain knowledge on a range of theoretical perspectives and epistemological methods, develop the ability to analyze data critically and deconstruct texts. You’ll have the opportunity to conduct independent academic research and learn to write clearly about significant political trends and events.  

The program covers a wide range of topics, theories and histories in four subfields: American politics, comparative world politics, international relations and political philosophy and theory. 

You’ll graduate with a strong understanding of the political landscape, contemporary issues and the elements behind them.  


Student SpotlightZaheer Bowen '23 MAT '24

major: political science
minor: history 

"Political Science 209: Social Movements in America was easily my favorite class within the major. We got to examine the history of activism in the U.S. and it really provided a sense of what a successful economic or social movement could look like in the future.

I’m excited to have been accepted into the MAT cohort for the 2023-2024 year and after my completion, I hope to teach high school social studies for a few years in Brooklyn, where I’m from, before moving on to work on Capitol Hill, something our alumni have made very accessible."


Dewayne Lucas

And Research

Political Science students looking to engage more in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in their chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty mentor. 

Past examples of Honors projects include:

  • Robert Anthony Russell ’22: How Buffalo’s Catholics Came to Embrace the Political Right
    Edward Quish, Adviser  
  • Isaac Mathew DuBois ’19: Hauntology, Depressed Subjectivity, and the Politics of Hope
    Paul Passavant, Adviser  
  • Pamela Icyeza ’19: Sino-African Relations: Evaluating China’s Second Engagement with Africa Using Neocolonialism and Neopatrimonialism Frameworks
    Kevin Dunn, Adviser  
  • Elizabeth I. Dieter ’18: Control, Negation, Sousveillance: Control Societies, Afro-Pessimism, and #BlackLivesMatter
    Paul Passavant, Adviser 

Pi Sigma Alpha

Political Science students who excel in their courses are eligible to be inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

Students inducted in the spring of their junior year must have a 3.7 grade point average, while the GPA for senior inductees is 3.5. National rules require that inducted students have had six political science classes.  


Experiential EducationLife Changing Opportunities

Experience what careers in Washington, D.C. are like during the Day on the Hill Trip or attend lectures hosted by the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice about how policy changes affect marginalized communities. 

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors. 



No Borders:Global Education

Study countries’ relations with the European Union in Belgium or examine topics on human rights in Portugal.  

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose. 



Learn the foundations behind political science and how they impact all facets of life.  

POL 324 – American Congress

Examine the cultural and institutional factors that influence the actions of members of Congress and the (in)ability of the legislative branch to effectively represent the nation.

POL 207 – Governing through Crime

Engage in a critical inquiry into the values and weaknesses of the law as a mechanism for seeking social and political justice.  

POL 289 – Theories of American Democracy

Explore how particular narratives and myths have structured an American national ways and balanced the collective goods of society with individual freedoms, obligations to citizenship and charity.


Alum ImpactDedication to the Public

Rotimi adeoye '18
Communications strategist at aclu

Rotimi wasn’t set on a career path when he first got to Hobart and William Smith. That changed when he attended a Day on the Hill trip, which inspired his desire to work in Washington, D.C. and to help the public in any way he could. 

companies that employ our graduates

  • AmeriCorps
  • Amnesty International
  • Chemonics International
  • Committee on Natural Resources Democratic Staff
  • eBay
  • Flamboyan Foundation
  • Freedom Partners Shared Services
  • PeaceCorps
  • Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • The Daily Caller News Foundation
  • The Hawthorn Group, L.C.
  • The White House
  • United Nations Foundation
  • United States Senate

Universities where our graduates are studying

  • American University 
  • Baylor Law School
  • Boston College School of Law
  • Brooklyn Law School
  • Canisius College 
  • Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Columbia University Teacher's College
  • Cornell Law School
  • Duquesne University School of Law 
  • Emory University School of Law
  • Fordham Law School
  • George Washington University 
  • Liberty University 
  • Northeastern University School of Law
  • Nova Southeastern University 
  • Ohio State University 
  • Quinnipiac School of Law