Political science major

Print Print this page

Central’s political science program is designed to prepare you for a wide variety of careers in government, politics, law, business, mass media and education. Course work emphasizes development of basic communication skills, including reading, writing, speaking, critical thinking and information literacy. Our students learn about government structures and processes and how individuals and groups interact with government at the local, state and national levels, in other countries and with international organizations.

Our program emphasizes both course work and practical experience. Political science students learn how to do original research and undertake projects that allow them to apply their knowledge to questions and concerns of personal interest, through experiential and service-learning projects, career-focused internships in Washington, D.C., Des Moines and as part of their study abroad experiences.



News about Political science

Using Law to Serve Others

Emily Rouse '14 plans to combine her passions for the law and helping others through a career as an attorney in the public service sector.

It’s Off to Work We Go

With internship opportunities in Chicago and Washington, D.C., Central students can venture off campus for real-life job opportunities—and they gain more than work experience in the process.

A Central Adventure

Junior Jordan Langer is making the most of her time at Central College—volunteering at a fair trade store, climbing the cliffs of Lake Red Rock and studying abroad in London. Changing her major twice has not set her back, only opened up more options.

With Honors

Honors students present their year-long senior thesis—a culmination of their work at Central College.

Trust in their Talents

Bernadette Allen ’78, Jeff Oliver ’79, Steve Sikkink ’83, Kathy Sikkema ’84 and Clay Thompson ’90 will be new members of the Central College board of trustees.


Successful Careers


We will work one-on-one with you to help you select and apply for an internship that will complement your courses and enhance your career prospects. You can choose from opportunities in Des Moines, Chicago, Washington, D.C., or as part of your study abroad experience at one of our program sites including London, Paris, Vienna, Granada and Merida. Past internship locations have included:

Graduate Placement

Over 98% of graduates are placed in jobs, attending graduate school, or involved in volunteer service within one year of graduation.

Learn more about internships at Central.


Central offers political science courses in the major sub-fields of the discipline, including: American government and politics, public policy, international politics, comparative politics, political theory and research methods. For course descriptions, please visit the political science Web site.

Sample Schedule

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Senior Year

Get more details from the course catalog! (Note: this is a PDF file)


In fall 2009, Central College opened its doors to the new 57,748 gross square foot Roe Center, which cost more than $17 million. It features energy conservation and environmental responsibility. The three-story building provides new classroom, office and instructional space for the political science, education, communication and psychology departments, along with Central’s nationally recognized community-based learning department. Read more at

Department Web site

Central’s political science department maintains its own website with even more information about majoring in political science.


Political science students are active participants in a wide variety of campus activities and organizations, including:

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.