Political Science

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Devote your studies to politics and government both domestically and abroad.

The curriculum includes an intensive study of political institutions that exercise government authority, including legislatures, courts, and administrative agencies.

Studies will extend into civil rights, immigration, and environmental policy; as well as the interactions between and among nation-states and transnational organizations that shape patterns of trade and development, conflict and cooperation, war and peace. Following graduation, students are equipped with the skills needed to forge successful careers in public interest, politics, government, and criminal justice, among others.

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About Maxwell

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is Syracuse University’s home for innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research in the social sciences, public policy, public administration, and international relations. It includes America’s #1 ranked graduate program in public affairs, offering highly regarded professional degrees alongside advanced scholarly degrees in the social sciences; and it is home to undergraduate programs across the full spectrum of social sciences. 

Learn more about the political science program


Core coursework encompasses economics, history, and politics. Sample courses include:

  • American State & Local Government & Politics
  • Comparative Government & Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Sexuality & the Law
  • Politics in the Cyber-Age

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

Experiential and real-world learning opportunities are highly beneficial to students enrolled in the political science major.

  • Intern and take courses with professors who work in the policymaking community during a Maxwell-In-Washington semester.
  • Challenge yourself as a Renée Crown University Honors student.
  • Attend University lectures and network with resident and visiting experts.
  • Get involved in political and policy matters as a member of the College Republicans or College Democrats clubs.

Study Abroad

Recognized as one of the top international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad is a significant part of the Syracuse experience. With over 100 programs in 60 countries, almost half of all students go abroad during their time at Syracuse. Political science majors have gone abroad in Wroclaw, Poland, Strasbourg, France, and Santiago.

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in political science you can explore such careers as:

  • Legislator
  • Diplomat
  • Judge
  • News correspondent
  • Political scientist
  • Public interest advocate
  • Public interest lawyer

Or, continue on to graduate level education in the areas of law, education, business, public administration, or public affairs.