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Political Science

  • Available as major (B.A. degree) and minor
    Discover why politics is a moral enterprise. Delve into the design and the reality of our system of government. Debate freely without the need for decision. Decide on a political science major and career. 

  • Be part of the ongoing discussion of political theory and philosophy from a Christian perspective. Talk about our government above the partisan level and with your faith in mind. Learn about the politics and governments of other countries.

    Look deeper than you’ve ever looked before at the structure and workings of our U.S. government. Analyze U.S. politics and policies from both national and global perspectives. Consider the impact of the philosophies and wisdom of past U.S. presidents.

    Grapple with social justice issues, such as human trafficking and world hunger. Discover God’s direction and motivated for justice and fairness in His world.

    Find discussion and debate almost any time of the day in the offices and hallways of Weber Center’s second floor. Experience the information in your textbooks coming alive through your professors’ lectures as they give illustrations from history and current events.

    At Olivet, you can: 

    • Study international relations, American public policy, historiography, political philosophy, Christianity and politics.
    • Experience the power of Christian mentoring and friendships.
    • Work in local political campaigns.
    • Grapple with and discuss the ideas of Marx, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, Locke, Plato and others. Find the freedom to agree or disagree.
    • Research and write about the topic of your choice for senior seminar project. Spend one semester on researching and one semester on writing it.
    • And so much more!

    Putting knowledge to work

    Join Capitol Hill Gang, the political science club open to all students. Dedicated to increasing political awareness and fellowship among students, this group educates students about what’s happening politically, both nationally and internationally. Students vs. faculty debates and service projects provide additional learning opportunities.

    Two educational trips to Washington, D.C., are offered each year: 

    Federal Seminar program (study trip): For nearly 50 years, our students have spent a week in our nation’s capital each January. This trip is sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals. Attend seminars by congressmen, senators, Supreme Court justices, ambassadors and the public liaison from the President’s office. Listen, learn, ask questions and hear the experts’ answers.

    Capitol Hill Gang trip (working trip): Get engaged in the activities of government. Interview congressmen and senators. Spend an afternoon as an intern in the office of a nonprofit or policy-making organization. Work for an evening in a community development program for a low-income neighborhood.

    Additional opportunities

    American Studies Program (ASP) semester in Washington, D.C., helps you connect biblical faith with public life and vocation. Many internship opportunities are available with government departments and leaders, nonprofit organizations. Focus on domestic or foreign policy.

    Attend special political events, such as Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. Hear from and meet our country’s political leaders. Discuss “hot button” issues and American values with your professors and peers.

    Study abroad. Gain that understanding that only comes when you plant your feet in someone else’s backyard. Find a different perspective. See the world through someone else’s eyes. Gain a new understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Western civilizations. Immerse yourself in life at a different level of economic activity. Become a different kind of Christian leader because of your experiences.


    A degree in political sciences launches you into a variety of career options. Many graduates go on to graduate school or work for local, state or federal governments. Others work for organizations that do public opinion research or influence public policy and laws.

    If you are: 

    • analytical
    • a strong communicator, verbal and written
    • interested in politics and current events
    • puzzled, angered, frustrated, excited by our political process
    • a strong leader
    • an avid reader of blogs, news sites, newspapers, magazines 

    then a career in government or politics may be the right one for you.

    More than 25 of our alumni are working for or to influence government in Washington, D.C. They work for congressmen, senators, think tanks and Christian nonprofit organizations. Others work behind the scenes in state government.

    Possible careers include: professor, attorney, campaign manager, pollster, politician, government official, advocate/organizer, city planner, political staffer, agency coordinator, corporate analyst, corporate adviser for governmental relations, legislative issues manager, customs officer, political journalist, foreign service officer, immigration officer, intelligence officer, international agency officer, international research specialist, juvenile justice specialist, labor relations specialist, legislative analyst, lobbyist, mediator, policy analyst, political commentator, public opinion analyst, legislator, urban policy planner, paralegal, intelligence analyst, nonprofit organization executive

    Alumni story: Peter Baker '97, "Political science grad takes lead in Washington

    Political Science is part of the Department of History and Political Science within the College of Arts and Sciences. 


  • Political Science
  • Gain the skills and the knowledge you will need to influence national and global policy.