Political Science Major & Minor

Congressman Chris Gibson with Hartwick student

Studying political science at Hartwick means learning the bedrock of the discipline while developing a critical outlook on the political universe in which we live.

The political science faculty is committed to graduating mindful, well-rounded individuals. Our curriculum is designed to help students meet the moral and intellectual challenges of engaged citizenship.

Where degrees in political science can take you.

Hartwick students enjoy a variety of academic experiences that prepare them well for graduate school, law school, and rewarding careers, including teaching, public administration, and business.

Our students work closely with faculty in courses across four sub-fields in political science: American politics and law, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory.

A closer look.

Hartwick political science majors acquire a solid foundation through coursework across the four sub-field areas, and are encouraged to develop expertise in a particularly interesting area. Many are double majors, combining political science with major concentrations in fields like history, economics, or psychology.

Beyond the basic.

Our students have organized voter-registration drives; worked on local, state, and presidential campaigns; and observed court proceedings and city council meetings. Our students aren’t just studying politics, they’re doing politics. Many intern, whether with members of congress, law offices, county or state judges, or the United Nations. Recent programs led by political science faculty include study in Arizona, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine.

Putting political science to work.

Recent political science majors are pursuing advanced degrees at prestigious institutions and working in exciting jobs throughout the field.

Hartwick alumni work for:

  • Members of Congress
  • Peace Corps
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • New York State Assembly
  • Connecticut State Attorney’s Office
  • City of New York

Recent Hartwick graduates have been accepted to:

  • Cornell University MPA Program
  • George Washington University MPA Program
  • Syracuse Law School
  • Pace Law School

Meet the political science faculty.

Hartwick’s expert political science faculty are focused on the future. That’s because they work hand-in-hand with students who are meant for more. Students who will make a difference in the world when they graduate. Hartwick students.

Jim Buthman
Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Northern Arizona University
Areas of expertise:
Public policy and American government with an emphasis on environmental and energy policy.
Laurel Elder
Professor, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Areas of expertise:
American politics with a particular focus on public opinion and voting, political parties and elections, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender.
Caleb Goltz
Visiting Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Areas of expertise:
Political theory and public law; tort law development; risk analysis; seventeenth century English political thought.
Amy Forster Rothbart
Associate Professor and Department Chair, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Areas of expertise:
Comparative politics and international relations, Russian, East European and Central Asian studies, international environmental policy.
Mary Vanderlaan
Professor, Ph.D., Michigan State University
Areas of expertise:
International relations, foreign policy, women in development, African politics, Latin American politics, Middle East politics, politics and development in poor countries.

Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program.

Ready to move faster? Get the full Hartwick political science experience in three-quarters the time at three-quarters the cost. Learn more about the three-year program.


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