Political Science, Law & International Relations Department

Hartwick College students and alumni employees gather on Election Day morning before voting.

Hartwick students, faculty and staff gathered on Election Day 2022

President Darren Reisberg meets Hartwick students and alumni employees for coffee and donuts before casting their votes on Election Day 2022

President Darren Reisberg joined Hartwick students, faculty and staff on Election Day 2022.


The study of political science acquaints students with the principal concerns of the discipline and helps students to acquire an inquisitive and critical outlook on the political universe around them. The political science faculty is committed to graduating well-rounded individuals mindful of their connectedness in this interdependent world. Our curriculum is designed to help students meet the intellectual and moral challenges of citizenship.

A Conversation – Diverse Perspectives and Democracy’s Political Landscape
Professor of Political Science & Department Chair Laurel Elder and David Axelrod, a veteran of politics and journalism and the former chief strategist and senior advisor to President Barack Obama.
October 20, 2022

Please note: Hartwick College focuses on offering fall, January, and spring term undergraduate courses in person, however circumstances may require us to offer a small number of courses in this department through distance education. In times of emergency, following regulatory guidelines, all classes may temporarily need to be delivered through distance education, including online. We also offer a slate of courses online in the summer to help our students make progress towards their degrees. With support from an academic advisor, students needing particular courses may have other online options as well. If you have questions about the way courses are delivered in your program, please contact your Department or Program Chair.

Exciting Student Outcomes

Hartwick political science students complete research and internships and are well-prepared for employment or graduate school.


Legislative Assistant for New York State Assembly
Surayah Feliciano ’22

Campaign Intern for Robbert Zimmerman NY-03
Alice Johnson ’23

Intern for Albany District Attorney
Skyler Leveroni ’20

Graduate School

Law School JD Candidate
Pace Law School
The Legal Aid Society of NYC Intern
Alexis Epstein ’18

MPA in Public Policy
American University
Trevaughn Smith ’21

Masters in Public Administration
Cornell University
Joe Nolan ’19


Delegate Team Field Staff for Biden for President 2020 Campaign
Joe Nolan ’19

Project Analyst at Sikorsky Aircraft
New Haven, CT
Channing Lewis ’20

Project Manager
Children and Youth First United Nations High Commission on Refugees
New York, NY
Anjali Limbu ’15

Ready to be political science major or minor? Interested in a minor in legal studies or International Relations?
Here’s what it takes.

Review all the requirements in the College Catalog.

New Minor Offered Fall 2023

Requirements for the new minor in International Relations coming soon.
Talk with your advisor about this new opportunity.

Political science courses are offered in four areas of study: U.S. Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics and Political Theory.

Review the current course offerings in the College Catalog.


The Hartwick College Institute of Public Service is dedicated to strengthening democracy across the region by serving as a hub of collaboration and innovation between state and local government, and through civic engagement and legal studies.

Special Opportunities

The Department of Political Science, Law & International Relations faculty are committed to integrating hands-on learning experiences into their courses. Students have opportunities to engage in United Nations and Congressional simulations, forums and debates, and faculty research. Internships and off-campus study experiences are encouraged.

More about Special Opportunities

Meet Our Faculty

Amy Forster Rothbart

Associate Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the First Year FligthPath Experience

Laurel Elder

Professor of Political Science and Department Chair

James Buthman

Associate Professor of Political Science

Jing Chen

Associate Professor of Political Science

Matthew Chick

Assistant Professor of Political Science & Pre-Law Program Coordinator

Still Have Questions?

Contact Dr. Laurel Elder Professor & Department Chair