Why Hartwick?

Study Political Science at Hartwick College and you’ll develop the critical thinking skills, insight, and understanding required to effect lasting change in your community, the country, and the world.

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Your Hartwick Political Science degree will lay the groundwork for a career in law, public service, public administration, the fast-growing field of environmental politics.

Hartwick’s flexible curriculum allows you to understand the complexities of politics in context. Your professors will encourage a cross-disciplinary approach so you can tailor your major to your interests and develop a distinctive preparation for your future. Build a strong foundation of coursework, then study Business Law or Global Civil Rights in history courses, Public Speaking with theatre faculty, Bioethics in a philosophy class, or Social Policy with sociology faculty.

Political science clubs, debate-watch parties, Model United Nations, and Student Government are just a few of the ways you can apply your learning and build your skills right here on campus. Cap off your education with an in-depth Senior Thesis on a research topic of greatest interest to you, from women in politics to the media’s effect on voting.

Political Science Major and Minor Requirements

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As a first-year student, 21st Century modules on political fluency will help you gain a deeper appreciation for diverse perspectives. J Term courses abroad will give you insight into the complexities of international governance, while domestic study opportunities might take you to the Southwest to witness the growing importance of environmental law.

Your Guidance Team will help you identify internships and other immersive experiences to test-drive your skills with state and local lawmakers, or you might work alongside professors on their advanced research. You’ll get a real-world education in the intellectual and moral challenges of contemporary leadership; be sure to include that on your Digital Resume!

Ask your faculty about ways you can build your credentials. Develop your critical thinking skills and compete for generous prizes in the Stephen L. Green American Governance Essay Contest. Or assert your point of view on a critical issue of our time and compete for the Mehri Senior Thesis Award. (Both Manhattan real estate mogul Steve Green '59 and noted civil rights attorney Cyrus Mehri '83 majored in political science at the Wick!)


Whether you’re headed for a career in law, politics, public administration, or policy-setting, a Hartwick degree in Political Science gives you the broad knowledge, deep insights, and practical skills you’ll need to succeed.

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Where Can You Go With A Hartwick Political Science Degree?

Private Practice 

Like Christina Graziadei ’16, an associate with Hinman, Howard, & Kattell, LLP, who practices in the firm’s Business and Corporate Law and Not for Profit Corporation and Foundation Practice Groups in Binghamton. Christina earned both a J.D. and a Master’s in Forensic Science from Syracuse University. She played basketball for Hartwick and is now a volunteer coach.

Community Development

Like Rob Tracey ’13, the senior planner for Queen Anne’s County Planning and Zoning in Centreville, Maryland. Rob, a former Legislative Fellow at the NYS Senate, earned a Master’s in Public Administration at Cornell University. He received a Hartwick College Faculty Research Grant, which allowed him to work as a research assistant alongside his mentor, Dr. Laurel Elder of the political science faculty.

Public Defense

Like Alexis Epstein ’18, who earned her JD from Pace University and is now an Assistant Public Defender at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office in the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office (FL). At Hartwick, she strengthened her commitment to justice as an advocacy intern with Waterkeeper Alliance, and did a summer internship with Judge Rodriguez-Morick in the Bronx Supreme Court. A double-major in business, she studied global business in Italy one J Term and sustainable public policy in Arizona another.


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.

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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.

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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
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