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Open Your Mind to Political Science

With a staff containing years of combined experience and a curriculum designed to challenge you to think critically about current societal issues, a Political Science degree from WVU will prepare you for a variety of career opportunities.
Meet Graduate Emma Harrison

Learn About Our Programs and People


Begin your Political Science coursework by completing introductory courses within five subfields of the discipline.


Study a comprehensive Political Science curriculum leading to a Master’s Degree (MA) or to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Our People

Our Department’s faculty have been recognized for both their teaching and research

Why Study Political Science?

You will come to understand the structures of power and authority that organize our world — why courts make their decisions, why legislatures pass the laws, and why countries make their choices in the international arena.

About the Department Welcome from the Chair

Apply Your Knowledge

Learn more about the opportunities available to undergraduates.


A variety of internship and service-learning opportunities exist at the state, national, and international levels.

Read More: Internships

Study Abroad

Numerous opportunities are offered through WVU, including several specifically designed for Political Science majors.

Read More: Study Abroad


Get involved in organizations such as Pre-Law Society, Debate Team, Model UN, Young Democrats, and College Republicans.

Read More: Organizations

What is Political Science?

Political Science is built on the core aspects of the great liberal arts tradition.  Our strengths are logic, appropriate data, analysis, and communication.  

Explaining the outcomes of political processes and events involves developing theories, using scientific methods to gather relevant evidence and test those theories, and then using strong communications skills to explain the research.  Honing these skills, and learning the knowledge that is shared in our classes, prepares graduates of our department for careers in law, politics, government, the military, academia, private enterprise, and non-profit service. 

American Politics 

American Politics examines questions related to the activities of all the branches of the federal government (legislative, judicial, executive), as well as all the levels of government (local, state, and federal). 

Comparative Politics 

Comparative Politics examines the differences between states.  Why do some states achieve high levels of economic growth, while others fall behind?  Does the process used to seek justice after conflicts have an influence on whether people think justice was achieved?  In short, why do similar states turn out very differently (and why do different states turn out similarly)?

International Politics 

International Politics is about the interactions that states have with each other.  From overlooked but critical activity like international trade and finance, to rarer and more violent interactions like war and coercion, this part of political science seeks to understand the forces that cause states to behave like they do to each other.

Political Theory 

Political Theory examines the moral and ethical questions surrounding politics.  What is the best form of government?  What is justice?  What are the moral reasons for us to prefer democracy to other forms of government?  This part of political science has links to philosophy, and asks similar questions, just with a directly political focus.

Explore Our Programs 

Undergraduate Programs Graduate Programs

Graduate Studies

You’ve completed your undergraduate study. Now what?

The political science graduate program at WVU is a great choice! Many of our doctoral students have gone on to earn tenure track positions at colleges and universities.

About Graduate Studies in Political Science   How to Apply to a Graduate Program

News & Social

In the Spotlight

More than students in a class — we are Mountaineers on a mission

View Spotlight for Alexander Dean

Alexander Dean

“I feel that the political science major at WVU and especially my professors, have helped me to realize my passion for political science research”

View Spotlight for Myya Helm

Myya Helm

“I chose to double major in Political Science and International Studies because I knew I wanted to become a part of something bigger than myself. ”

View Spotlight for Giana Loretta

Giana Loretta

“WVU is staffed with a faculty that genuinely wants every student to succeed. Whatever you aspire to be, there are people who will help you make it happen.”