Political Science at Franklin College

Mock trial and student UN team

Civic education helps individuals develop greater power as professionals, citizens and people. At Franklin College we couple experience with coursework to provide a real civic education. So, you won’t just be sitting in a classroom.

Anyone can “Google” a political blog, have political ideas fed to them by pundits or catch a TED Talk on a political issue. But students studying political science at Franklin College learn by doing. They engage personally with the fields of government, law and politics while connecting theory to practice.

Download the Political Science Major Handout (PDF)

Departmental Highlights

Why do students choose political science at Franklin College?

Political Science majors learn by doing:

  • Experiential learning is the core of the political science curriculum.
  • As part of their coursework, political science majors argue mock court cases, facilitate campaigns, present and/or publish their own work, participate in government or represent a position before their peers from around the globe. Courses demonstrate how individual experience in the field relates to leading scholarship and research in the discipline.
  • Political science majors complete one or more internships. Students benefit from one-on-one faculty support in tailoring their internship search, application and experience.

Political Science students receive a personalized educational experience:

  • Small classes, a low student-teacher ratio and dedicated advisers help students develop their potential toward exciting careers.
  • Faculty assist students with undergraduate research, career preparation and in the job search.
  • Faculty maintain strong relationships with alumni, providing a connection that helps both current students and graduates in the Franklin College family.

Political Science students make the most of their liberal arts education:

  • A broad range of courses and educational experiences introduce students to related careers.
  • A major in political science complements many other areas of study, such as chemistry, journalism, business and history. An international relations minor further broadens a student’s academic possibilities.
  • While many political science majors follow the specifically designed pre-law curriculum and enter law school, others apply their political science knowledge to a variety of careers. A background in political science is helpful in such areas as business, administration (educational, public, hospital), civil service and/or foreign service, education (secondary and college), politics, personnel management, polling and public opinion analysis, law enforcement, urban studies and planning, diplomatic and/or intelligence service and public environmental affairs.

Special Programs

Pre-Law Program

Franklin College offers students a distinctive experience in preparing for law school. The college and its partners generously offer a range of scholarships for pre-law students. Our pre-law curriculum guides students of any major toward classes and experiences that will best prepare them for application to law school, life as a law student and the realities of legal practice. Students receive individual advising in all aspects of the application process, choosing a school and financial planning for law school. Pre-law students at Franklin College enjoy a wide range of classes that help them learn more about law and the legal profession. And they enjoy experiences like Mock Trial Team that engage them in practice. Franklin College pre-law students engage in meaningful internships that help them build skills and connections. Details concerning the pre-law program may be obtained through department chair Randall Smith, Ph.D., or Assistant Professor Alli Fetter-Harrott, Ph.D.

Global Education

The department of political science encourages students to take advantage of global education opportunities. Our Model U.N. Team is one of many opportunities from which our students may choose to engage with people from around the globe. Students at Franklin College also have the opportunity to study away beginning as early as their first year, and we believe this experience is a key component of a liberal arts education. Study-away opportunities allow students to learn about other cultures and countries of the world, they encourage the development of problem-solving and cross-cultural communication skills. To learn more about study-away opportunities at Franklin College visit our office of global education.

  • Jessica Ayer

    The political science department at Franklin College has provided me with the theoretical knowledge, real life experiences, and critical thinking skills needed to successfully compete for acceptance to law school. - Jessica Ayer '16

  • Briana Humphries

    The best part of the Political Science Department is the access we have to our professors. The faculty are available to help us in any way possible whether its dealing with class schedules, discussing future grad schools and job opportunities or even just taking the time to sit down and chat. Having such helpful and caring advisers/professors really makes a difference. - Bri Humphries '15

Meet Our Faculty

Did You Know?

In alternate years political science students participate in Model U.N., competing against nearly 200 international teams in New York City.