Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

As our world becomes increasingly complex, understanding politics is crucial for being informed and involved citizens. Political Science isn’t just for students who aspire to work in government. Those seeking careers in law, business, journalism, teaching, or nonprofits benefit from understanding policy and politics. Political science majors at Alvernia have gone into careers in law, international business, government service at the federal and state levels, public policy, journalism, political activism, management, nonprofit positions, teaching, social work, counseling, criminal investigation and policy analysis. Political science students excel in careers that require excellent communication and analytical skills and knowledge about the world.

Alvernia students have an opportunity to earn college credit by spending a semester or summer in Washington, D.C., serving as interns in a congressional office, government agency, major corporation, newspaper or news network, or agencies devoted to legal affairs, international relations, or business and economics.

The political science program has five main goals:

  • To help students understand the nature of politics.
  • To improve student knowledge and appreciation of various countries, governments, and political movements.
  • To enable students to analyze trends and patterns in politics.
  • To emphasize policy issues so that students become well-informed democratic citizens who are can evaluate governmental policies and understand world events.
  • To help students who think critically about political problems and the world around them, and be able to communicate their views and opinions effectively

Getting Started

General Notes
  • A minimum of 123 credits are required for graduation.
  • Credits earned for COM 100 and MAT 100 do not count toward the 123 credits required for graduation; however, COM 100 students may petition for elective credit.
  • Where appropriate, courses required for the major can be used to satisfy General Education requirements. However, the credits earned for these courses are applied to either Gen Ed requirements or the major, not both.
  • Paths of Knowledge coursework may count towards major or minor requirements, but may not fulfill a second Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration requirement.
  • Students are expected to follow the catalog requirements for General Education, the major, and additional requirements.
  • A minor or second major within the areas listed under Paths of Knowledge automatically fulfills that area of the Gen Ed requirements.
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Why Choose Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers more than 50 majors and minors.
• An ever-expanding number of experiential learning opportunities includes internships, field experiences, co-ops, research projects, and study/service abroad programs.
• A rich campus life allows students to enjoy a full calendar of activities and events, more than 50 clubs, intramural sport and student leadership and governance opportunities.
• In growth mode, Alvernia continues to add value to its student experience: expanding academic programming in new facilities; adding student living space and updating residence halls; partnering with a community health provider; and adding amenities including a game room and new performance space.


Program Overview

Major Notes
  • Political science majors are encouraged to take a double major or one or two minors.
  • Majors commonly do an internship for one semester or during the summer in their junior or senior year.
  • Majors who are part of the Honors Program fulfill at least 3 of the or core or major requirements with Honors courses; they also must take 6-credits worth of thesis.
  • Majors may study abroad. 
Curriculum: General Education

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Political Science majors must complete 30 credits in the major.

First Year Curriculum: Enduring Questions

  • SEARCH Seminar-Enduring Questions or Honor Search-Enduring Questions (3 credits: SRH 101 or HNR 160)
  • COM 101 Composition & Research: Must earn a C or higher (3 credits)
  • THE 105 Foundations of Theology (3 credits)
  • PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration Credits

  • Exploring the Natural World (6-8 credits)
    • Lab Science
    • Math
  • Individuals & Communities (6 credits)
    • History or Political Science (Met in major requirements)
    • PSY 101, HIS, POS, SOC, SSC, or ECON (Met in major requirements)
  • Culture & Language (9 credits)
    • Communication (Not COM 100 or 101)
    • World Language – 2 courses in sequence
  • Creative Expressions (6 credits)
    • Literature (ENG)
    • Art, Music, or Theatre

Ethical Leaders and Followers Credits

  • Theology or Philosophy (200-400 level)
  • Theology or Philosophy (Ethics/Morality @ 200 level)
Curriculum: Paths of Knowledge

Paths of Knowledge may count towards minor or Related Requirements, but not Mid-Level Arts Exploration requirements. Choose one path.

PATH 1: Interdisciplinary Study (IS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level from the interdisciplinary minors of Women & Gender Studies, Digital Media, Community & Environmental Sustainability, Community Engagement, Cultural Studies, Leadership Studies or Pre-Law.

PATH 2: Multi-disciplinary Study (MS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level employing multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore the Enduring Questions in one of the following themes: Cultural & Global Studies, Imagination & Creativity, Peace & Conflict, Poverty & Wealth or Sustainability, Science & Technology.

PATH 3: In-depth Disciplinary Study (DS)

Three courses at the 200-400 level in one Liberal Arts discipline other than one’s major, guided by common ideas and methods of inquiry. Students choose from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Theatre or World Languages. This path may be used to give students a firm foundation in a discipline supporting their chosen major, or to pursue an interest in one of the Liberal Arts disciplines. 

Curriculum: Major Requirements

Required courses for political science majors are:

  • POS 101: Introduction to Political Science
  • POS 111: American Democratic Government
  • POS 212: Comparative Politics OR POS 225 International Relations
  • POS 424: History of Political Thought
  • POS 425: Research Seminar

You also must take 5 elective courses in political science. Elective courses include those regularly in the catalog, such as Constitutional Law, The Presidency, or Public Policy, as well as a variety of special topics courses such as Election Bootcamp, Media and Politics, Religion, War and Politics, Social Justice and Advocacy, and Utopian Societies. Political Science majors are encouraged to earn between 3 and 12 credits for successfully completing one or more internships that help students explore career paths while gaining workplace experience and connections.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Through internships, students have opportunities to apply theories and knowledge learned in the classroom in a variety of professional settings. In addition to providing exposure to the activities and expectations of a real-world workplace, internship experiences help students develop their network of professional contacts. Internships are available for Alvernia students with officials at all levels of government, including elected local, state, and federal representatives. Students can also intern in any of the three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial, depending on their interests and career goals. The Washington Center provides opportunities to do a full-time internship in Washington, D.C.

Political Science students have the opportunity to participate in Alvernia’s partnership with The Washington Center, spending a semester or the summer at an internship in the nation’s capital. Alvernia sponsors student participation in political seminars hosted through the Washington Center in January and the summer months around such subjects as the National Conventions and the Presidential Inauguration. Alvernia Political Science students can study abroad and also take advantage of many opportunities for internships with local politicians and community organizations.

Accreditation Statement
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

With a degree in political science from Alvernia, you will be poised for a variety of exciting careers. Some students pursue careers in government service in Washington, D.C. Others work in state government or run for office, work on campaigns, or work for elected officials on Capitol Hill. Political science majors at Alvernia have gone into careers in:

  • International Business
  • Government Service at The Federal and State Levels
  • Public Policy
  • Journalism
  • Political Activism
  • Management
  • Non-Profit Positions
  • Teaching, Social Work Counseling
  • Criminal Investigation and Policy Analysis
  • Foreign Service
  • International Aid
  • Defense Analysis
  • Interpreter

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, political scientists usually need at least a master’s degree in political science, public administration, or a related field. Employment in this position is expected to grow 7 percent from 2022 to 2032. The median salary for a political scientist is $128,000 in May 2022.

Opportunities for Majors

Political Science Club (POSCI)

The Political Science Club supports the university's mission statement by expanding student's knowledge of and participation in politics at the state, local, and national levels. We are committed to raising political awareness and serving the community. The POSCI members meet to discuss political issues and events, to host or see speakers, and to become actively involved in debates, including Mock Trials and Model United Nations. Membership is open to anyone at Alvernia interested in politics in politics or political issues.

Mock Trial & Model United Nations

Alvernia’s mock trial team participates in intercollegiate competitions. Participating students gain confidence with public speaking and also enhance skills of legal reasoning and debate. Alvernia also has sponsored teams to participate in intercollegiate Model United Nations, representing countries such as Pakistan, Mali, and Peru, learning about international relations, the United Nations system, and pressing global issues.

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College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences
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Get to Know Your Faculty

For more information about Alvernia’s Political Science program contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or Or reach out directly to Professor of Political Science Victoria Williams at 610-796-5511 or