Political Science

As a student in Duquesne’s Department of Political Science, you’ll encounter complex theories, ideas and historical events that require critical thinking and analysis, while building a deep understanding of how society functions, how governments operate and how policies are made.

You’ll study topics such as international relations, political theory, American government, comparative politics and public policy, interrogating a variety of texts, attending vibrant lectures, participating in debates and conducting research. Based on Duquesne’s liberal arts foundation, our challenging curriculum is designed to help you develop strong critical thinking, communication and research skills, all highly valuable in a range of careers.

What You’ll Explore

As a political science student, you’ll delve into the following topics:

  • War, ethnic conflict and terrorism
  • Elections, political parties and policymaking
  • Law and the judiciary
  • Poverty, human rights and climate change
  • Freedom, justice and equality

"Political science is a fluid, inspiring field. It's truly limitless in terms of the translation and flexibility if offers you."

Kendal Nasiadka, Political Science major


Program Information

In our Political Science program, you will study international relations, political theory, American government, comparative politics, and public policy. Develop critical thinking, communication, and research skills for diverse careers.

Program Type

Major, Minor



Academic Department

Political Science



Required Credit Hours


Program Requirements

Core courses are required, regardless of concentration.

  • POSC 105: American National Government
  • POSC 208 or POSC 209: Politics of Great Powers or Politics of Emerging Powers
  • POSC 245: International Relations
  • POSC 298: Introduction to Political Analysis
  • POSC 317W or 318W: Western Political Thought I or II

Concentrations for Majors

Concentrations are optional for political science majors.

  • American Politics & Policy
  • International Politics
  • Law & Politics
  • National Security & Civil Liberty

Whether or not you decide to concentrate your studies in one of these fields, you will develop critical thinking, writing, analysis and leadership skills that will prepare you for a career in a number of growing fields, including politics, law, policymaking, government, activism, journalism, international relations, academia and consulting.

Major Concentrations

Though not required, political science concentrations are ideal for students with an area of special interest.

The American Politics & Policy concentration examines the most pressing problems facing the nation today, as well as the political parties, institutions, and processes making policy to solve them.  This concentration is great preparation for careers in government, politics, policymaking, nonprofits, and business.
Common courses taken as a part of this concentration include:
  • POSC 202: State and Local Politics
  • POSC 203: American Congress
  • POSC 292W: Public Policy
  • POSC 294W: American Presidency
  • POSC 303: Politics of Immigration
With a concentration in International Politics, you will learn about the most important issues and theories in international relations, as well as the politics of other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the America. This concentration is ideal for students interested in careers in foreign affairs, international security, diplomacy, defense policy, nongovernmental organizations, and international business.
Common courses taken as a part of this concentration include:
  • POSC 205: Politics of Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and South Asia
  • POSC 208: Politics of Great Powers
  • POSC 209: Politics of Emerging Powers
  • POSC 255: American Foreign Policy
  • POSC 321: Politics of Russia and Eastern Europe
Before entering law school, this concentration will help you gain an understanding of Constitutional law, international law, ethics, and legal careers. It is great preparation for anyone interested in law school, legal practice, law enforcement, and business.
Common courses taken as a part of this concentration include:
  • POSC 214: Politics, Religion, and Fundamental Rights
  • POSC 301: Introduction to Legal Education, the Life of Lawyers and the Legal Profession
  • POSC 326W: Constitutional Law and Politics: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
  • POSC 327W: Constitutional Law and Politics: The Powers of Government 
  • POSC 385: International Law and Organization
This concentration helps develop critical thinking about the relationship and tensions between America's fundamental liberties and quest for national security. Students interested in careers in civil rights, human rights, law, and political organizing will benefit from this concentration.
Common courses taken as a part of this concentration include:
  • POSC 215: National Security and Liberty
  • POSC 218: National Security in the 2020s
  • POSC 405: Homeland Security
  • POSC 413W: Human Rights and Human Security: Politics, Policy & Law

Student Opportunities

Expand your knowledge, develop your skills and build relationships with others who share your interest in the field.

The Department of Political Science offers students many opportunities to get involved in student organizations, attend events and conferences and engage in discussions and debates with peers and faculty.

Minor in Political Science

Many students from across the university minor in political science.

  • General Political Science
  • American Politics & Policy
  • International Politics
  • Law & Politics
  • National Security & Civil Liberty