Political Science

  • American politics and public policy
  • Comparative politics
  • International relations


The Department of Political Science (formerly called Government and International Relations) offers courses that explore some of the most important questions of concern to citizens in countries all over the world. For example:

• Why are some governments stable and others unstable?
• How do individuals and groups gain and maintain power?
• What factors cause wars or contribute to a peaceful resolution of conflicts?
• How do public policies affect citizens' lives and how can citizens affect those policies?
• How do differences in social characteristics, such as race, religion, ethnic background, gender or sexual orientation, affect peoples' political attitudes and behavior?

Students who major in Political Science learn how to probe, analyze, and engage in critical thinking about such questions. The curriculum provides theories and concepts, relevant information and tools for investigation for students to develop their own answers. In addition to courses in research methods and political theory, our students get to sharpen their analytical and research skills in courses they take in each of our subfields:

  • American Politics and Public Policy
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations

Clark Political Science students also gain greater depth in one of these subfields—whichever one they find most interesting—by taking several courses in it, from the introductory level to intensive advanced seminars.

Life After Clark

The political science major prepares students for careers in the public, non-profit, and private sectors, including positions in local, state, and national government, in international and community organizations, and in business, journalism, and education. Some of our students go on to professional schools or graduate school programs and earn advanced degrees in fields such as law, management, urban planning, public administration, public policy, and political science. Read more about our alumni.

Listen to some of our alumni:

Above: Thomas Hicks '93 is the Senior Elections Counsel to the U.S. Congress Committee on House Administration.

Above: Shaké Sulikyan '01, director of annual giving at Harvard Medical School, credits her passion for making a difference to her time at Clark.

Above: Carol Bolton Kappel '85 talks about how Clark helped her understand how individuals can be agents of change.

Above: T.F. Scott Darling III '84, Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant General Counsel of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, talks about his career path with Clark University senior Steve Harkey.