Political Science (B.A.)

Program Summary

The Political Science major combines the strengths of a traditional liberal arts major with many of the specific skills that will serve students well as they graduate from Samford. The discipline of Political Science asks the big questions related to how human beings function in communities, what justice means and how we can accomplish it, and how we set up laws and institutions to better function in groups. Paired with these philosophical concerns is a clear focus on practical opportunities in internship programs, honing analytical and statistical skills, direct participation in campus, community and international political organizations, and department-level travel opportunities. Political Science majors will finish their time at Samford with a broadened perspective, a commitment to engage the world as citizens, and the specific skills needed to succeed in the real world.

Objectives & Goals

Students will complete this major with sophistication about the political system, direct political experience through our required internship program, and specific skills in writing, communicating, and statistical analysis. Just as important are the critical thinking skills that every student will cultivate in small classes taught by award-winning professors.

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Is This Program for Me?

Students who major in Political Science will likely have strengths in two distinct areas: an independent and curious approach to the political and philosophical issues of the day; and an eagerness to take part directly in the political system, or less directly in groups that attempt to influence or understand it.

What Makes Us Different?

This program brings together the strengths of Samford University, providing students with personal attention in small classes inspired by the liberal arts tradition. At the same time, it draws on resources from across campus, including the Law School, the Global Engagement office, and the Political Science internship program.

Career Preparation

Market Ready

Political Science provides students with an effective mixture of coursework, specific skills, and real-world experience. Courses are small, taught by full-time faculty with doctorates, who, at an early stage, become advocates for students. The Political Science Department's internship program offers students professional experience in policy and international settings. An annual trip to Washington provides many Political Science students with career-related visits to offices in a wide variety of areas. The Department also provides an ongoing series of presentations by alumni about their career experiences since graduating from Samford.

Career Opportunities

  • Government service
  • Law
  • NGOs, social justice and activism
  • Business
  • Missions
  • Academics and graduate study
  • Education

Internships

  • The White House
  • The Alabama Legislature
  • US State Department
  • American Enterprise Institute
  • Heritage Foundation
  • Amnesty International
  • Numerous Law Firms
  • Numerous US Representatives' and Senators' offices

Fellowships

  • The Truman Foundation

Alumni & Faculty

Alumni Careers

  • Nongovernmental Organizations
  • Social Justice and Activism
  • Government Service
  • Peace Corps
  • Law School
  • Academics
  • Defense Department
  • US Air Force
  • Business
  • Missions 

Notable Alumni

  • Jamie Gibson, 2003
  • Tessa Childs, 2013
  • Jennifer Wilmore Scroggins, 2007
  • Riley Barnacastle, 2013
  • Eric Motley, 1996
  • Myra Miller, 1996
  • Phillip Schwartzfager, 2003
  • Jonathan Coley, 2010
  • Jesska Cunningham Lim, 2011
  • Travis Peterson, 1999

Notable Faculty