The Political Science program at USF prepares you for multiple career paths with a solid grounding in all aspects of political science. USF’s degree program provides you with training in American politics and law, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. You will be able to analyze issues at regional, national and international levels, and develop skills and habits for lifelong learning.

A degree in political science can lead to high paying professions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median pay as $115,1100 a year for political scientists and $119,250 for lawyers. Faculty provide students with an excellent preparation for their chosen career, whether law, journalism, political campaigning, governmental work, education or law enforcement.

USF’s Political Science students learn in a state-of-the-art environment. Students become true political scientists as they use the latest technology and strategies to identify and use research data and polls. For example, the Scope and Methods class exposes students to the most recent technology and programs used by professionals. Additionally, USF’s courtroom for mock trail activities is located at its St. Bonaventure Campus, located in downtown Joliet– just down the street from the Will County Courthouse.


American Politics
Choose six courses from the following:
POLI 201 American Political Thought 3
POLI 205 Contemporary Political & Social Justice Issues 3
POLI 225 Political Parties and Pressure Groups 3
POLI 230 Political Communication 3
POLI 325 The United States Since 1945 3
POLI 328 The United States in World Affairs 3
POLI 345 Constitutional Law: American Community 3
POLI 346 Constitutional Law: Bill of Rights 3
POLI 355 The Presidency 3
POLI 365 The Congress 3
POLI 375 American Public Policy 3

Public Policy 
ACCT 125 Financial Accounting 3
ECON 101 Principles of Macroeconomics 3
ECON 102 Principles of Microeconomics 3
MGMT 150 Management and Organizational Behavior 3
POLI 220 Public Administration 3
POLI 375 American Public Policy 3

Four courses from the following (12 credit hours)
POLI 205 Contemporary Political & Social Justice Issues 3
POLI 221 State and Local Politics 3
POLI 320 Policy Analysis, Implementation & Evaluation 3
POLI 328 The United States in World Affairs 3
POLI 400 Policy Topics 3

POLI XXX Six courses from the Political Science Curriculum 18
(3 of the above must be at 300-400 level)

Pre-Law Notes
The pre-law handbook, published by the Association of American Law Schools and the Law School Admission Council, states that no specific major, course of studies, department, or division is preferred for all students preparing for a law career. A future law student needs to develop experience and skills in three basic areas:

  • Effectiveness in the comprehension and use of language
  • In-depth understanding of human institutions and values
  • Creative power in thinking.

A particular major may be more helpful if a student has already determined what type of lawyer he or she wants to be. For example, someone seeking a career in corporation law may find that a business administration major will give the best
preparation for future work. English, history, criminal and social justice, political science, philosophy, and sociology are other areas typically chosen as pre-law majors.

Many USF students major in political science since there are a number of courses in the major associated with the field of law. For instance, the Introduction to Law course teaches students to think like lawyers and includes visits to local law schools as well as class visits by law school admission counselors. The department also offers courses in Intro to Criminal Law,
Constitutional Law, and Corporate Law. Of course, students majoring in other disciplines are welcome to take these courses as well.

Academic advisors work closely with pre-law students to ensure that electives within their chosen major and general education courses all strengthen the student’s preparation for the LSAT admission exam and ultimately law school. Students are encouraged to take courses in economics, accounting, ethics, critical writing, and speech. Students preparing for the LSAT Exam are also encouraged to take the one-credit LSAT Prep class, as well as the Princeton Review or Kaplan preparation program. The pre-law advisor is a member of the Midwest Pre-Law Association and works with students on school selection,
recommendation letters and personal statements as part of law school selection, application, and admission.

Internships (Legal, Washington Legislative, Governmental)
Students have the opportunity to work in a number of regional law firms or intern for judges in a legal internship. Students can also elect to spend a credit in Washington DC interning for a congressman or senator. In addition, students have interned for the White House or for Washington lobbying firms. Locally, students can intern with a state representative or senator. 

Mock Trial Competition
USF also has a Mock Trial Competition University of Chicago, to name a few. The team regularly receives an invitation to the national tournament and has won trophies for team excellence as well as individual student awards. USF sponsors its own invitational tournament in the fall. Students may take POLI 350 Legal Process-Mock Trial two times for college credit.


  • Political Science


The University of St. Francis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.


“USF has given me an unforgettable experience. Faculty members have allowed me to grow both intellectually and as a person. Each professor has supported me and my goals, and was more than willing to help me achieve anything I set my mind to. I was pushed and motivated to learn, grow, and become a better person. This incredible support system has surrounded me with an incredible group of colleagues, mentors, and friends.”
–Autumn Lee

What Can You Do With This Degree?

As a Political Science major at the University of St. Francis, you will look at politics from many perspectives and be encouraged to take course­work from several concentrations—Pre-law, American Politics, or Public Policy. Graduates of the program can explore work in public service, the non-profit sector, the private sector, or public policy. Many graduates also go on to graduate school or law school.

Grow Through Real-World Experience

At USF, political science comes alive in and out of the classroom. Students plan political campaigns, write speeches and bills, participate in election debates and argue cases in mock trials. They examine governments, laws and the people that create and implement them. Internships in public service and law related organiza­tions are offered to juniors and seniors in the local area and in Washington, D.C. These programs form a valuable link between college and career and are an important part of the undergraduate experience. Many of USF’s Political Science majors have spent a rewarding semester living in Washington D.C. and interning in senatorial offices, congressional offices, and the White House.

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