Join a rigorous, communication-intensive program and think critically about governments, policies and political processes.

College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Political Science

Political Science

Questions?

Undergraduate Admissions

(630) 637-5800

admissions@noctrl.edu

Why choose political science at North Central College?

You’ll apply what you learn to your day-to-day life while you further your academic and career goals. Political science majors agree that our energetic faculty run one of the most rigorous, communication-intensive majors at North Central. These dedicated professors will challenge you to think critically about governments, public policies and political processes–whether you’re analyzing source materials, reading online news sources or preparing to cast a vote. You’ll start contributing to local and global communities right away.

You can also:

  • Work one-on-one with faculty members on their research projects, whether authoring a textbook or monitoring political candidates.
  • Complete your own research projects, then present them at the Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research and other forums.
  • Apply for a Richter Grant to fund your research anywhere in the world.
  • Attend at least one professional conference, such as the Midwest Political Science Conference in Chicago, and write a paper about your experiences.
  • Gain valuable practical experience in law and international relations through the faculty-led Mock Trial and Model United Nations organizations.

More Department Information

Political Science, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Political Science.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 32 credit hours, including:

  • POLS 101 - The American Political System

    POLS 101 - The American Political System

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the fundamental ideas, actors, and institutions that make up the American political system. We examine the legal and structural basis of our government, evaluate the institutions that carry out its day-to-day functions, and analyze the role the individual citizen can play in influencing governmental policy. For each subject, we engage with some of the leading perspectives in political science; we also incorporate current events and our personal experiences. This course also includes a community-engaged learning component, allowing students the opportunity to put into practice the theories they have learned in the classroom.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory look at the variety of concepts, issues, debates, ideologies, and theoretical perspectives that have traditionally defined the discipline of International Relations. In particular, the course examines core issues such as international conflict, cooperation, globalization, international law, human rights, economic development, poverty, and terrorism. A great deal of time is devoted to exploring the dominant theoretical perspective of the field including realism, liberalism, Marxism, constructivism, and feminism.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 200 - Scope and Practice of Political Science

    POLS 200 - Scope and Practice of Political Science

    4.00 credit hours

    What does it mean to think, research, and write like a political scientist? Using rigorous methods and theoretical approaches, political science examines curiosities about the institutions, practices, and relations that shape the political world. This course introduces students to the scientific study of politics, covering the basics of research design and practice including the ways in which data and theory intersect, and how political scientists conceptualize, measure, and test relationships of interest in the discipline. For example, why are some social movements more effective than others? What explains the rise in partisan polarization over time? What are the causes of war? By the end of the term, students approach questions like these using the scientific method.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Sophomore standing.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Writing Intensive.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 490 - Seminar in Political Science

    POLS 490 - Seminar in Political Science

    4.00 credit hours

    Capstone course in political science in which senior political science majors draw upon their training to approach and explain political phenomena. Students apply their knowledge and skills as political scientists to tackle real-world political problems by employing existing research, social science methodology, and data.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Senior standing.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Ethical Dimensions.

    Schedule Of Classes

Political Science Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Political Science.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

  • POLS 101 - The American Political System

    POLS 101 - The American Political System

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the fundamental ideas, actors, and institutions that make up the American political system. We examine the legal and structural basis of our government, evaluate the institutions that carry out its day-to-day functions, and analyze the role the individual citizen can play in influencing governmental policy. For each subject, we engage with some of the leading perspectives in political science; we also incorporate current events and our personal experiences. This course also includes a community-engaged learning component, allowing students the opportunity to put into practice the theories they have learned in the classroom.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, U.S. Power Structures, Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Engaging Civic Life.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    POLS 102 - Introduction to International Relations

    4.00 credit hours

    An introductory look at the variety of concepts, issues, debates, ideologies, and theoretical perspectives that have traditionally defined the discipline of International Relations. In particular, the course examines core issues such as international conflict, cooperation, globalization, international law, human rights, economic development, poverty, and terrorism. A great deal of time is devoted to exploring the dominant theoretical perspective of the field including realism, liberalism, Marxism, constructivism, and feminism.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Social Science, Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally

    Schedule Of Classes

Electives

A minimum of 12 credit hours of Political Science, with at least four credit hours at the 300-level.

 Political Science Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.

Internships

  • Intern, White House
  • Campaign intern, U.S. Representative Judy Biggert, Naperville
  • Consulting firm, Coleman Group, Chicago
  • Senate press intern, Office of U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, Chicago
  • Volunteer relations intern, World Relief, Aurora, IL
  • Legislative assistant, Illinois Physical Therapy Association, Naperville
  • Youth intern, Global Vision International, Esteli, Nicaragua
  • Law clerk, Keough and Moody P.C., Naperville
  • Office of Member of British Parliament Vincent Cable, London, England

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in political science have been accepted at:

  • Yale University
  • University of Kentucky
  • John Hopkins University-SAIS
  • American University
  • The John Marshall Law School
  • University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Bush School of Government and Service, Texas A&M University
  • The George Washington University
  • St. Louis University School of Law
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Fordham University
  • DePaul University
  • University of San Diego
  • Appalachian State University
  • University of Chicago
  • Northwestern University

Careers

Recent graduates in political science include:

  • Manager of federal government relations, Darden Restaurants, Orlando, FL
  • Associate attorney, Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., Woodridge, IL
  • Associate director of global operations, Peace Corps
  • Assistant state’s attorney, DuPage County
  • Community resource coordinator, Lupus Foundation of America, Heartland Chapter
  • Vice president of advocacy, economic growth and quality of life, Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, Naperville, IL
     

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