Linfield University Political Science major How will you shape the future?

The world needs you.

Politics affect virtually every aspect of our lives from access to education, health care, and jobs to climate change, peace and security. Here, leaders of tomorrow come to create solutions.

Linfield Political Science majors explore questions of power, inequality, and justice and develop a dynamic skill set that enables them to adapt to a changing workplace. As Political Science is a close-knit department that challenges you to discover your own special talents and use them to make a positive difference in your life and in the lives of others. Political Science students complete internships, study abroad or in Washington DC, and participate in a range of department-centered events designed to engage the community on the vital topics of the day. Graduates pursue careers and/or graduate study in government, the non-profit sector, communications, business, law, public health, and beyond.

As part of your journey as a Political Science major, you will collect a range of experiences inside and outside of the classroom that will equip you with the skills and confidence to make a difference in the world of tomorrow. You learn to write across different generes (academic, policy, narrative storytelling, blogging), draw from a reservoir of interdisciplinary knowledge to think critically and creatively about complex social problems, receive training in data and information literacy and work with others from a range of different backgrounds.

  • Develop a research proposal with your interests in our “Research Methods” class.
  • Work 1-1 with faculty to create a unique contribution to the field with your Proseminar Independent Research Paper.
  • Explore and network career prospects with the opportunity to spend a semester in D.C or with an internship
  • Engage with current issues with events like “Pizza and Politics.”
  • Network with mentors with our Connections program
  • Write your own story with our “senior sequence” geared to have publishable pieces of writing, whether academic or op-eds and a career path.

Take a look at our curriculum map!

First year: explore

Here’s some of the things you can do as soon as you arrive to the department:

  • Learn from multiple disciplines: Political Theory, International Politics and American Politics
  • Engage in exciting “Pizza and Politics” events
  • Follow the department social media accounts (@LinfieldPOLS_IR)
  • Apply to join the Elliot Alexander Scholars
  • Start working in one of the most prestigious work study teams on campus

Second year: build

Continue your exploration into big questions, begin to hone in your interest and develop new skills by:

  • Taking an upper division course that you find interesting like Politics and the Arts, Comparative Politics or Campaigns and Elections
  • Taking Research Methods, a class that will teach you to consume data critically and to propose your own research.
  • Start building connections with alumni and upperclassmen with our PoliSci Alumni and Student Connections program.
  • Participate with faculty in Collaborative Research

Third year: apply

During this year you will continue growing and expanding your horizons beyond our campus.

  • You will engage in experiential learning through internships, both locally and in D.C to start gaining professional experience
  • You will continue learning and exploring through our upper division courses
  • You will partner with a faculty member and conduct a unique research with them.

Year 4: Master

Synthesize the work you have done and prepare to shape the future, joining alumni in wide ranging fields like government, non-profits and the private sector.

  • You will participate in a Senior Sequence in which you will prepare for a life in the world of political science through several modes of writing and presentations as well as presenting your own Senior Thesis project
  • You will apply for prestigious graduate programs
  • You will apply for jobs in the field
Do you see yourself here ?

“The Political Science Department has been one of the best parts of my Linfield experience. The department is very active on campus and consistently offers opportunities for civic engagement and discussions of key political issues. Most importantly, the department is a close-knit community where I have met some of my best friends, gotten to know the faculty on a first name basis, and have grown personally and professionally through meaningful workstudy experience”.- Joe McDowell, Class of 22’

Opportunities for our Majors

Be part of a unique community that values civic engagement, interesting discussions and out of the box thinking and join our unique programs like

  • The Elliot Alexander Scholars: A selective group of scholars that, because of an outstanding commitment with civic engagement or academic discipline, receive funding for textbooks, special events and collaborative research opportunities.
  • Poli-Sci Connections Alumni Outreach: A collaboration with Career Development to link students with alumni in their fields of interest inside of the world of politics to get a glimpse of life after graduation.
  • Pizza and Politics: Events that feature guest speakers, faculty discussions and cross-disciplinary interaction about important topics and current events.
  • Team POLS Work Study Team: The team of work study students that makes everything happen!


Check our advising sheet:

Come and make your mark!

Want more information?

Or email our department chair Dr. Patrick Cottrell at pat@linfield.edu !