Political Science

Political science students are by nature curious and ambitious people who seek an understanding of public problems and potential solutions. At BVU, we support students’ career goals with world-class internships, travel, and engaging discussions. On the very first day of study, faculty get to know students and partner with them in a search for more enlightened perspectives on a world full of challenges and opportunities.

Politics and policy

Students who graduate with this major can pursue careers in:

  • Campaign coordinator
  • Prosecuting attorney
  • Policy analyst and program manager
  • Professor
  • Administrative agencies
  • U.S. Military
  • Legislative research

There are three tracks in political science at BVU – public administration, politics and policy, and legal studies – allowing students to solidify strengths and customize paths. BVU political science majors begin by assembling core knowledge of politics, policy processes, governing institutions, and the law. In the third and fourth years, students apply what they’re learning by attending professional conferences, presenting their own research projects, and performing internship assignments - nearby, in Washington, D.C., and abroad. 

Political science majors are closely mentored by faculty to become accomplished problems solvers and expert communicators. Faculty partner others at BVU to ensure students are “workplace ready” and, if they decide to, compete for admission to the nation’s best graduate and law schools.

Talk to Us

We'd love to get to know you. Tell us a bit about yourself, and we'll be in touch with the scoop about BVU.

Legal Studies

Gain the competitive edge as a pre-law student

BVU’s law school preparation develops the skills most important to success in law school including logical and analytical reasoning, research, critical thinking, and communication skills. We are one of the only institutions in the country to have a dedicated legal studies track and partnerships with the University of Iowa College of Law and Creighton University School of Law.

Learn more

Lead Others

American Mock Trial Association + more

BVU was among the original 12 founding members of the American Mock Trial Association, which started in 1985 and today has over 500 registered teams. In recent years, the BVU team has earned trophies for “best attorney” and “best witness” at regional competitions. Students are also able to earn academic credit by participating in the program.

Political science majors are campus leaders in student government, community service projects, and participate routinely in BVU’s distinctive “Alternative Week of Spring Break” wherein students travel throughout the United States providing essential services to vulnerable populations. 

 

Internships

  • The White House
  • British Parliament
  • U.S. Congress
  • U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Council on Hemispheric Affairs 

Careers

  • Trial attorney, private law firm
  • U.S. Army, Commissioned officer
  • World Bank Group, Digital strategist
  • U.S. Forest Service, Watershed forestry specialist
  • Candidate for U.S. Congress, Field coordinator / campaign staff, 

Graduate School

  • University of Iowa
  • Marquette University
  • University of Maryland
  • Iowa State University
  • Drake University

Major in Political Science - Politics and Policy Track (41 credit hours)

Required support work

  • PSCN 115 Introduction to Politics
  • MATH 140 Elementary Applied Statistics
  • ECON 200 Economics Foundation

Politics and Policy Core

  • PSCN 205 Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • PSCN 240 Judicial Process OR PSCN 245 Introduction to American Law
  • PSCN 310 Comparative Politics OR PSCN 315 International Relations
  • PSCN 340 Congress and the Presidency
  • PSCN 400 Pre-Professional Seminar
  • PSCN 460 Constitutional Law
  • PSPA 320 State and Local Politics
  • PSPA 360 Introduction to Public Affairs

Electives

Complete Option A or Option B = 6 hours

Option A

  • PSCN 465 Civil Liberties
  • PSCN 485 Special Topics in Political Science
  • PSCN 495 Political Science Internship
  • PSPA 380 Administrative Agencies
  • One regional history course: HIST 320 History of the Middle East, HIST 360 History of China, OR HIST 362 History of Japan
  • Additional PSCN or PSPA course at the 300 level or higher not previously completed to satisfy a PSCN requirement

Major in Political Science - Politics and Policy Track: Option B

  • PSCN 490 Washington Center Internship Program

Major in Political Science - Legal Studies Track (40 credit hours)

Required support work

  • PSCN 110 Introduction to American Government
  • PSCN 115 Introduction to Politics
  • PHIL 130 Logic

Legal Studies Core

  • PSCN 205 Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • PSCN 245 Introduction to American Law
  • PSCN 370 Legal Research and Writing
  • PSCN 400 Pre-Professional Seminar
  • PSCN 401 LSAT Preparation
  • PSCN 460 Constitutional Law
  • PSPA 320 State and Local Politics OR PSPA 360 Introduction to Public Affairs

Electives

Complete Option A, B, or C

Option A (choose four)

  • CRIM 371 Criminal Procedure OR CRIM 240 Criminal Law
  • MGMT 315 Business Law I
  • PSCN 240 Judicial Process or PSCN 245 Introduction to American Law
  • PSCN 465 Civil Liberties
  • PSCN 485 Special Topics in Political Science
  • PSCN 495 Political Science Internship
  • PSCN or PSPA course at 300 level or higher not previously completed to satisfy a PSCN requirement

Option B

  • PSCN 490 Washington Center Internship Program

Option C

This option is available to students in the “3+3” Accelerated Law School Entry dual degree program.

Electives (choose two)

  • CRIM 371 Criminal Procedure OR CRIM 240 Criminal Law
  • MGMT 315 Business Law I
  • PSCN 465 Civil Liberties
  • PSCN 495 Political Science Internship
  • PSCN or PSPA course at 300 level or higher not previously completed to satisfy a PSCN requirement

AND admission to the "3+3" Accelerated Law School Entry Program & successful completion of the first year of full-time study in partner law school's Juris Doctor program.

Buena Vista University 3+3 partners include the University of Iowa College of Law and Creighton University School of Law. Eligibility for the "3+3" Accelerated Law School Entry Program is contingent on satisfaction of the following criteria:

  • ACT of 24 (or above) or SAT of 1110 (or above) at time of admission to BVU
  • Successful completion of: a minimum of 98 credit hours, the Legal Studies Track, BVU Foundations and Explorations requirements and IDST 400
  • Favorable recommendation from BVU’s designated Pre-Law Advisor.
  • Successful admission to a partner law school.
  • Successful completion of one year of full-time study (30 semester hours) in the partner law school’s Juris Doctor program

Major in Political Science - Public Administration track (37 credit hours)

Public Management Core

  • MGMT 306 Principles of Management
  • MGMT 320 Human Resource Management
  • PSCN 245 Introduction to American Law
  • PSPA 165 Introduction to Public Administration
  • PSPA 320 State and Local Politics
  • PSPA 360 Introduction to Public Affairs
  • PSPA 400 Pre-Professional Seminar

Support Work

  • PSCN 115 Introduction to Politics
  • MATH 140 Elementary Applied Statistics
  • ECON 200 Economics Foundation

Electives

Complete Option A or Option B = 6 hours

Option A

Complete either A1 or A2:

  • A1. Politics Emphasis: PSCN 340 Congress and the Presidency and PSCN 460 Constitutional Law
  • A2. Decision Making Emphasis: MGMT 205 Decision Science Foundations and PHIL 336 Professional Ethics

Option B

  • PSCN 490 Washington Center Internship Program

Minor in Political Science (24 credit hours)

  • PSCN 115 Introduction to Politics
  • PSCN 205 Introduction to Political Philosophy
  • PSCN 310 Comparative Politics OR PSCN 315 International Relations
  • PSCN 340 Congress and the Presidency
  • PSCN 460 Constitutional Law
  • PSPA 360 Introduction to Public Affairs

2 courses from

  • PSCN or PSPA at the 300 level or higher

Major in Political Science with Teaching Licensure (5-12) (41 credit hours)

  • Political science politics and policy track major (41 credit hours)
  • Plus requirements for secondary education and education core

Minor in Political Science with Teaching Licensure (5-12)

Option 1

  • Political science minor (24 credit hours)
  • Plus requirements for secondary education and education core

Option 2

15 credit hours of social science courses and 15 credit hours of political science courses including:

  • PSCN 110 Introduction to American Government
  • PSCN 115 Introduction to Politics
  • PSCN 460 Constitutional Law
  • PSCN 465 Civil Liberties
  • PSPA 360 Introduction to Public Affairs
  • Plus requirements for secondary education and education core

Faculty

Dr.   Bradley  Best

Bradley Best

Professor of Political Science

Meet the professor
Ms.   Lisa Kesting  Best

Lisa Kesting Best

Professor of Political Science

Meet the professor