• Political Science Students
Political Science Department

The practice of American politics and government.

» Welcome to the Political Science Department

Students in the Political Science Department discover the great and enduring ideas of political philosophy, concepts and theories central to an understanding of international relations, and the theory and practice of American politics and government.

To achieve these ends, each political science student will become well-grounded in the social sciences, familiar with the philosophy and methodology of inquiry in the discipline, and acquainted with well-known criticisms of approaches to inquiry in political science. Students will become familiar with the breadth and diversity of approaches-both theoretical and practical-and intellectual traditions within the student's chosen sub-field concentration.

Political science is one of the largest majors at Chapman University. Beyond providing detailed knowledge of the political world, training in political science helps the student think clearly and communicate effectively--skills that are required in any career. The study of political science enhances students’ abilities to be effective citizens. Whether watching presidential debates, breaking news stories on global or domestic crises or media coverage of current events, political science students will have the skills to contextualize what is happening and analyze the situation.  As a result, when they go to vote, write a letter to a congressperson, or discuss matters with family and friends, their enhanced insight will be valuable to their actions as citizens.

+ - Degree Programs

Political science majors at Chapman University have a variety of hands-on opportunities to enhance their educational experience, including internships, study abroad programs, travel courses, and faculty-student collaborative research projects. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Model United Nations Program. The department has a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society and is also the home department to the Pre-Law program.  

This unique combination of classroom theory and real world experience makes Chapman alumni particularly well-suited for careers in public service, law, diplomacy, journalism, the military, and teaching.

We emphasize theoretical concepts learned in the classroom with practical “hands-on” experience learned through internships in local and national government; travel, and participation in groups such as the Model United Nations.

Department of Political Science Academic Programs

+ - Where can Political Science Take You?

The major helps prepare students for careers in public service, law, diplomacy, journalism, the military, and teaching.  Students who wish to go to law school may choose any major. Nevertheless, political science remains the most frequently selected major of those students who actually go to law school. The political science department is home to the pre-law program. More information on careers.

Learn about exciting internships, the National Political Science Honor Society and studying abroad. 

Political science majors at Chapman University have a variety of learning opportunities from which to choose to enhance their educational experience, including internships, the study abroad program, travel courses, and faculty-student collaborative research projects.  Students also have an opportunity to participate in the Model United Nations Program.  The department has a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.

+ - Research and Programs

Political Science students have the opportunity to conduct collaborative research with faculty members and our majors also undertake significant original research projects of their own. Engaging in research as an undergraduate, with the help of a faculty mentor, has significant benefits for our students. They improve their critical thinking skills, creativity, problem-solving abilities and they build intellectual independence. Not only is their learning enhanced, but students are building a competitive profile for scholarships and awards, graduate school, law school and ultimately, the job market.

The Department also offers a variety of programs recommended for majors:

The Model United Nations Program

The Washington Semester Program

Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Honor Society for Political Science)

The Pre-Law Program and Pre-Law Society

Majors can learn about various topics within the field of political science by visiting the Department’s research links section.

+ - Internships

Students are also encouraged to become actively involved in the political process by choosing an internship.

Click here for a list of Fall 2018 internships!

At the local level, students can intern with one of the Orange County Board of Supervisors offices or with a County Agency (for example, the Public Defender, District Attorney, or Health Care Agency). Internship opportunities are also available in Washington, D.C., where students can intern in congressional offices, the White House, the United States Supreme Court, or with an interest group or government agency. Students can also get internship credit for arranging their own internship, with the permission of a faculty member, for example, with a political campaign, or in a law office.

Internships are strongly encouraged and provide one of the best ways to enhance a political science major.  Not only do students gain valuable skills and sample jobs in the field, they also become actively involved in the political process by pursuing an internship. 

Internships may be taken for credit and count toward the degree or they may be non-credit.  Local internships include working for a congressperson or state and local government elected officials.  Also, local governments seek interns wishing to work in public affairs or public administration.  Pre-law students are encouraged to do an internship in a law office or court so that they can gain a feel for the breadth of work that attorneys and judges do. 

Students also may choose to do an internship in Washington, DC, for a semester or summer through a choice of programs there. Chapman students have done internships in the White House, Supreme Court, Senate and House offices, the Department of Justice, and a wide variety of federal offices, as well as for Non-Governmental Organizations engaged in advocacy.

Finally, through Chapman’s Center for Global Education, students may select from a variety of international internships.  Also, the Center coordinates Study Abroad opportunities and short term travel courses each of which are encouraged for political science majors.

Political Science Conference Series

The Political Science Department hosts an array of relevant and political events each spring. Take a look at our pasts events below and check out the Spring 2019 conference taking place on March 27!

Contact Us!

Department of Political Science
Roosevelt Hall 250
Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 628-2767

Chair of the Department of Political Science

Dr. John Compton
Chair of Political Science, Associate Professor of Political Science
(714) 628-2762

Administrative Assistant

Talisa Flores
Administrative Assistant in Political Science
(714) 628-2767

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Model UN

Model UN

A popular course among majors in Political Science is the Model United Nations class, which involves students in simulated UN debates at local, regional and national levels. Model United Nations is a two course sequence that involves learning about the United Nations, breaking down international issues, and the dynamics of diplomacy. Learn more about Model UN