A political science major offers preparation for a career or further education in public policy-making, law, urban planning, international commerce, diplomatic service, and political campaigns.

The political science major is available through the Social Sciences Department. Social science courses offer experience in project-based course work and opportunities for original scholarly research, incorporating field trips and off-campus study throughout the United States and abroad. In recent years, psychology faculty members and students researched topics such as parenting and personality, memory processes, and stress and adjustment. In addition, students assisted faculty in researching human rights, democratization studies, civil discourse, and service learning.

Program Goals

The political science program, part of the Social Sciences Department, believes that knowledge of political science is a requisite for responsible citizenship and a necessity for anyone expecting to enter a career in law, public administration, law enforcement, civil service, or teaching. Unique features of the program include American Legislature and Judiciary, a May Term course that offers study of national government for several days on location in Washington, D.C. An international political intern program with the German parliament, Deutsche Bundestag, is supervised by an arrangement with the University of Bonn in Germany.

To instill a basic understanding of what constitutes "political questions," whether of a normative or empirical character.

To develop a foundation of substantive knowledge with respect to basic concepts, institutions, and processes within American, comparative, and international relations.

To foster the ability to think and act critically about substantive public policy issues.

To develop, through application, the ability to formulate and undertake research on problems of political significance.

To promote an awareness of political science as an academic discipline defined by diverse (competing) paradigms, strategies, and techniques of analysis.


The Classroom Technology Center houses the Social Science Department and allows for personal interaction with faculty members and students.

Research with a faculty mentor. WORTH IT.



Justin Erickson ’10
Major: Political Science
Law Clerk

I graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in May 2013 and was admitted to the Minnesota State Bar this past October. While attending law school, I focused on criminal and immigration law. I currently clerking for the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Clerking means I perform legal research for the Judge and help her draft judicial orders and opinions. I then plan to pursue a career in criminal prosecution and hope to one day work in a United States Attorney’s Office.

Luke Harms ’02
Political Science
Senior Manager of Government Relations

I currently reside in Washington, D.C., where I am Senior Manager of Government Relations for Whirlpool Corporation. In my role I am responsible for state and local advocacy in the United States and global coordination of sustainability policies in the areas of appliance and packaging recycling and material/chemical regulations.

Mackenzie Benson ‘12
Political Science and Psychology
Law Student

I’m currently in law school at the University of Iowa. I’m involved in our Law Review (an academic, student-run journal), our Arbitration competition team, our National Moot Court team, I give tours, and I work at the County Attorney’s Office. After graduation, I hope to clerk for a judge in the Midwest or work at a prosecutor’s office.

Alumni Outcomes

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the Social Science Department have had in the past.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:

  • Admissions Representative, Ashford University, Clinton
  • Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill.
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service Coordinator, Fairview Nursing Plaza, Rockford, Ill.
  • Graduate Student-Law, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Government Affairs Analyst, Pioneer Hi-Bred International/Dupont, Johnston
  • Attorney, Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, Des Moines

Sample Stand-out Alumni Positions:

  • Attorney/Partner, Best & Flanagan, LLP, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Attorney/Partner, Merlo Kanofsky & Gregg, Ltd., Chicago, Ill.
  • Assistant Professor, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn.
  • Higher Executive Officer/ Deputy Majority Leader, Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board, Oslo, Norway
  • Associate Professor of Psychology, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past 10 Years:

  • Police Officer, Longmont, Colo.
  • Benefits Assistant, Go Wireless, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Attorney, Sheridan & Murray, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Human Resources Representative, Iowa Department of Human Services, Des Moines
  • Behavior Therapist, Behavior Dimensions, Inc. Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Counterterrorism/Acquisition, Air Force, Boston, Mass.
  • Director, Kessel Kids Childcare & Learning Center, Cresco


Bret Billet

Professor of Political Science / Co-coordinator of International Relations

Kathy Dreesman

Office Coordinator, Religion, Social Science, and Leadership

Andrew Szarejko

Assistant Professor of Political Science