About the Department

Welcome to the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Bradley University. At the core of the department’s multifaceted mission is teaching and research. The collegial faculty is a blend of both youth and experience, but more importantly each of the seven full-time faculty epitomizes the teacher-scholar. Confirmation of the quality of our teaching and scholarship ranges from our peers at the university to our national and international peers. Members of the department have received Bradley University’s highest awards for both teaching and research. All faculty have active research agendas and publish in peer reviewed national and international professional journals, thus contributing to Bradley University’s national reputation. For example, the Judicial Retention Project is a nationally recognized source of information and research on judicial retention elections in the United States.

In addition to formal classroom instruction, political science majors at Bradley University have many other educational opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge base both on and off campus.

On-campus academic credit opportunities include:

  • Collaborative Research: Interested students have increasing opportunities to collaborate with faculty on joint research projects. In addition to the professional recognition which comes from any publications, students receive academic credit via PLS 485. Announcement of the annual Bradley University Research and Creative Achievement Exhibition.
  • Independent Study:  PLS 583 and 584 are the course numbers reserved for independent study by majors. The purpose is to facilitate in-depth study of a topic of interest to the student that is not covered in any of the existing courses. If you are interested in an independent study, you must find a faculty member who is interested in the area and willing to direct your research. You may sign up for one, two, or three credit hours per semester, with a maximum total of three hours per course number.

Off-campus academic credit opportunities include:

  • Internships: Every student interested in political science should consider the possibility of an internship experience during his or her undergraduate years. There are numerous benefits which result from an internship including the opportunity to explore career interests, résumé enhancement, networking, and personal growth. Internships are available at all levels of U.S. government and in some foreign governments and international organizations. If you are interested in creating an internship or applying for an existing position, contact Dr. Curtis for information about PLS 480.
  • Washington Semester Programs: These programs, a cooperative venture between Bradley and American University, allow a student to study and live in Washington, D.C., for a semester. Programs are offered in 12 areas including American Politics, Foreign Policy, Economic Policy, Justice, and Journalism. Contact Dr. Ryan for application materials.
  • Study Abroad: Majors are encouraged to spend one or two semesters abroad. Whether to aid in the study of a foreign language or to gain an understanding of the political system and culture of another nation, involvement in such a program is highly beneficial.

Noncredit on-campus opportunities include:

  • Pre-Law Club: The Pre-Law Club is one of the pre-law programs at Bradley University. The club conducts a wide variety of activities related to legal careers. Particularly useful to students are those related to admission to law school. If you are interested in joining the club, contact the director of the Pre-Law Center.
  • Mock Trial Team: In Mock Trial, students try a hypothetical case in competition against students from colleges and universities from across the nation. Students attempt to qualify for the American Mock Trial Association's National Tournament by competition in regional tournaments. For more information see the Pre-Law Center.
  • Pi Sigma Alpha: Juniors are eligible for admission into the political science national honorary society. Contact Dr. Gobeyn for details.