Political Science

Undergraduate Program

The department graduates approximately 75 undergraduate concentrators annually, making it one of the larger social science concentrations at Brown.

We offer smaller freshman, sophomore, and senior seminars, as well as larger introductory and upper level lecture classes. We have a robust Honors Program in which students work closely with faculty advisors to write a senior thesis, a yearlong original research project, and faculty often work in collaborative research partnerships with concentrators. Many of our students secure politics- and policy-based internships during their four years at Brown.

What We Study

At Brown, the Political Science concentration revolves around how people participate in political life within a framework of social, economic, and cultural institutions. What particularly moves us at Brown are the big questions about political life – both at home and around the world. We study people individually, but also as they interact in their communities, towns, cities, states, regions, and nations. Our faculty bring their cutting edge research into the classroom in our courses which include:

  • Politics of the Illicit Global Economy
  • City Politics
  • Constitutional Law
  • Prosperity
  • Ethics and Public Policy
  • Slavery and Freedom
  • U.S. Gender Politics
  • Polarized Politics
  • The American Presidency
  • Democracy and Inequality in American Cities
  • Latin American Politics, Ancients and Moderns
  • Political Psychology in International Relations
  • Politics in India
  • Nuclear Weapons and International Politics.

We try to engage the students who take our classes in a wide range of different political contexts, often in ways that cross our traditional subfields. Our classes range from smaller intensive seminars at the freshman, sophomore, and senior levels, to larger lecture classes at introductory and upper levels.

The political science concentration has three central tracks:

  • American Politics - the study of politics in the United States
  • International & Comparative Politics - the study of different political systems and individual nations around the globe and the study of relations among states and peoples
  • Political Theory - the philosophical study of the political ideas that serve as the foundation for governing

Concentration Requirements

We also ask our students to take two courses outside the department, related to their chosen track within the concentration, in order to encourage them to consider other disciplinary approaches to their core political areas of interest.

Research and Internships

Political science concentrators at Brown also have opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research projects. Our faculty-student research teams have won a number of Undergraduate Research and Teaching Assistant grants for work during the academic year and during summer months.

We also work hard to help students secure internships in government, policy institutes, and non-governmental organizations, and Brown University's LINK award provides funding to offset the costs of unpaid internships for many of our students.

Beyond the Concentration

After graduation, political science concentrators follow a wide range of paths including law school and graduate school in political science or public policy; active political engagement at the local, state, national, or international level; and management consulting.

Our graduates have an excellent track record of securing jobs in fields that are related to politics, and many of them go on to attend graduate school in the areas of law, political science, international relations, and public policy.

Departmental Undergraduate Group (DUG)

The DUG provides opportunities for undergraduates to take part in department student events. The membership consists of interested undergraduate concentrators in the department.

To join the DUG or to participate in DUG activities, please contact an undergraduate DUG board member, Maria Isabel Amoedo de saHing Lai Sophia ChanIrene Sung, or Rebecca Carcieri. All Department events are open to all concentrators.