Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The Department of Political Science emphasizes research and teaching that links theory with real world issues and action through politics, public policy and administration. With a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, students will be prepared to develop innovative approaches to current and emerging local, national and global challenges.

Political science majors in the College of Liberal Arts will learn how governments interact with individuals or other governments and examine the results of those interactions. Students choose courses from five areas of study: American government and politics, comparative government and politics, political theory, international relations, and public administration and public policy. As they progress through the major, they develop writing and critical thinking skills, as well as a better understanding of the world around them.

Political science majors have gone on to careers in all levels of government, including working for the governor or U.S. senators and even running for office themselves. After graduation, students also may go into teaching, work for a multinational corporation or attend graduate or law school.

Areas of emphasis

  • American government and politics
  • Comparative government and politics
  • Political theory
  • International relations
  • Public administration and public policy


The Department of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Reno also offers a minor in political science. Students can choose to study from four interest subjects: general, foreign affairs, public administration and public policy, and American government.

Why study political science at the University of Nevada, Reno?

The Political Science Bachelor of Arts degree program emphasizes research and teaching that links theory with real-world issues and action through politics, public policy, and public administration. Political science encompasses the "political"—issues, institutions, behavior, power and public resources. Political scientists also share a common interest: the public arena of human society, the uses of power and persuasion, and the ideas that shape social and political movements and governing institutions. You will learn how to evaluate evidence and arguments, and understand political dynamics in the U.S. and across the globe. You will be able to contextualize events and processes, setting them in historical and comparative perspective. Our classes and our for-credit internship programs provide many opportunities for you to apply what you learn in real-world work contexts.

The major prepares you for careers that demand critical and innovative thinking, evidentiary synthesis and analysis, and reading, writing, and speaking about complex organizational and public matters. These skills and knowledge will enable you to go on to be successful in any of a number of fields: law, political campaigns and lobbying, governmental and non-governmental organizations, media, business, the military, education, and social and political movements. 

Internships/career opportunities

Our internship programs enable students to apply coursework to real-life experience. Political science and international affairs internships offer students the opportunity to explore potential careers in the field, network, apply coursework, build their résumé and receive academic credit. Internship opportunities are available at the local, state, national and international levels in various public, non-profit and private organizations. Check out our internships pages for more information.

Review the political science handbook.

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