Political Science Degrees

The political science department offers undergraduate degree programs designed to provide students with the critical thinking and communication skills that will allow them to succeed after graduation.

Students achieve an understanding of international and cross-cultural issues, as well as the creative skills to be lifelong learners who adapt and contribute to a world of continuous change.

Undergraduate education is a historic strength in the department. The program affords students the opportunity to:

  • develop an understanding of political institutions and behavior
  • question the ends and principles of political life
  • understand the role of human agency within the nexus of society's political institutions and processes

While most University of Nevada, Reno political science undergraduates will not pursue professional careers in academia or government, they have built both an understanding of politics and political life and an ability to analyze and critically evaluate political developments from both an observational and theoretical standpoint.

The department offers its undergraduate curriculum together with its commitment to graduate education, public service and research. We are committed to the idea that research and teaching benefit each other, and that students benefit most by being linked to faculty at the cutting edge of research and public service, and that they learn as much from committed fellow students, as from faculty.

Why Study Political Science

Political science has been called "the queen of the sciences," and rightly so. It is the only major where one can obtain practical knowledge and at the same time gain insights into the great issues of our age. What, for example, are the causes and institutional forces behind conflicts between the president and the chairman of a congressional committee? Are nations threatening an armed confrontation? What lies behind this conflict? Is there public and media frenzy over a certain policy? Why do people react this way and is it justified? What is the human condition? What is the meaning of civil society, and what is the individual's place in it?

When you study political science you will think about these questions often. You will be able to answer them better than you could otherwise thanks to an understanding of the presidency and Congress, international relations, political ideologies and political theory. The knowledge and critical skills gained from the study of politics will enable you to be a more rational citizen, a more constructive participant in public affairs, and a better professional in any vocation that deals with the public domain, including important positions in corporations, government and nonprofit organizations.