Today’s political science majors are tomorrow’s advocates, lobbyists and leaders in both the public and private sectors. Students who pursue political science degrees often go on to conduct research or policy analysis for government agencies, corporations, think-tanks, nonprofits, as well as private or public research institutions. Others pursue careers as paralegals, journalists, campaign organizers or survey analysts.
Mount Mercy political science alumni have worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and Iowa Attorney General’s Office. Others have launched careers with GEICO, Mediacom, and Wells Fargo. Many political science undergraduates go on to achieve advance degrees at institutions like University of Iowa, Minnesota State University or Texas A&M University, opening career opportunities in law, federal government, diplomacy and much more. The political science major has prepared Mount Mercy graduates for law school at universities such as Drake University, University of Iowa School of Law, or Valparaiso Law School.
Students participate in a research-methods course where they learn to use statistics, quantitative and qualitative methods to conduct research in political science. Senior-level students then apply these methods in an advanced research seminar where they produce an original research paper. Past political science majors have presented their research on topics related to environmental policies, transitions to democracy, gun control, minimum wage, and voting behavior. Students in political science have the opportunity to work with faculty members on research projects, which may lead to conference presentations or co-authored papers.
Mount Mercy political science majors may enjoy a summer internship in Washington DC through a partnership with American University. Students have gained real-world experience at the White House, congressional and senate offices, the Iowa legislature, Iowa Governor’s Office, as well as state and federal courts. Students have also interned locally in campaign offices, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
A partnership with Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic offers political science students a chance to study abroad for a summer or semester, gaining invaluable world perspective.
Students majoring in political science enjoy several social clubs. The Political Science Club has hosted debate-watching parties and has sponsored candidate forums with The League of Women Voters local office. Students also are welcome to join Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, a national honor society, as well as the on-campus Student Government Association.