Field of Study
Career Outlook
Average Salary
Projected Regional Growth
  • Activist
  • Campaign Manager
  • Consultant
  • Foreign Service
  • Journalist
  • Law Enforcement
  • Lobbyist
  • Nonprofit Manager
  • Paralegal
  • Policy Analyst

For individuals who

Want to study politics, public policy, government and related topics. Are seeking explanations for government behavior and understanding why citizens support and oppose that behavior. 

Looking for

Coursework on American government, constitutional law, international relations, comparative politics and research methods. 

To become

  • Community Development
  • Government Service
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Public Administrator

The Program

The Political Science program at NDSU offers a number of avenues for the study of government. Students graduate with an understanding of key political science subfields, such as: American government and institutions; the American legal system and Constitutional law; international relations; and comparative politics. Students focus on those aspects of politics and policy that most interest them, while obtaining a breadth of knowledge across the field. Our programs build skills in terms of communication, data analysis, policy evaluation, and legal reasoning.

Our location in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area allows students to directly observe and participate in local, state, and federal government affairs.

Students can select the Standard major, which provides a flexible path to a political science degree, or specialize in Pre-Law or Public Policy. These emphases provide programs of study that augment core political science offerings with relevant courses from other disciplines.

Internship/Field Experience

The Department of Political Science & Public Policy has been quite successful in helping students secure internships in local, state, and federal agencies where they can experience first-hand the functioning of government. Students regularly serve as interns for elected officials from North Dakota and Minnesota. In addition, students can intern in political campaigns for local, state, and federal offices.

Career Opportunities

One out of five persons in the United States today is employed by some level of government. The expansion of the public sector has created a vital need for thoughtful and active people who are professionally trained in government and political science. The type of jobs available to NDSU political science graduates include policy analyst, budget analyst, lobbyist, legislative aide, state or federal program administration, city/county administration, positions in non-profit organizations, diplomatic service, and other related careers.

Many political science students go on to attend law school and pursue a legal profession. NDSU political science students have graduated from such law schools as the University of North Dakota, the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, Northwestern University, Duke, and George Washington University. Other NDSU political science students may elect to go on to graduate study in political science, public policy, or public administration and pursue advanced careers in public administration, regional planning, and non-profits, or as consultants at think tanks, or as academicians.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The Department of Political Science & Public Policy works closely with the Pre-Law Club, which provides students with information about law schools, entrance examinations and career opportunities in the field of law.

The Faculty

Thomas Ambrosio, Professor, Ph.D., 2000, University of Virginia

Nicholas Bauroth, Professor, Ph.D., 2003, Loyola University -- Chicago

Ethan Boldt, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. 2019, University of Georgia

Sarah Boonstoppel, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., 2014, University of Maryland

Steven Briggs, Associate Professor, Ph.D., 2007, University of Nebraska -- Omaha

Elizabeth Carlson, Assistant Professor Ph.D., 2011, University of California, Los Angeles

Kjersten Nelson, Professor, Ph.D., 2009, University of Minnesota

Daniel Pemstein, Professor, Ph.D., 2010, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign