You are here:

The Department of Political Science at the University of Utah

Political science studies the world of politics and government. Political scientists study the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship, the uses and abuses of power, relations between nations, and many other important topics. Political science is a broad area of study that provides excellent preparation for a variety of career paths in business, government, and the non-profit sector.



Why major in Political Science? Our students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a wide range of public, private, and non-profit sector professions. 
Learn more.




Why Pursue a Master's or Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Utah? Our students gain a versatile set of skills that can be applied in a wide range of exciting careers.
Learn more.



A New Area of Emphasis: Community Involvement and Nonprofit Leadership

community engagement photoPolitical Science has a new area of emphasis in Community Involvement and Nonprofit Leadership. This emphasis fits with both the department of political science and the University of Utah's mission of fostering student engagement with the community and educating students to be prepared for careers in the nonprofit and public service sectors.



Courses Spotlight: Spring 2018

POLS 3827 Student Lab for Social Change
Tu/Th 10:45am-12:05pm
Mark Button

This unique course equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in public policy analysis and direct policy advocacy at the state level. As part of the national Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation (ENACT), class participants will connect with other students and faculty around the country. They will collaborate to use their knowledge of the policy-making process to affect policy change by working with social entrepreneurs and nonprofit groups, preparing policy briefs, and meeting with policymakers in the state legislature.

POLS 3200 Introduction to Law & Politics
Tu/Th 6:00-7:20pm (fulfills BF requirement)
Troy Booher

This class introduces students to law as a means of social ordering. It examines the social and political functions of civil and criminal law as well as the organization and functions of courts and the legal profession. An excellent option for students considering a career in law or for anyone interested in the legal dimensions of American politics.

POLS 5140 Feminist Political Theory
M/W 11:50am-1:10pm
Ella Myers

Does gender matter? Is it politically significant? Why? This course focuses on theories that place gender at the center of analysis in order to investigate political practices, norms, and institutions. Students will becomes familiar with the feminist political theory as a diverse, contested, and exciting field of inquiry.

POLS 5410 New Democracies
Tu/Th 9:10-10:30am
Sam Handlin

This course examines the dynamics of political change in the developing world. In particular, the class addresses the underpinnings of democracy, the foundations of authoritarian rule, and the forces—whether domestic factors like the economy or international factors like the intervention of the United States and other powers—that drive transitions from one political system to another.

POLS 5810 Race & Public Policy
M/W 1:25-2:45pm (fulfills CW requirement)
Edmund Fong

This class takes up central questions in contemporary U.S. politics: To what extent does racial inequality and discrimination continue to shape American life? What role should public policy play in addressing those problems? This course surveys major issues at the intersection of public policy and race, including housing, voting rights, immigration, and criminal justice. The course culminates with an independent research paper.


Last Updated: 1/18/18