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College of Arts and Sciences


Gates oh the Horseshoe on the USC Campus

Department of Political Science

Whether it’s a step toward law school or the beginning of a career in public administration, our program is designed to create the leaders of tomorrow.

One of the largest departments in the College of Arts & Sciences with more than 800 undergraduate students and over 100 graduate students, the Department of Political Science offers two bachelor’s degrees – one in political science, the other in international studies – as well as the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), the Master of Arts in International Studies (M.A.I.S.), and the Ph.D.   Programs include American Politics, International Politics, Comparative Politics, Public Administration, Political Theory, and Methodology.

The undergraduate degree in political science or international studies is an excellent background for careers in law, government, teaching, and a variety of other areas.

The MPA Program is the leading program in the state and among the best in the Southeast.   Begun in 1968 in response to a growing demand for professionally-trained public administrators at the state and local levels of government, the program has graduated hundreds of professional administrators and public leaders.  It is South Carolina’s only fully accredited autonomous professional public administration program.   The MAIS Program is designed for students interested in a  professionally-oriented program geared toward service in governmental, nonprofit, or private sectors – both domestic and international.

The doctoral program, designed to produce leading scholars in the discipline, has produced many distinguished academics and numerous public leaders, both nationally and abroad, the latter because of the department’s historic reputation in International Studies.

The department is home to a diverse and distinguished faculty, including three holders of Distinguished Chairs and a large group of young, emerging scholars.   Faculty members play prominent roles in many professional organizations and on numerous Editorial Boards, serve as resources for the news media and community organizations, and participate in and direct major University initiatives.

Please tour our website to see all that the Department of Political Science has to offer!