Political Science


Luther's political science major challenges you to make sense of the world and make the world make sense. Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to make a difference.

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Why Study Political Science?

From education to health care, politics affect nearly every aspect of our lives. Majoring in political science allows you to explore political ideas, events, and policies. By examining politics and social structures, you can begin to understand how to improve quality of life for people at the local, national, and global level.

Majoring in political science gives you skills that are useful in the job market. It’s no surprise that political science is considered one of the most economically valuable majors.

Why Study Political Science at Luther?

At Luther, you’ll take classes that promote independent thinking and effective communication. Our courses in American politics, international relations, and political theory will help you gain the knowledge you need to engage in our complex world.

Our small class sizes allow you to get to know your professors and classmates. You’ll find that our faculty members come from diverse backgrounds that will help you develop a complex, nuanced understanding of the world. In our classrooms, you’ll take part in deep discussions about policy and current events that will improve your analytical and critical thinking skills.

At Luther, you can take advantage of research opportunities, experiential learning, internships, and study-away courses. Another high-impact experience is Washington Semester—a small, personalized internship program where students live, study, and intern while earning a full semester of academic credit from their college. These opportunities will let you build your education in the real world.

Program Highlights


Internships are a great way to connect the study of politics in the classroom to the practice of politics in the public square. They are also a great way to explore possible careers and grow individually. You can intern in the US or abroad.

The Washington Semester

The Lutheran College Washington Semester is a small, personalized internship program through which students live, study, and intern in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, Va. It will help you grow emotionally and intellectually in ways you never imagined.

Mock Trial

Gain knowledge about the criminal and civil legal systems. Enhance your leadership and critical thinking skills through Mock Trial. Luther students have participated in American Mock Trial Association competitions since 1985.

What You’ll Learn

As a political science major, you’ll take American Politics and Global Politics. These courses serve as the necessary foundation for understanding politics.

You’ll also take two upper-level courses where you’ll pursue a topic in depth and rely on the empirical and analytical tools political scientists use. In addition, you’ll gain experience working in a small group to study a contemporary topic.

With a political science major, you’re not required to satisfy specific content areas. Instead, you’re encouraged to work with an advisor to design and carry out a cohesive major.

You’ll also learn to apply your knowledge in the following settings: the senior project and junior/senior seminar, off-campus study (Washington Semester, January Term, and other study-away programs ), internships and off-campus volunteering, and interaction with practitioners visiting campus.

Upon completion of the major, you’ll have the ability to:

  • Perform political analysis
  • Collect and evaluate political information
  • Make empirically based judgments about politics and government
  • Articulate and defend political beliefs

Students interested in teaching in secondary education or a second teaching area should see the education department for specific requirements.


Ismail Hamid
It’s so important at a college like this and in a community like this to give back to it.
Ismail Hamid '19
Learn more about Ismail Hamid

Careers and Outcomes

On average, 20 percent of Luther’s political science majors will start work on advanced degrees after graduation. Other political science graduates will pursue a variety of job opportunities.

Career Fields

  • Law
  • Politics
  • Public service
  • Public relations
  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Commerce


  • Minnesota Court of Appeals
  • Greenspring Media Group
  • US Senate
  • Federal Civil Rights Litigation Division of Chicago
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Mercy Medical Foundation
  • Minnesota Public Radio

Public Leadership Education Network

The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is a nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC, that focuses on preparing college women for leadership roles in public policy. PLEN offers short (3–5 day) seminars on a range of policy areas.

“PLEN creates a platform for incredible women in leadership positions to mentor and empower future female leaders. The seminar I attended taught me essential practical skills and allowed me to build invaluable relationships with experienced professionals. My time with PLEN complimented my Luther experience, and particularly my semester in Washington, perfectly.” —Mareda Smith ’19

At all PLEN seminars, students gain networking opportunities, leadership skills, and public policy knowledge. PLEN’s rich and diverse network of Luther alumnae, speakers, and other volunteers provides Luther students with lifelong career resources and support.

Mareda Smith portrait

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