This Is Where Power and Policy Meet

Immerse yourself in the ideas of history’s greatest political minds, today’s front page headlines and everything in between.


Hands-On Lobbying Experience

Join fellow students in Salem to support needs in higher education.


Internship and Career Advising

Work with a dynamic team to prepare for professional opportunities.


An OSU Degree is Worth It

95% of students are employed or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation.

About the Degree

Politics is one of the most powerful forces on earth. It’s the foundation behind decision and policymaking that impact us at all levels and in all areas from education, social justice and agriculture, to the environment, energy, public safety and more.

In lectures and dynamic discussions, and in your chosen option, you'll explore ideas of leading historic thinkers and delve into the stories behind contemporary news headlines. You’ll deepen your ability to reason and think analytically, learn to assess and develop arguments, and become adept at communicating persuasively in writing and in person.

You’ll gain knowledge and skills that will help you effect change from within or outside a government system, or in business or a nonprofit, so that you can contribute to a better world.

Undergraduate Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Bachelor of Science in Political Science

  • Degree Requirements
  • Political science majors select at least one specialty option to complete their major requirements

Options in the Political Science Major

Political Science is the systematic study of politics wherever it takes place—in governmental institutions, the international arena, and civil society. Political science majors may choose the general political science major, or one of the three options that focus on law and politics, international affairs, or environmental and energy politics. All political science majors learn to think critically, write clearly and speak persuasively. They learn the ideas of great political thinkers, learn the political fundamentals behind the headlines, and have engaging discussions from all points of view with other students and professors.

Non-profit, corporate and government employers make critical decisions affecting our natural and urban environments. You’ll study:

  • Historical and contemporary environmental problems.
  • Governmental and non-governmental efforts to address problems on local, state, federal and international levels.
  • Interactions between key actors and institutions involved in environmental policymaking in the U.S. and internationally.

Career opportunities in international affairs have increased in government, international organizations, non-profits and the private sector, as well as in graduate programs. In this option you’ll focus on:

  • Political systems and dynamics within countries and regions around the world.
  • Relations among countries and non-state actors.
  • Global issues, problems and institutions.

This option is for students interested in a career in law, politics or public service in government agencies, nonprofits or the private sector. It offers coursework in:

  • The role of courts and other institutions in defining the breadth and scope of government.
  • Judicial procedures and behaviors and their implications for our democracy.
  • Relationships between the branches of the U.S. government, and between state and federal governments.
  • Normative arguments regarding justice and equality in theory and in practice.


A minor in political science can strengthen a major in almost any field, giving you a broad background in government and politics that you can apply to your chosen field.

Select courses in this major are delivered via OSU Ecampus. Oregon State's Ecampus is ranked #5 in the nation for online education by U.S. News & World Report.

The political science degree is supported by the School of Public Policy in the OSU College of Liberal Arts


Leverage Your Major with a Minor in Political Science

A minor in political science can give you a broader understanding of the forces at play in your chosen field and sharpen the skillsets you need to influence them.

What Can I Do with My Degree?

Political science graduates can have careers in a wide variety of fields, including business, government, media, non-profits, law and higher education. Students will gain skills and strengths in analytics, critical thinking, and verbal and written communication much desired in a variety of employment opportunities. 

Campaign Manager
Case Manager
Environmental Law and Policy
Legislative Assistant
Political Scientist
Public Policy and Administration
Public Relations

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We're here to help! Future students can connect with an OSU-Cascades admissions advisor for admission and program questions.