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Political Science

Political scientists study the systems, institutions, popular movements, and leaders that cause social change. They use their skills in gathering evidence, critical thinking, communication, and political engagement in a wide range of professions, from law, government, community organizing, and humanitarian service to international business and environmental protection.

As a Political Science major at Butler, you will learn how to effect positive social change as an active and responsible citizen of your community, country, and world. Through internships, research, and community-based service learning, you will gain practical experience and empathetic understanding, working with organizations focused on policymaking, social justice, legal and human rights, poverty, and more. You can immerse yourself in the culture and politics of other countries, during study abroad tours and fieldwork led by our faculty. 

Creative, Comprehensive Curriculum

Along with foundational courses covering U.S. and international politics, you can take innovative courses on community mediation, civil rights, peace and conflict, gender, geopolitical hotspots like China and the Middle East, even politics through the lens of humor or The Hunger Games

Hands-On Experience

Our location in Indiana’s capital offers you a wide range of internship opportunities in the State House and in political/social justice activism. Our students have also interned in the nation’s capital through Butler’s Washington, DC Learning Semester and participated in national conferences of the Progressive Congress’s Strategy Summit and Model United Nations.

Butler Distinctions

Luke Bunting

Graduate Success

“Navigating the political world of D.C. presents many challenges, both practical and philosophical. Fortunately, the political science education I received at Butler University fully prepared me for my current career here. Whether I am writing a press release or crafting new legislation, I utilize the wealth of theoretical knowledge and practical skills I gained in college on a daily basis. I am a stronger writer, a more thoughtful communicator, and a more involved citizen because of my decision to study political science, and I can think of nowhere better to do so than Butler University.”

                                                                  —Luke Bunting ’14, Political Science Major

GALA trip

Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts

GALA—our Global Adventures in the Liberal Arts program—lets student travel to several locations over a semester, while taking a course with accompanying Butler faculty members, often Political Science instructors. Recent GALA groups have toured Europe, South Africa, and East Asia.

Capitol building

Semester in D.C.

Butler students have interned in The White House, State Department, Amnesty International, and numerous other sites during the Washington, D.C. Learning Semester. Participants also take for-credit classes in foreign policy and the history and public art of Washington.

Statue of Liberty

Semester in New York City

Our first ever participants in the New York City Learning Semester are living in NYC, working hard, and having a great time! We have students with the New York Rangers, Emmis Communications, Restaurant Associates, and more. The College of Education is also onboard with three student teachers doing full-time teaching work. You can be a part of the program in Fall 2019.

The New York City Learning Semester is a new companion to our successful Washington D.C. program. This new program will be for Fall semesters only.

Center for Citizenship and Community

Center for Citizenship and Community (CCC)

All Butler undergraduates take at least one service-learning course involving active engagement with Indianapolis neighborhoods and community organizations. The CCC helps identify community partners, design courses, and foster student growth in civic mindedness.