Welcome to Political Science!

Our major combines (1) a classical liberal arts education with (2) advanced analytical techniques and (3) an understanding of the basic operating systems of human societies. In a world beset by problems that stubbornly ignore the narrow boundaries of academic disciplines, Political Science is the perfect bridge to leadership in a wide variety of fields.

In addition to careers in government and political careers, our graduates work as leaders in non-profits, management consulting, new media, law, Silicon Valley start-ups and other fields that are central to the world of tomorrow. It's a mistake to think your undergraduate courses "lead" directly to the career you expect to enter. The whole reason to study at Duke - and to major in Political Science in particular! - is that a liberal arts background teaches you how to learn. In your job, or your graduate training, you'll learn narrow technical skills. The reason to major in Political Science is that you will have context, and a depth of knowledge about the ethical and engineering problems of working in groups.

Departmental website: https://polisci.duke.edu/


First and second majors select their faculty advisor after declaration of the political science major. The faculty advisor is your resource for course selection, research opportunities, graduate or professional school information and such.

Once you have officially declared the major, please fill out the Advisor Selection Form to select your advisor, and email the completed form to Tosha Marshall, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator. You should receive confirmation of your advisor with 48 hours of your submission. We highly recommend that you select a faculty member within your planned field. If you have any questions about selecting an advisor, contact Tosha Marshall, or talk to any faculty member.

Prior to the course registration period each semester, each faculty advisor will contact his or her advisees to set up an appointment to discuss course selection. Students are required to meet with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator Tosha Marshall each advising period prior to course registration. It is during these meetings that the major requirements will be reviewed in detail to make sure that students are on the right track for completion of the major. More detailed information is sent to students prior to the advising period. If you have questions, fee free to contact Prof. Alexander Kirshner, the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Requirements and General Information

Learn more about major and minor requirements, and general information for new majors.