Departments, Programs and Centers


Political Science

  • Chair: Associate Professor Margaret Ferguson
  • Professors: William A. Blomquist, Bessie House-Soremekun, John McCormick, Brian Vargus
  • Associate Professors: Margaret Ferguson, Scott Pegg
  • Assistant Professors: Ramla Bandele, Aaron Dusso, David Weiden
  • Lecturers: Erin Englels, Jasper Sumner, Scott Wallace
  • Academic Advising: Cavanaugh Hall 504J, (317) 274-7387

Politics is all about power: who has it, how it is used, and what effect it has. The goal of the Department of Political Science is to provide students with a superior program of study of the many different and intriguing ways in which power is given, taken, distributed, limited, manipulated, and used, and to help them better appreciate and understand the many different forms taken by systems of government around the world.

The department offers introductory courses in all the major subfields of the discipline: American politics, public policy, public law, political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. We also offer a wide variety of advanced courses in which students can learn more about topics as varied as Indiana state government; national politics in Washington, D.C.; the political systems of Africa, Asia, and Europe; the mechanics of voting and public opinion; and critical policy issues of our time, such as welfare, crime, war, globalization, the environment, and women in politics. Our students also gain hands-on experience through internships and multicollege political simulations.

Our majors have gone on to careers in fields as diverse as politics, business, teaching, human services, the media, and working for interest groups, and many have gone on to graduate school in politics and law. Courses in political science help majors and nonmajors alike become critical observers of—and informed participants in—politics and government at the local, national, and international levels.

Pre-Law Program

While law schools do not require a specific undergraduate major or a specific set of undergraduate courses as prerequisites for admission, they do urge students to take additional writing and public speaking courses, as well as courses involving research and analysis. The Department of Political Science in the IU School of Liberal Arts and SPEA provide pre-law advising and a series of courses related to the law and government that are attractive to students interested in the study of the law. Other schools also offer courses of relevance to students considering the study of the law.