For over seventy years, the Department of Political Science has provided educational opportunities for University of Dayton undergraduate students who have gone on to become leaders in the worlds of politics, business, law, education and the public and non-profit sectors. Starting with only two faculty members in 1938, the Department of Political Science has grown to fourteen full-time faculty members. The department has approximately 240 undergraduate majors pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science or human rights studies who take courses in American government, comparative government, international relations, research methods, political theory, law, public administration, human rights and public policy. The department offers more than 60 upper level courses during a typical two year academic course cycle, along with special topic seminars. Students having completed a sufficient number of hours with a strong grade point average may take one of the following internships: the legal internship; the government or public service internship; the congressional internship in Washington, D.C.; or the human rights internship.
The department's 36 hour undergraduate program is designed to introduce students fully to the discipline of political science, offer them the flexibility to pursue a variety of career objectives, and to acquire the skills necessary to be successful in graduate and law school, the workplace, and in life.
For more than forty years, the department has also offered a master's degree in public administration. This program has provided numerous public sector professionals for the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the greater Miami Valley. The M.P.A. is a 39 hour program which includes five core courses to introduce students to the field and seven courses in which students construct a program to meet their professional and personal needs. The majority of students are already employed in various parts of the public and private sector (in-service students). A significant number of students also enter the program with no practical public sector experience (pre-service students). Pre-service students complete an internship during their program of study which provides them with practical experience as well as contacts in the region.
The department is located in architecturally-stunning St. Joseph's Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus. Inside, St. Joe's is a modern building having been completely remodeled after a fire in 1987. Departmental facilities include a state of the art master classroom and modern seminar rooms.