Political Science



    • Gannon has a strong track record of having students admitted to prestigious law schools and graduate programs. Recent graduates have been admitted to Villanova, The University of Virginia, and the University of Pittsburgh.
    • Political science students can spend a semester in Washington, D.C. as participants in the Washington Center’s Internship Program.
    • A recent graduate serves as the Western Pennsylvania director for the office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.
    • Our students have taken courses at Oxford and Cambridge University in partial fulfillment of their Gannon course requirements.
    • Gannon offers a five-year program that enables a student to earn a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Public Administration degree.
    • Gannon sponsors one of the oldest Model U.N. programs in the country. Political science students gain valuable leadership experience through their participation in this program.

    You Will Learn

    Political science involves the study of the institutions and policies of government from the perspective of four major subfields: American politics, comparative government, international relations and political theory. Political science majors will study a diverse range of topics with the option of adopting a minor or pursuing a dual major in another discipline.

    Topics of study include the principles of the American founding; the influential ideas of major theorists, ranging from Aristotle and Augustine to Machiavelli and Mill, the nature and impact of globalization, the politics of the European Union and America’s role in world affairs.

    At Gannon University, there is also focus on the role of values in politics and students will debate issues ranging from the proper role of religion in the public sphere to the formulation of policy responses to humanitarian crises or acts of genocide. Students will also develop research, writing and analytical skills that will prepare them for a wide variety of careers.

    You Will Experience

    Our students have access to numerous internship possibilities, including:

    • City and county government   
    • Democratic and Republican Party offices   
    • Erie County Court House offices  
    • Political campaigns  
    • Washington Center internship program    

    You Will Achieve

    Our majors have many opportunities for employment. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • education  
    • foreign service  
    • journalism  
    • the legal profession  
    • nonprofit/advocacy groups  
    • politics and government         

    You will Study

    The political science program emphasizes the development of specific skills necessary for leadership, management, planning and evaluation of government programs, and provides a comprehensive understanding of policy making and policy implementation within a local, national or global context. The study of politics also provides deep insights into human nature, and students will reflect on perennial questions of political theory. Political science majors take various core and elective courses including:

    POLI 317: The American Presidency 

    An overview of the Constitutional duties of the President within a historical context of how previous Presidents have shaped the office. 

    POLI 343: U.S. Foreign Policy

    This course explores the historical and intellectual foundations of contemporary U.S. foreign policy and applies this knowledge to contemporary foreign policy dilemmas and international crises.

    POLI 390-394: Special Topics

    Courses in this series of classes include Road to the White House, Presidential Biographies, Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict and Totalitarian Regimes.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $41,700
    • Mid-career salary: $77,000

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) and/or PayScale (payscale.com).