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Political Science

Political Scienee at Westminster College

For Political Science major and minor requirements, please visit the course catalog.

Why Study Political Science at Westminster?

  • Discover the answers to "big questions" — the nature of a good life, causes of war and terrorism, characteristics of a just society, prospects for peace, and how political leaders wield power, meet challenges, and achieve noble purposes.
  • Learn about politics and government in small classes. You'll never be in a huge lecture hall with 300 to 400 other students, trying to learn political science from an inexperience graduate student. Instead, you'll learn from experienced and dedicated professors who are considered experts in their field and who know you and take pride in mentoring you to success.
  • Approximately 40 percent of our majors go to law school at places such as Yale, Michigan, Duke, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Missouri, and Washington University.

Click here to read about recent Westminster graduate Robyn Parkinson's journey from Westminster to Harvard Law School.

Learn about Derick Dailey '11 who received his law degree from Fordham Law School in New York City and served as president of the National Black Law Students Association.

Major Highlights

Choose one of three tracks, depending on your interests and career aspirations.

If you are interested in law, you can select the pre-law track and get a political science major as well as a pre-law minor. If you are interested in the emerging and exciting field of Security Studies, consider our Security Studies track, and earn both a minor in that field and a major in political science. Or, if you want to attend graduate school or just explore each of the major subfields of political science, you can choose the general track.

Cool Classes

Politics and Film, Security Studies, Drugs, Politics and Public Policy, Environmental Politics and Policy, and American Jurisprudence

Beyond the Classroom

  • Pursue internships such as legislative internships at the nearby Missouri State Capitol
  • Study abroad or in Washington, D.C.
  • Work on political campaigns
  • Deliver papers at on and off campus conferences
  • Get involved with the College Democrats or College Republicans
  • Run for the Student Government Association

The department sponsors a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national honor society for students studying politics and government, which offers an opportunity to interact and talk politics outside the classroom. All political science majors also have the opportunity to join Phi Alpha Delta, the international law fraternity.

Career Opportunities

  • Attorney, such as alumnus Jim Bennett who attended Vanderbilt Law School, clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, became a partner at Bryan Cave and then started his own law firm in St. Louis.
  • Political leader, such as Westminster alumnus former Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons.
  • Government official, such as Dr. Jason Wells, who is a political officer with the State Department in South Africa, or Leigh Hildebrand, Senior Assistant Parliamentarian for the United States Senate.
  • Public affairs consultant, such as Drue Duncan, chief Missouri lobbyist for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
  • Business executive, such as Heather Biehl, former CIA officer, who is now a senior analyst for Raytheon BBN Technologies
  • College professor, such as the following Westminster alumni ...
    • Dr. Jim Spriggs, Chair of the Political Science Department of Washington University in Saint Louis
    • Hasan Adwan (MA & PhD, University of Heidelberg, Germany), Professor, Heidelberg
    • Juris Pupcenoks (MA & PhD, University of Delaware), Professor, Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY)
    • Drew Seib (MA & PhD, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale), Professor, Murray State University (Murray, KY)
    • Kali Wright-Smith (MA, Loyola University of Chicago; PhD, Purdue University), Professor and Chair of Political Science, Westminster College (Fulton, MO)
    • Emily Moore (ABD/PhD candidate, Washington University in St. Louis), instructor, Washington University
Jim Bennet Westminster College Alumni"As a political science major, I received a great background in the great political thinkers throughout history and how those ideas applied to current issues. I continue to use the critical thinking and ideas I learned from Dr. Langton in my legal practice and as a citizen to this day." — Jim Bennett '92, founding partner, Dowd Bennett Law firm, Saint Louis.
"The Political Science Department at Westminster has been invaluable in my development both professionally and academically. The professors at Westminster have not only expanded my knowledge in political science but become my lifelong friends."- Emily Moore '12, doctoral student in political science, Washington University, Saint Louis.

Contact Information

Name: John Langton
Position: Professor of Political Science
Office: Room 241, Westminster Hall
Email: John.Langton@westminster-mo.edu
Phone: 573-592-5295

Meet the Faculty

John Langton, Professor of Political Science
Tobias Gibson, Professor of Political Science
Kali Wright-Smith, Associate Professor of Political Science

Political Science News

Check out what Westminster political science students and alums are doing and get department updates.
Political Science News

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