Political Science Program

Political Science Program Overview

Political science is the study of things concerning the state or the relationships among states. As a political science major at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, you’ll develop a solid, basic background of knowledge in a wide variety of interrelated fields, from political philosophy and the papal social encyclicals to American government and history to international and comparative politics. Explore governmental institutions, electoral practices, constitutions, and great political thinkers to understand the ideals that gave rise to America’s founding and freedoms, as well as the rights, obligations, limitations, and relationships of individuals and communities. You can also minor in legal studies for an introduction to the law and legal research.

Catholic social teaching

One of the oldest major programs at Franciscan University, the bachelor’s degree in political science is different from almost any political science major in Ohio or across the country because of its focus on the interrelationship of politics, ethics, and religion. With a foundation in the natural moral law, as interpreted by the Catholic Church, Franciscan’s major in political science helps students to see how politics and government should proceed morally and effectively to promote the good of humans. You will be prepared to effectively challenge false ideologies, perspectives, and prejudices of the times, perform your proper role as a Christian and U.S. citizen, and contribute toward bettering American culture.

Explore More of the Political Science Bachelor’s Degree Program

Here are just a few other ways Franciscan’s political science bachelor’s degree program stands out from the rest:

  • Financial aid and scholarships: Learn more about scholarships for undergraduate students, including political science majors, from the Franciscan Office of Financial Aid.
  • 3+3 Law Program: Earn both your undergraduate and law degree in six years, instead of the typical seven. Through special cooperative arrangements with Catholic University of America School of Law, Ave Maria School of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law (in Minnesota), and Duquesne University School of Law, students with a very strong academic record can complete the political science major and core curriculum requirements at Franciscan University in three years and begin law school after that. The first year of law courses also count as Franciscan electives, so you will receive your bachelor’s degree in political science after your first year of law school, then complete your Juris Doctor in two more years.
  • Internship opportunities: Through faculty and alumni connections, political science majors have knowledge of and access to a variety of internships for on-the-job training and real-world work experience. In recent years, political science majors have done internships at, for example, the District Offices of Ohio Congressman William Johnson, the National Right to Life Committee, and the Heritage Foundation.
  • Study abroad: Spend a semester at Franciscan University’s European campus in Gaming, Austria, or in the University of Oxford’s Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program in England. The Austria Program is available to all Franciscan students, but the Oxford Program requires certain eligibility to apply.
  • Award-winning faculty: Study under the guidance of experienced, energetic, and faithful professors, including published authors; practicing lawyers, and legal counsels in Steubenville, Ohio, and other communities; a two-time Fulbright Fellow; public and broadcast speakers; research grant recipients and fellows and so on.
What Can You Do With a Political Science Degree?

Political science majors at Franciscan University gain a solid foundation for careers in teaching or law. Many graduates of Franciscan’s political science degree program from the past decade have staff positions in Washington, D.C. — on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch. Majoring in political science also helps you see what jobs are possible in a variety of related fields, though some may require further specialized training or an advanced degree. Nearly half of Franciscan’s political science majors continue their education with professional or graduate school.

Graduate Programs for Political Science Majors

  • Master of Arts in Political Science
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Philosophy
  • Master of Theology
  • Master of Arts in History
  • Master of Economics
  • Juris Doctor Law Program
  • Master of Arts in National Security Studies
  • Master of City and Regional Planning

Potential Job Titles for Political Science Majors

  • City Manager or Planner
  • Civil or Public Servant
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Journalist or Public Affairs Writer or Editor
  • Legislative Staff Member
  • Lobbyist
  • Nonprofit or International Organization Director
  • Opinion Polling and Survey Researcher
  • Paralegal or Lawyer
  • Political Staff Member or Campaign Director
  • Political Party Official
Academic Catalog

View the Political Science Program on the Undergraduate Catalog

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Alumni Profiles
Beyond the Classroom
Political Science Association

Join the student-run group on campus for political science majors. As a member of Franciscan University’s Political Science Association, you’ll be able to participate in guest lectures, open discussions on current political and cultural issues, career nights, socials, dances, and other sponsored activities.

Brownson/Scanlan Lecture

Franciscan University’s Political Science Department and Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life co-sponsor the annual Brownson/Scanlan Lecture. Each spring, a prominent Catholic scholar visits the campus in Ohio and leads a discussion on a current, relevant topic in politics or law.

Society of Catholic Social Scientists

Co-founded by a Franciscan professor, the Society of Catholic Social Scientists examines political, social, and economic reality through Catholic social teachings, the natural law, and verifiable data. Along with publishing a scholarly journal and producing an online tutorial in Catholic Social Thought, the Society hosts an annual national conference featuring talks with scholars and professionals.

Austrian Semester Abroad

Grow, develop, and be formed into a more mature student by spending a semester in Franciscan’s Austrian program. You’ll expand your major in unbelievable ways by traveling to places such as Rome and the holy sites of Christendom, and through courses taught at a 14th-century monastery that also serves as your home.

Programs Related to the Bachelor’s in Political Science

Still undecided? You might also be interested in these other undergraduate degree programs at Franciscan that are similar to the political science bachelor’s degree.

Department Faculty
Dr. Regina Boerio

Dr. Regina Boerio


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Professor Bea Carreno

Prof. Bea Carreño

Austria Program

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Professor James Gaston

Prof. James Gaston

Associate Professor

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Dr. Anne Hendershott

Dr. Anne Hendershott


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Dr. Daniel Kempton

Dr. Daniel Kempton

Vice President for Academic Affairs; Professor

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Dr. Stephen Krason

Dr. Stephen M. Krason

Department Chair

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Dr. Benjamin Wiker

Dr. Benjamin Wiker


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