Have you ever wondered why countries go to war? Why people vote the way they do? Whether the Mass Media are truly “biased"? Or why the Supreme Court decides cases the way it does? If so, the study of political science and public affairs may be for you.
When you enroll in our undergraduate and graduate academic programs—the NASPAA accredited MPA Program among them—you won’t find yourself regurgitating lecture information, you’ll be researching and applying your knowledge to real-world social and political problems on a local, national, and global scale. Still not convinced? Check out what our alumni are doing now. Want to know more? Contact our Department Head, or our student department ambassadors. Our degree programs include:
Political Science Choose between a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree or complement your studies with a minor in political science. These offerings are organized around the traditional sub-fields of political science: American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory.
Minor in Political Science The minor requires 18 hours in political science, including PSC 110 and PSC 150 and 12 hours of electives (at the 200 level and above).
Master of Public Affairs (MPA) Western’s NASPAA-accredited MPA Program (taught at our Biltmore Park location) is your first stop on the way to a career in public service.
International Studies The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program offers courses in fields such as Foreign Languages, Politics, Culture, and Globalization.
Minor in International Studies The minor requires 18 hours including either PSC 110: “Global Issues” or PSC 241: “International Politics.”
Take advantage of the opportunity to work in the Public Policy Institute or get involved with the Political Science Club or one of our other partner programs and organizations such as the Local Government Program Training Program, the Model United Nations, the College Democrats, and the College Republicans. We are also fortunate to have three endowed undergraduate scholarships, two graduate scholarships, and many awards that are available to our students. Please click HERE for a list of past winners. And click HERE for a larger list of special opportunities available to our majors.
Our committed and highly respected faculty are dedicated to modeling how to research practical solutions for existing challenges. Professionally active and representing a diverse and broad range of interests and backgrounds, our faculty are determined to provide you with a world-class education that will prepare you to compete and find success in the fields of political science and public affairs … anywhere! Their real-world knowledge translates into the classroom by providing you with a depth of academic experience and practical understanding that will prepare you to excel in today’s world of politics and public affairs. Browse the links below and get to know our faculty.
|Full Time Faculty and Staff|
|Chris Cooper||Ph.D.; Department Head; Professor; American Politics, Public Administration, Research Methods|
|Ingrid Bego||Ph.D.; Assistant Professor; Comparative Politics, International Politics|
|Todd Collins||Ph.D.; Public Policy Institute Director, Steed Distinguished Associate Professor; Public Law, Judicial Politics|
|Charles Fagan||Ph.D.; Instructor, International Relations, Comparative Politics|
|Jay Gerlach||Ph.D.; Associate Professor; MPA Director; Public Administration, Nonprofit Management, Environmental Policy|
|Jessica Hayden||Arriving Fall, 2018 as Assistant Professor; American Politics, Congress, Presidency|
|Phyllis Hoffman||Administrative Support Associate|
|Michael McDonald||Ph.D.; Instructor; International Relations, Comparative Politics|
|Niall Michelsen||Ph.D.; Associate Professor; International Relations|
|Heather Rimes||Ph.D.; Assistant Professor; Public Administration, Public Policy|
|Jennifer Schiff||Ph.D.; International Studies Director, Associate Professor; International Relations, Comparative Politics|
|Bob Boylan||M.P.M.; Director of Local Government and Training Program (LGTP)|
|JoBeth Shafran||Ph.D.; Assistant Professor; Public Policy, Public Administration, American Politics|
|Andy Coburn||M.E.M.; Adjunct Instructor (MPA), Environmental Policy|
|John Connet||MPA; Adjunct Instructor (MPA), Public Administration|
|Paul Dezendorf||Ph.D.; Adjunct Instructor (MPA),Public Administration|
|Blake Esselstyn||MA; Adjunct Instructor (MPA), GIS, Planning, Public Administration|
|Clay Fuller||Ph.D.; Adjunct Instructor, International Relations, Comparative Politics|
|Jake Greear||Ph.D,; Adjunct Instructor; Political Theory, American Politics, International Relations|
|Brian Hardt||Ph.D,; Adjunct Instructor; International Relations, Comparative Politics, Formal Theory|
|Laura Jeffords||MPA.; Adjunct Instructor (MPA); Nonprofit Management and Leadership|
|Tyler Reinagel||PhD.; Adjunct Instructor; Public Administration, Public Policy|
|Don Livingston||Ph.D.; Professor Emeritus; American Government|
|Gordon Mercer||Ph.D.; Professor Emeritus; Public Administration|