Seek the source of citizenship

About Political Science & History at Keuka College

Explore government, politics, and the interaction between differing cultures, societies, and values through Keuka College's political science program. A background in political science is valuable for citizenship and political action, as well as for future careers in government, law, business, media, or public service.

You’ll learn analytical tools and gain extensive knowledge in four main subsets of the discipline—Europe and the world, American society and government, foreign affairs and international relations, and public policy and administration—giving you a holistic view of the policies and practices that govern our world of politics, and creating active, engaged citizens.

Political Science & History Program Highlights


Build a holistic, ground-level understanding of the roots, rights, and rituals of citizenship across the state, nation, and around the world. Apply knowledge of your own citizenship in practical ways right where you are.

Political Development

Political cycles show patterns of repetition throughout history. As such, your study of politics will incorporate a historical perspective as you examine research gleaned through the passing of time, and the concepts and theories that have emerged along the way.

Critical Thinking

Learn how to assess political problems through the lens of history, and apply your knowledge to propose potential solutions. Examine the victories and defeats of others to identify the strategies, resources, and external factors that led to political failure or success.

Explore Political Science & History

Program Overview

The political science and history program explores the heritage of Western civilization as it relates to modern government, the interactions between Western and non-Western values, and the politics in a rapidly changing, and interdependent global environment. The major provides a foundation in history, international relations, political analysis, and economics. Upon examination of the cycle of politics through the lens of history, you’ll identify patterns of thought and concepts that have shaped the direction of nations across centuries, and have ultimately charted the course of humanity.

A degree in political science and history will prepare you for graduate study, or law school, as well as employment in areas like political and historical research, public relations, interest-group activity, and political party activity. Several political science and history graduates are active in local, state, and national politics and election campaigns, completing internships in state and national legislative offices for several political parties.

The political science program gives you the opportunity to learn about politics from a different perspectives. Classes are offered in four subsets of the field:

Europe and the World - Follow the development of European history in relation to the world from the Middle Ages and Renaissance through the era of colonization, the industrial revolution, abolition, through two world wars and into the 21st century.

American Society and Government - Explore the birth of a young nation and trace the growth of American society and government over nearly 250 years, from colonization through revolution, Western exploration and expansion, establishment of a Constitution, the Civil War, industrial revolution, two World Wars, the Cold War, into the Information Age.

Foreign Affairs and International Relations - Examine the cultural and socioeconomic factors impacting international relations between nations throughout history. Study foreign affairs between the U.S. and other nations through a global perspective and the lens of interdependence.

Public Policy and Administration - Investigate a range of public policy decisions and outcomes through a historical lens, and examine case studies to find trends in administrative decision-making. You’ll gain a broad understanding of the impact of key decisions, new laws or failure to enact change in areas of public concern, and apply current principles and concepts to the issues of our day.

The Faculty

Our political science and history faculty hail from a wide variety of backgrounds including a Pulitzer Prize nominee in History and oft-published columnist, an expert in First Lady Julia Gardiner Tyler, a professor with academic roots in Hungary, Romania and the globalization of American government, and more. Two of the current faculty have won Keuka College Professor of the Year honors.

Faculty in the Division of Basic and Applied Social Sciences

Digital Literacy

There are many ways to apply your digital knowledge to the law and social sciences field. Learn to analyze historic, governmental, and social data to understand how information circulates through the citizenry.

By using computational tools, you can aid in historic fact-finding, and identify patterns within population groups. Measurement of voter trends and exit polling data during election season, as well as sociogrammapping of influencers and thought leaders in various social media platforms can help identify key constituents.

Our students utilize new digital tools everyday in the classroom. Most recently students have:

  • Engaged in online discussion with College alumni, and Yates County residents regarding the presidential election cycle and the numerous factors surrounding the candidate’s platforms. Students examine polling data, and additional sources for patterns indicating political trends within the electorate.
  • Created an online repository in the College’s library archives that includes student interviews of military veterans. The stories, collective experience, and honors shared by these heroes give our students a powerful perspective upon which to view war and its various components.

Global Education

For more than 30 years, Keuka College students, alumni, and friends of the College have enjoyed traveling for Field Period™ with faculty from the political science and history program. Having a Ph.D. historian or political scientist lead a group learning process opens doors to the significance of culture, architecture, political events, and history itself.

In recent years, a handful of Keuka College professors from across multiple academic disciplines have begun coordinating the annual group Field Period™ trips for students. Students and professors have traveled to Eastern European cities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Italy, England, Ireland, France, Hungary, and Romania.

Keuka College also encourages students to apply to the Fulbright Scholar Program, a federally-funded international educational exchange program that helps build relationships between American academics, policy expert, and students and their foreign counterparts.


Throughout the political science and history program, you’ll have the opportunity to work with your professors on joint research projects for presentations at academic or professional conferences. 


There are several opportunities to gain real-world experience in your political science and history program. You can join the Political Science, History, and Pre-Law Club and participate in several annual activities including voter registration drives, visits to law schools, and trips to statehouses serving as local, state and national seats of government.

You can participate in the Washington Internship Program, a semester-long internship in Washington, D.C. during the fall or spring semester. Spend time in the nation’s capital studying, working, and earning up to 16 academic credits. This internship is open to sophomores, juniors, or seniors.

Pi Gamma Mu

Pi Gamma Mu is the International Honor Society in Social Science. Each year Social Sciences Faculty members nominate junior and senior students for membership in recognition of their scholastic success in social science courses and overall.

Award Opportunities

Sprague Prize in History

The Sprague Prize in History recognizes students for an outstanding published or unpublished paper.

What can you do with this degree?

Thinking about your future career? Here are some sample job titles that people with similar degrees have at organizations around the country.

• Behavioral Scientist
• Demographer
• Ethnologist
• Etymologist
• Linguist
• Philologist
• Social Scientist
• Genealogist
• Historiographer
• Protohistorian
• Government Affairs Researcher
• Government Affairs Specialist
• Local Governance and Citizen Participation Specialist
• Political Consultant
• Political Research Scientist
• Political Researcher
• City Alderman
• City Council Member
• Congressional Representative
• Councilor
• Legislator
• Member of Congress
• Selectman
• Senator
• Tribal Council Member

Demand & Salary Data

Career Group Career Summary Median Annual Wage in 2015sort ascending Predicted Openings Between 2014 and 2024 Change in Demand for These Jobs, 2024 vs. 2014 Education Typically Needed
Political Scientists

Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decision-making, and ideology. May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results, or analyze public documents.

$99,730 700 -100 Master's degree
Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other

All social scientists and related workers not listed separately.

$76,380 4,200 -700 Bachelor's degree

Research, analyze, record, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.

$55,800 500 100 Master's degree

Develop, introduce or enact laws and statutes at the local, tribal, State, or Federal level. Includes only workers in elected positions.

$20,500 12,900 -400 Bachelor's degree

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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