Political science at Houghton brings a wide lens to the study of politics and governance with a strong focus on issues of substance—justice, liberty, equality and the common good.

From the local village to the global village, a degree in political science prepares students for a lifetime of leadership and service. Since its founding by Plato more than two millennia ago, political science has sought to understand, promote and preserve the common good. 

Political science majors at Houghton are introduced to an intellectually challenging and ultimately very practical body of knowledge—all with a deeply informative Christian perspective. They learn the elements of politics in the United States and abroad and find solutions that benefit the greater good.

Graduates go on to careers in diplomacy, government, international service, journalism, law, teaching and more.

Why Major in Political Science?

  • Pursue your individual interests, and shape your own program of study with guidance from excellent professors.
  • Collaborate with faculty members to discover your talents and strengths, and engage in high-level scholarship.
  • Small class sizes allow for focused discussion, engaging literature and developmental writing.
  • Internship, independent study and study abroad opportunities expand your horizons and deepen your perspectives.
  • Faculty members all hold the highest degrees in their fields and are published research historians who integrate their academic disciplines with the Christian faith.

Major Requirements

Political Science (BA) major


Experiential Learning

A nine-person research team from Houghton - led by Dr. Ron Oakerson, professor of political science at the college spent three weeks in Kalanthuba, Sierra Leone. The team interviewed village leaders from 40 villages, representing nearly 10,000 people, and conducted a baseline study of the level of development in Kalanthuba Chiefdom.

Dr. Eli Knapp, assistant professor of intercultural studies and biology, partnered with alumni Nathan Peace ’16 and Lauren Bechtel ’16 to research poaching in Tanzania. The three conducted surveys and interviews with more than 170 self-admitted poachers and discovered a strong relationship between illegal hunting and poverty.