What is the legacy of slavery in the U.S.? Why are there so few women in Congress? How is radicalism in the Middle East changing? Why and how does democracy flourish? Just what is democracy? How do emotions shape our political behavior? What do war movies tell us about the USA? Would less government lead to more social justice? What is social justice? How does smuggling (of drugs, guns, and people) reshape international relations? How do immigrants see the American Dream? What is the American dream?

Political science is about questions like these. You can grapple with every one of them — and many more — in the classrooms of the Brown political science department. We study how people — nations, regions, cities, communities — live their common lives. How people solve (or duck) their common problems. How people govern themselves. How they think, talk, argue, fight, and vote. Students passionate about social challenges may also choose to pursue the Engaged Scholars Program, which allows them to connect theory and practice and gain hands-on experience working with community partners.

Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Gain an understanding of the nature and history of important issues in contemporary politics
  • Grasp the major theories underlying political systems
  • Learn the methodological approaches relevant to one or more subfields in political science
  • Develop advanced rhetorical and writing skills
  • Produce original research in the form of a seminar paper


  • American
  • International and Comparative
  • Theory

Department Undergraduate Group (DUG)

Student Leaders: Calista Shang, Payton Gannon, Zion Lewis

Graduating Class

Class Year Total Students Capstones Completed Honors Graduates
2014 68  68 
2015 67  67  10 
2016 87  69  15 
2017 57  57 
2018 79  79  15 
2019 72 72 10

Alumni Pathways

Political Science has a wide range of applications and provides a useful preparation for a variety of career options. Most graduates have pursued careers in law, government service, business, industry, teaching, communications, and hospital administration.

What are Political Science concentrators doing...


Director of Undergraduate Studies: Rose McDermott