Political Science

About the Department

Political science explores questions about power: what it is, where it comes from, who exercises it, and how it is legitimized and challenged. We work to understand how political institutions and processes developed in history, how they operate today, and how they might change in the future--here in the United States, in other countries around the world, and internationally in the global system. Key topics include democracy and authoritarianism, good governance and corruption, inequality and protest, conflict and cooperation, and war and peace.

In accordance with the mission of Barnard College, the political science department aims to create a community of teachers and students committed to intellectual discovery, rigorous analysis, and independent thought. The department's courses emphasize reflection, discussion, deliberation and intensive interactions between faculty members and students. The Barnard political science department strives to help students think clearly and methodically about the questions and issues that make up political science, equip them with the intellectual and presentational skills necessary to understand and address practical political issues as well as prepare them for a wide range of careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; pre-collegiate education; electoral politics; research and university and college teaching.

If you have any questions, please see the quick links below; if you are not able to find the information you need, please email polisci@barnard.edu. 

Resources for Prospective Majors

Thinking about majoring in Political Science? Here are some things that might be helpful:

Recorded Program Planning Meeting

If you were unable to attend our latest program planning meeting, you can watch a recording of it here. We went over basic requirements of the major, and heard from most of our faculty about their specific research and courses. A timestamped list of contents is available below the video player, so that you can jump right to what you want to watch!

Useful Links

Here are some links that you might find particularly useful:

Contact Us

If you have any questions and can't find the answers above, please email polsci@barnard.edu! We also hold weekly office hours, and are happy to set up 1:1 appointments either in person or over Zoom.