Political Science and International Relations


We offer two majors - Political Science and International Relations - and minors in each of these disciplines, as well as a minor in Law and Politics. Our aim is to offer programs that integrate academic rigor with real-world experience. Through our work, both within and outside the classroom, the faculty of the department support our students in achieving the goals they set for themselves. For some, this means gaining access to graduate or professional schools for further training. For others, the objective is to begin a career in government, not-for-profit agencies or the private sector. Our students have been accepted into the most prestigious graduate schools in political science and international relations, as well as leading law schools. Others have worked for the U.S. Government in the diplomatic corps, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the Peace Corps and a variety of government agencies. Still others have found gainful employment in the private sector.

Opportunities after Graduation for Majors in Political Science and International Relations
A major in either Political Science or International Relations provides excellent preparation for a range of choices after graduation.  Graduates of our department have gone on to 1) advanced study in graduate school or law school; 2) careers in government at the local, state and federal levels; 3) work in non-profit organizations; 4) political campaign consulting; 5) secondary school teaching in public and private schools, as well as teaching English in foreign countries (Spain, Taiwan and Argentina); 6) service in the Peace Corps (in Burkina Faso); 7) research and policy aides in think tanks (e.g., SUNY Center for International Development); and 8) service as government liaison for private businesses. More specifically, some of the institutions where department graduates have been accepted for advanced study include Columbia University, New York University, The New School, Seton Hall School for International Diplomacy, Moscow State University for International Relations, University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, American University, University of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania State University, and SUNY Albany. The department has sent its graduates to the following law schools: Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Columbia University Law School, Washington and Lee Law School, University of Oregon Law School, Catholic University Law School, Vermont Law School, Albany Law School, Pace University Law School, Brooklyn Law School, Hofstra Law School, and New York Law School. Our graduates have worked as press aide to Madeleine Albright in her position as US representative to the United Nations; legislative aide to former Rep. Maurice Hinchey; attorney for the New York State Assembly Codes Committee; political director for the AFL-CIO and deputy political director for the Democratic National Committee; clerk for the Oregon Supreme Court; policy analyst for the Federal Reserve; policy analyst for programs in Africa for the Department of Agriculture; service in a military intelligence unit in Iraq; research assistant for the American Library Association; attorneys in private practice; assistant district attorney for the southern district of New York; and professor of government at Harvard University.

The majors offered by our department are rigorous and grounded in the liberal arts. Our aim is to provide our students with a solid introduction to their fields of study so that they can either pursue careers in political science, law, international relations or other related professional fields. In addition, we aim to provide them with the basic writing, reasoning and communication skills that will enable them to be successful in a wide variety of professions not directly related to either political science or international relations. Study after study has shown that it is those who graduate with strong liberal arts backgrounds who are most likely to be successful in later life.

How to Contact the Department:

  • Office: Jacobson Faculty Tower (JFT) 814
  • Department of Political Science and International Relations
    SUNY New Paltz
    600 Hawk Drive
    New Paltz, NY 12561-2443
  • Phone: (845) 257-3540
  • Fax: (845) 257-3581

Chair: Jeff Miller
Secretary: Erin Stewart