Global Engagement for Undergraduate Political Science Majors and Minors

"Today's graduates will work and live in an interdependent, highly diverse, fast-changing, and volatile world" (Association of American Colleges & Universities).

Will you be prepared for the globalized world you'll work and live in? The Department of Political Science at Western Michigan University can help. Here's how:

A specialized, globally engaged program to prepare for international careers
The Department of Political Science offers a specialized major (concentration) in international and comparative politics. Immerse yourself in the study of politics around the world! Students from this major pursue careers in the foreign service, the federal government, international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), and international law. Learn more.

Courses in comparative politics and international relations
Even if you are not an international and comparative politics major, you can still add electives to increase your global knowledge and awareness. Such courses are taught by faculty with extensive international experience living, studying and researching in the regions their courses cover. See the undergraduate catalog or the current class schedule for details.

Study abroad
Where can you study political science abroad? You can do so in English in a surprising number of countries (13) and sites (18). See our flier for an overview. If your second language skills are strong enough, you can also study in Germany, France, Japan or Russia. Speak to an international and comparative politics advisor to learn more or visit WMU's study abroad site.

By the way, you don't need to be an international and comparative politics major to study abroad! Many of our students in the standard, secondary ed, public law and public policy majors have done so. You can too!

And scholarship support is available. In addition to Haenicke Institute for Global Education scholarships, the Department of Political Science offers several scholarships just for its majors.

Learn another language
"Acquiring a second language [can] set you apart from the sea of qualified job applicants" (Forbes).

Being able to communicate in a foreign language is the gateway to "deep cultural knowledge that cannot be achieved in any other way" (Deardorff and Jones).

Language competency is more in demand than ever before. This is especially true in careers in international politics, international development, and international law. Don't stop with the minimum year of study required by the College of Arts and Sciences, or even the two years required for the international and comparative politics major. You don't need native competency or even a high level of fluency; seek to be comfortable in expressing yourself.

See WMU's departments of Spanish and World Languages and Literatures to learn more about which languages you can study.

Join a student organization with a global focus
You don't have to leave campus to increase your global awareness. The International Programs Council, Model UN and Peace Jam are just three of the many student organizations at WMU. Look for RSOs (registered student organizations) with a global focus.

Meet our highly internationalized faculty
Several of our faculty are bi- or multi-lingual and have spent much time abroad – in most cases years! –  in their geographical areas of study. Meet our faculty here.

For more ideas on how to be globally engaged, see Western's global engagement site.