Explore the politics of the modern world.
As a political science major, you will develop an awareness of the modern world in its many historical and political dimensions. You'll learn to view other people and cultures objectively as you develop your writing, research and critical thinking skills. You may also choose to major in political science with a concentration in law and justice, gaining an understanding of current legal issues and receiving preparation for postgraduate study in law.
Meredith's location in the state capital provides a wealth of resources for internships, volunteer work, class speakers and part-time jobs that will enrich your learning experience. Many political science majors also choose to pursue teacher licensure in social studies.
Meredith's location in North Carolina's capital is ideal for political science majors. You'll be able to see state government in action, visit multiple historic sites and museums, and take advantage of educational opportunities at international businesses in nearby Research Triangle Park. We also offer hands-on learning opportunities including a Model United Nations team, and a student-led voter registration project each election year.
Another distinctive asset of Meredith's program is the ability of our undergraduate students to take courses in the Meredith Paralegal Program. These courses provide essential training for those wishing to work as legal assistants or attend law school.
Students can major in any subject in preparation for admission to law school or paralegal programs, but the political science major offers a Concentration in Law and Justice for students interested in more focused preparation. Dr. Clyde Frazier is pre-law advisor for the college, and he works with students in every major.
Students interested in legal careers, whatever their major, are advised to take courses that develop their writing and problem-solving skills. In addition, they are advised to take POL 301, Constitution and Rights of Americans, which provides an introduction to legal reasoning and is designed to help them assess their interest in and aptitude for further legal study.
One distinctive asset of Meredith's program is the ability of undergraduate students to take courses in the Meredith Paralegal Program. It is even possible to graduate from Meredith in four years with both a Bachelor of Arts and Paralegal Certification. Another valuable asset is the wide range of law-related internships and part-time jobs available in law offices and government agencies.
In recent years, Meredith graduates have been admitted to law schools across North Carolina as well as to a wide range of schools across the country. Graduates have also gone on to attend paralegal programs at Meredith, Duke and other schools. Meredith graduates currently work at all levels in law firms and public agencies across the state, from entry-level paralegal to senior partner and Assistant District Attorney.
Political science majors have a choice of internships, as the program receives far more requests for interns than we can fill. Recent placements include:
- Triangle Area Chapter - American Red Cross - Raleigh
- Congressman Bob Etheridge - District Office - Raleigh
- Representative Robin Hayes - Washington Office - Washington, D.C.
- Juvenile Literacy Center - Raleigh, N.C.
- Common Cause of NC - Raleigh
- McDaniel Anderson LLC - Raleigh (law firm)
- Ragsdale Leggett LLC - Raleigh (law firm)
- Magistrates Court, 10 th Judicial district - Raleigh
In addition to these internships, many students work as runners or office assistants for area law firms.
All majors will ordinarily write a Senior Research Project or, for Honors Students, an Honors Thesis during one semester of their senior year. Each student works with her advisor to identify a viable topic and sources during the semester before she undertakes the project. Honors students will also present the results of their work to some combination of faculty, majors and other guests.
Recent graduates are engaged in a range of professional and academic pursuits, including:
- Security Studies Program, Georgetown University
- Teacher, Wake County Public Schools
- Project Assistant, Pharmaceutical Product Development
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Triangle Chapter, American Red Cross
- National Federation of Republican Women
- McGuire Woods (lobbying and political consulting)
- Assistant Director of Government Relations, Arc of North Carolina
The Alice B. Keith Senior Scholarship, for which juniors in the department apply each year, awards roughly $1,000 to that student with the best combination of academic achievement and career goals. The Frank and Carolyn Grubbs Scholarship goes each year to that rising senior with the most compelling combination of academic achievement and promise as a teacher. The members of the Department decide upon the recipient of this roughly $2,000 award.
In addition to these discipline-specific scholarship opportunities, Meredith offers a range of merit and need-based financial assistance. Last year, Meredith coordinated $42.8 million in financial assistance.
Meredith’s student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and average class size of 17 ensure that students get to know their professors. In turn, our faculty know students by name and, just as important, are familiar with each student’s unique strengths and interests. This allows faculty to identify interesting research and internship opportunities for students, to write meaningful letters of recommendation, and to support students as they conduct in-depth undergraduate research. In fact, students and faculty frequently work together on such projects—more than 140 were conducted by student/faculty teams last year.
Political science faculty members include the following:
- Clyde Frazier, Ph.D., is the senior faculty member in Political Science and serves as the main pre-law advisor for Meredith. He actively promotes better writing and critical thinking as well as voter registration and political involvement of Meredith students. Dr. Frazier frequently serves as a political analyst for major media outlets.
- Jeffrey Martinson, Ph.D., received his doctorate from Ohio State University. His research foci are international relations, foreign policy analysis, poligical psychology, international organization and Mideast politics.
For more detailed information about the political science major, please go to the program website.
For information about other majors at Meredith, return to the Admissions majors page.